I had no plans to write this blog. Ever.
Of all possible topics, I would have chosen this one last, because I couldn’t imagine its relevance to my life. When I looked into the future, I didn’t see it. I expected it even less than the Spanish Inquisition.
Which is part of the point, really, the involuntary changing of plans. You don’t plan to get laid off. You plan to keep working – it’s just that your employer disagrees.
Probably no one really sees their first layoff coming. “It can’t happen to me.” I guess that makes it special, like a first kiss. Or other firsts.
The blog I was going to write was going to be much more fun. I had choices:
- Encountering a sneaky scammer the first time I ventured onto Facebook Marketplace.
- A comparison of cross-generational birthing experiences by men: my grandfather, waiting outside the hospital holding a pistol, guarding the family jeep from the looters of post-WWII Rome; me, getting lost looking for the coffee stand.
But no. Instead we have the following.
And when you’re addicted to writing, it’s particularly tough. Your instinct is to polemicize on social media. But there are many, many, many reasons that’s a bad idea. It’s kinda like drunk tweeting an ex, which is why you need to stay away from devices for the first twenty-four to forty-eight hours. I guess that’s a silver lining to the fact that I got the notice in the middle of a 60 hour power outage at home.
Under the heartbreak (because, yes, I loved what I did), I can recognize the reality, and the reasons why it was handled the way it was. Not that I agree with the reasons (I’m a big fan of me, for instance, doing what I do best, and I was GOOD at what I did), but I understand what they are.
So after a moment to decompress, it’s time to move on.
It’s time to be more LinkedIn and less Facebook (professional, objective, not, well, this).
It’s time to let go of what’s gone and move on to the next phase.
If you’re lucky, you’ll already have great friends looking out for you. But you can’t control that.
Here’s what you can control:
There have been a lot of layoffs lately, especially in California and the Bay Area. A lot of talented people have been let go for reasons of numbers. We’ll get through this. We’re not alone.
So time to put away the anger and save it for the Great American Novel. It’s time to get on with finding the new. Because there’s always next time for midnight Roman pistols. And Eastern European scammers are going nowhere – at least, not on the stationary bike you didn’t overcharge them for.
And always expect the Spanish Inquisition. You don’t have to expect a layoff; just don’t be shocked when it happens.