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Monday, January 26, 2009


The word "turmoil" is probably over-used these days, as it seems just about everyone is impacted by some negative news of a sort or two. I'm not immune to the negative news, although so far the damage has been more prospective than real. Sure, I think that I could be laid off today, tomorrow or any day for that matter. That's just reality, and I've learned that sometimes that kind of thing happens regardless of how you are actually performing at your job. Adding my friend and former co-worker Shannon in Facebook reminded me of that.

So what to do?

Well part of the solution is to not do anything. Sounds too simple, huh? Well let me clarify: it's not that I'm not doing anything, it's just that I'm not going to knee-jerk react to a possibility that is always there. Part of that means that I've made the conscious decision not to stress, worry, fret, or lose sleep over this or any other catastrophic possibility. It's just not worth it. If you spend all of your time worrying about the worst things that could possibly happen to you, then you end up missing all of the good thing that are happening to you.

On the other hand, I do try and take thoughts like this and use them to for motivation. I do ask myself questions like:

1. "Just how are others, including the people I report to, viewing me?"

2. "Do I make myself indespensible?"

3. "Would laying me off cause much pain and discomfort to my employer?"

4. "Am I flexible & can I learn new skills?"

5. "Am I high-maintenance?"

6. "Do I still have my edge?"

So how do I answer these questions right now?

1. Everything I've heard is positive.

2. I try.

3. I try.

4. I'd like to think so, but I need to work on this more.

5. Definitely not. I know this for a fact.

6. That's a tough one to answer. Sometime I do think I lose it.

Again, in the end none of this could matter, as sometimes your number is just up no matter what. So that then begs the question: What would I do?

What would I do? I don't really know to be perfectly honest. Having laid people off myself, I've seen anger, understanding, crying, etc., and I not sure how I would react immediately. I suspect that part of it would be situational; for example, I've been told in no uncertain terms that there are no layoffs planned for my department, so if there actually are, anger would be in the mix as I would (rightfully) believe that I had been lied to. Over the longer term, I'm sure I'd get over any immediate reaction. Assuming that the severance package continues as is, I'd get enough money out of that to survive for about 6 months to a year, depending on how much I cut expenses back. From there I'm not really sure. The employment picture in the Scranton area has never been all that good, so finding something else that paid even 70% of what I make now would be difficult if not impossible. I might end up having to consider relocating, which could bring all sorts of issues in and of itself.

Grim stuff, to say the least. Like I said, I don't tend to obsess over this kind of thing, so if anything writing this probably commits more time and effort to this subject than I've ever spent. Let's hope it's all remains just thoughts floating around in my head.

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