The Transition

The phone rang and the dialer was “16th Floor conference room”, which was immediately suspicious. I picked up. “This is Rindy.”

“Hi Rindy, this is [H.R.]. can you come and join me in the 16th floor conference room?”

Ummmmmm… OK… I agreed and hung up. So this is it.

The new director of the division was there with HR when I arrived. That made it certain. I put on my best face, closed the door behind me and cheerfully said, “So what’s up? Bad news?”

“Yes it is, I’m afraid,” said the director. “There’s never an easy way to do this, but, as a result of the recent reorganization of the division, your position has been eliminated.” Bam.

A feeling came over me, equal parts relief and dread – but both tinged with nervousness, and my heart beat palpably in my chest. The director went on but I heard only my own thoughts. It’s actually over. I’m moving on. When I heard her again, she was apologizing. I smiled.

“That’s fine, I understand. It’s business,” I said. I was actually getting over the dread and becoming joyful. She had a brief look of confusion. “So, what are the details?”

They were generous. Not Dick-Fuld-golden-parachute generous, but fair. I said, “OK, that’s fair.” They both looked as if they had been expecting a much darker meeting. I had my keycard in my pocket and turned it over. They handed me some paperwork. That was it, I was free to go.

Although they intimated that IT had already commandeered my computer and deleted me from the system, my machine was waiting just where I’d left it, still running. I emailed a file I had been working on to a colleague and ran the disk cleanup function, clearing out my recycle bin, cookies and browsing history, temporary files, etc. I had already removed some personal photos weeks earlier.

Did I anticipate this? Not really. But I had decided to leave, and I had been looking. Getting a severance just made it sweeter.

There were some brief conversations of condolence and shock among a few friends – two others got the axe with me – and some of us went for a coffee after I packed up what little I kept in the office. I was still an employee for two weeks, but I wouldn’t have to come back.

Getting out of the subway at 77th St, I walked in the cold sunshine and spied a penny on the street. Nobody picks them up anymore, have you noticed? Including me. But I figured I’d need some luck now, so I bent down and picked it up, checking the year: 1983. What a great year! So many loved ones born in ’83 🙂

I am not kidding you: an hour later a recruiter called me. She had found me on Monster, and was I still looking? More than ever, I told her, and related the story. “Well, maybe this is good timing, then,” she said.

Three days later I met her for an interview, as a screening. We got along well, and on the way home – you are not going to believe this – I found another penny, also from 1983. This was incredible to me. I was confirmed to interview with a new company the following week.

Outside the Guggenheim
I got the offer on St Patrick's Day, and we went to the parade

That interview went very well, and do you know what? Outside the office as I walked out, I found yet another penny on the street, and this one was a 1980 – just like me! It was fate, I tell you. I got the job.

Three weeks to the day from getting laid off, I was starting a new job which in many ways feels like a promotion. It’s been a week so far and I am really enjoying it.

I need to thank my family and friends for being so great. Everyone reached out to me when they found out, everyone encouraged me. I have really good peoples. Thank you, guys. I love you.

{I am en route to Catonsville for a family gathering that is going to be great 🙂 This entire post was written from the bus via iphone, a first!}

2 thoughts on “The Transition”

  1. You are a superstitious fellow. Internet should not be a tool for you to spread the superstition. hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  2. great story. Catching up on Portfolio blogs. Old dell computer not working. We’re back on line with new Mac.

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