Friday, October 11, 2013

Is Anyone Safe?

I got a call today that, while it didn't affect me directly, made me terribly sad.  My favorite aunt has been laid off.  They've eliminated her job title ... and she has some hard choices ahead.  She worked for 40 years for her company ... quit college, in fact, when they offered her a full-time job.

You've never met someone who loves their job more than she does.  She genuinely wants to be there.  She goes in sick ... she works overtime ... all because she likes the people she works with and she loves her job.  Quite honestly, if you asked me to name anyone on the planet whose job was safe ... I would've named her.

But she was called in yesterday and given three options ... six months of severance, retirement, or a downgrade to a job in a different area.   She isn't sure what she's going to do ... but, truth is, her options are limited.  While forty years of service is more than enough to retire, she isn't old enough to get social security.   With no health insurance, she would have to do something ... and at her age, she doesn't feel like taking severance and starting over with a new company.  I can't say that I blame her.

We talked for awhile today.  She was holding together fairly well.   We compared stories.  Even though I was kind of in denial, I knew my office was closing for about two years ... and I still felt numb that day I walked out for the last time.  I can't imagine the shock of being called in and being told, "this is it."  She goes in next week to meet with HR to give them her decision.  She hasn't decided what she's going to tell them ...

Next week is also her birthday.  I need to do something special for her ... bake a cake or make cupcakes or maybe make a pie?  I don't know ... I need to do something.  Just have to decide what ...

It's sad, so sad
It's a sad, sad situation
And it's getting more and more absurd
It's sad, so sad
Why can't we talk it over
Oh it seems to me
That sorry seems to be the hardest word

Elton John -
Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word

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