I was thinking today that being laid off is like going through a bad breakup. There are sensitive ways to handle this kind of a loss, just like there are selfish and insensitive. I was also thinking that I have been through both types and in both cases.
Take my last job – actually you could, but seriously, you wouldn't want it! For eight years I was in denial - looking at everything through rose-colored glasses and thinking I was in the best place possible. Oh sure - I had heard my share of horror stories during my time there- but that was from the "ex's" - ex employees who were bitter and more than happy to share the gory details of their past mistakes and how they were wronged. But I thought I was different and if I proved myself to be loyal, it would never happen to me. Sound familiar?
Now, it's not the actual laying off, or the break-up that I have a problem with. When a situation causes a change in the relationship, sometimes it just can’t be helped. I mean, after all, economies change and so do people. But to callously cast someone aside like last week's newspaper with no thought as to their feelings, is pretty dispicable. I know that happens a lot. Any time you've given a part of yourself to someone or something - whether it be your time and devotion and/or your heart and your soul, it should count, and it should be of some worth, or importance.
At first you’re in a daze - walking in a dream-like state because it feels like you are in a dream. When the reality of the situation suddenly hits you, often times depression sets in. There are the days that you can't even get out of bed. You intended to, but you threw on a slip and that's as far as you got. And tears, from where ever they come, hurt the same - and the shame and loneliness that often follows can go on for months - years in some cases. Because how can you feel you really matter, when obviously, when it was so obvious you didn't.
Then, as if enough wasn't enough - some people turn to food for solace - or to pass the time – either is just as damaging. And now your problem just got bigger, because who would choose an overweight candidate over a trim and confident person who looks like they have the world by the tail?
Finally the day will come that you know you’ve suffered enough and it’s time to move on. You package your pain and you put it away, wiser, knowing you have joined the ranks of those who’ve learned the same lessons before you.
So yes, layoff's and breakups - I've been through them both, and trust me - in the end - and in most cases, you will eventually find something, or someone that was better than what got left behind.