Friday, January 30, 2009

Survivor Guilt.

I'm putting myself out there a wee bit with this, but I'll be sufficiently fuzzy with details.

I am in an industry hit HARD by the recession. Yeah, I know everybody's hit hard, God knows, but we are out there in the realm of "Nobody really NEEDS what we do, we are a luxury," territory - we will go down hard and come back slowly. I have faith that they will survive; it's a great company, perhaps the best I've ever worked for - the irony of that does not escape me.

So it's dark and scary times, and I fully expect to be laid off. I am severely underemployed, and I have concluded that, though I love the people and admire the corporation, I don't wanna be a paralegal no more, so I'm okay with this on many levels. I had been a very unusual paralegal for many years, and this regular corporate paralegal life sucks bigtime. Nope. I am done with this shit, and I'm fine with getting laid off. I just want to have the right to COBRA benefits. (FYI to the readers in the civilized world of universal health care - COBRA is a law that gives a laid-off employee the right to pay through the nose for the "right" to continue health coverage for 18 months, and then fuck you if you haven't found another job.)

So, as one of the last in, and severely underutilized and also overpaid for the not jack shit I am doing most days, I expect the ax to fall. And today the ax fell - and it missed me, and hit someone else on our team. I can understand the reasoning; there's a lot of totally-not-performance related logistical stuff, like the duties can be distributed/absorbed by other departments, but still. I would have been fine with it being me, and I am still left dangling.

We are now taking private bets about who's next - the woman older than I thinks it will be her, because she thinks it is going by age. I can see it's going by function, and she's safe, and I am not - nor should I be. And right now I'm having survivor guilt, because I didn't expect to survive this cut and will have to hang around waiting for the next round.

But there will be more, and my turn will come, and rightly so.

But this weekend is mine, and I intend to have fun and relax and not think of the office until I have to get into the car on Monday morning.


KatyaR said...

OMG, Catherine, you scared me to death! I'm so sorry that all this is getting stirred up again, but it sounds like you are preparing yourself for the worst. I hope things work out for you--I think we all are scared for our futures right now.

Catherine said...

Losing this job would not be the worst. Just another bump in the road. I feel "survivor guilt" because I strongly suspect I have better resources in every way to deal with this, and someone else got cut instead.

k said...

Sounds like the wind is building up under your wings.
I'm not sure about the guilt. So many people are going to be creamed here - I can't even think.
I'm a janitor. There will always be people who need what I can provide...

The Pregnant Waitress said...

I will not lose my job, but since I work on tips my job may lose me...hang in there, there is a faint light at the end of this tunnel.

Martha said...

Miz C,

Job shit is scary. Lay offs are scary, not just for the ones to be laid off but to everyone who works in an office/plant/for a company. Good luck.


ellen said...

I survived a 10% RIF that happened over the weekend. We're all wondering when the next wave will hit = what a boost in productivity that is!

Catherine said...

No kidding Ellen! Everybody's depressed and planning their next move - and frankly, you'd be an idiot NOT to be depressed and planning.

Willa said...

I lost my job due to restructuring and the poor economy especially in the not-for-profit side in December. I am actually feeling a little better in light of the unemployment across the country- at least it's not just me, and surely as more and more of us bite the dust, SOMETHING will happen.