Saturday, January 24, 2009


When I walked into the conference room to be laid off, there was an HR person sitting there with a folder, my folder, in front of her. I walked in with my boss and she stood up and smiled and extended her hand in greeting.

"Hi Jamie, I'm Shirley. Nice to meet you."

I shook her hand and said, "Wish I could say the same."

The meeting took all of 5 minutes where she went over exactly what I would be getting and gave me my packet of information. When it was over, she said to me, "Don't worry about being able to get all of your contacts or any files off the computer. You'll have plenty of time for that and to say your goodbyes. We won't lock you out for about an hour."

The words rang in my head. An hour. Gee, thanks. I give you three and a half years and you give me an hour? I rushed back to my desk and was greeted by my teammates with sad expressions and condolences. "No time for that right now, I only have an hour" I scrounged up some boxes, packed up my desk and went down to say goodbye to the traders I've been working with for years now. They were all really nice and supportive, but it made me wonder, of course, which of them had a say, if any, in my departure. No time to think about that. Have to rush, rush, rush. I darted back to my computer and prepared to purge it of three and a half years of my personal life. First, all the emails can go. Ok, done. Now, the IM conversation threads. Ok, good. Now, find all the personal files (salary history, resume, performance reviews, etc...) and download them to my key drive. Now delete them from the PC. Great. What else? My mind was swimming. Oh yeah, contacts. I exported all my contacts and memo notes from Outlook to an Excel file and saved them to my key drive before deleting them.

Then out the door I went.

My boss walked me down and made a conciliatory speech about how I shouldn't be a stranger and I should keep in touch, etc... While he was talking, all I could do is look right into his face and remember how he probably had the biggest say in my being the guy to be laid off in our group. So while I don't want to burn bridges, you'll apologize if I don't hug you and cry about how much I'm going to miss you.

Back home, my first thought was to get everything in order. I was now phoneless, after having to give my only phone, the company Blackberry, back to them. I didn't even have a landline. I went to the AT&T store on the corner and within 10 minutes, I had a new Blackberry with a brand new phone number. I spent another few hours setting it up with email and such before I got down to the business of importing my contacts and memos. I downloaded the Blackberry desktop software from the Blackberry website and installed it. It took a while to load it all up but my info came over without a hitch.

Until today when I tried to email someone and found out that NONE of the email addresses had been exported. Are you kidding me? I still had everyone's address and phone numbers, but no email addresses. So I spent a good part of today rebuilding those from other sources, though I'm nowhere near finished.

Tomorrow, I'll think of something else I need to do, I'm sure. There seems to be a ton of little things I have to fix before I can feel I'm in the right sorts again. {Sigh}

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