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Been laid off three times in my tech writing/computer industry career, and
I've had to lay people off twice. Not pleasant either way, but in one
layoff, the people actually thanked me for the way we handled it.
Another time, they actually just shut down the entire company. Ironically,
it happened on Hallowe'en. You can imagine the jokes. Same day as "The
Perfect Storm," in fact. I called my sister, who lives on a bluff in a
coastal town, to tell her what had happened, in case she heard about it on
the news. She said, "I'm glad you were able to get through. The tide has
taken out the main road, and we're cut off from the rest of the town." Kind
of put things in perspective.
Another thing that helped was the fact that my father had been laid off
three times in his career, too. We survived. Each time, he went out and
bought a new power tool. I now own some nice, if old, woodworking tools!
Following his example, after my first high-tech layoff, I bought myself the
first "real" computer I ever owned. (The company had always provided before
At the risk of pontificating (ahem!), I also find it useful to ask, "What am
I supposed to learn from this?" whenever something bad happens. But right
now, I'm thankful to have a job. Now, I have to get back to it.
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