21 Years

Our tortoiseshell cat Trixie sits at the top of the cat tree, framed by the arch behind her

After 21 years at the same company, the company I joined out of college, my luck ran out today and I got laid off. Not just me, but my entire engineering group. I’ve worked with some for most or even all of those 21 years, and we made a great team, so it was a heartbreaking day saying goodbye to such a good group of people. I had an inkling it was going to happen the night before when a meeting with the new management suddenly showed up on my calendar at 11:30 at night for the following morning. I was unable to sleep so eventually I apologized to Boo, curled up asleep in my lap, and got up and went downstairs and typed up a quick resume.

I haven’t written a resume in 21 years, but there was a position open in a different group that I thought I was a good fit for, so I brought my laptop to the meeting and the moment they announced we were all losing our jobs I uploaded the resume and applied for the new one. A handful of my friends are equally qualified and equally deserving, I hate that we’ll be in competition when we worked so well together for so long. My wife and I have plenty of savings and I have a decent amount of severance if I don’t get rehired, so I’m very fortunate to have some time to find a new job (although I desperately want to find one in the Portland metro area, it will break my heart if I have to leave).

I’m proud of the work we did, and all things considered even this bad news isn’t nearly as bad as what many people in the world face every day, day after day, and I’m very thankful for those 21 years and the team I got to work with. It’s been an emotional day, particularly since I got little sleep last night (I did end up getting an hour and a half after finishing my resume), goodbyes are never easy, and I’m physically and emotionally spent.

This picture of Trixie has nothing to do with today, but it makes me smile, and I need to smile. We were playing a game of string on a sunny afternoon a couple of weeks ago when I paused to take her picture, framed by the arch behind her, as she patiently waited for me to put down the camera and play with her once more.

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