Thursday, December 22, 2011


Based upon what I've been reliably told, it must be something like this. A nightmare while awake.

You're called in by a superior in another department who awkwardly invites you to sit. He's uncomfortable in what he has to say but this does not deter him.

"There's been an ongoing process of cost cutting options which has necessitated re-evaluating current personnel. Accordingly, your slot is being temporarily voided. This does not reflect adversely against you on a personal level. I have for you a separation package which you will, hopefully, find fair and reasonable and which you must accept or reject by the close of business tomorrow." He is speaking mechanically, as if reading from a prepared script, which he probably was.

"Your rights of appeal are spelled out in the proposed agreement. You may, of course, seek advice of counsel but remember the twenty-four hour deadline for accepting or rejecting the benefits proposal. Now, I must request your company I.D. and your office key."

It's coming too fast for you to emotionally digest right then and there and you involuntarily slip into a denial-induced degree of shock.

"Oh, and your garage pass, as well."

Heavens, we wouldn't want to forget that, would we? My robbery plans have been foiled.

"Please return to your office where you'll be met by security. You'll have fifteen minutes to collect your things. Your cooperation would be very much appreciated."

Just like that. No advance warning. No opportunity to speak to your boss. What the hell had happened to the constant accolades from your co-workers and even the CEO? Your ship had just capsized and you hadn't even had the chance to leap onto a life-boat. As you close the door behind you, you hear your terminator mutter something about aspects of his job "which suck." Frig him.

Standing behind your desk. Staring at it. What to do? How to begin the end? Through the door walks the guy from security, holding two packing cartons. All cover has been blown. Great. The entire floor knows. Your brain tries to help. Take the pictures, all personal files, notes, anything you may want to access later. Go through the drawers as prior months and years flash before you. Mr. Security checks his watch. It must be a felony to exceed the time limit. Frig him, too.

And then, the last mile of humiliation. The walk to the elevator, in full and plain view, carrying the boxes, accompanied by security, passing lowered eyes and apparently sealed lips. No words of support or regret. You're contagious now. Your "palls" have vanished. Frig them, as well.

The security guy walks you to your car. Presumably, considered a safety risk, liable to pull a gun and begin to massacre. He sits in the passenger seat so as to let you exit the garage, for the last time without fee. And then you're driving away with sweaty palms signaling the onslaught of realistic comprehension. False explanations will have to be created, attributing your disconnect to an act of election mandated by the irresistible offer of something better.

But through it all, you realize that no one --no one--will truly understand what you have been through. It's been your ordeal, alone, and accordingly, the credit for pulling yourself out of this shall be yours, alone.

That notion, in and of itself, is the motive for self-redemption.

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