Monday, February 9, 2009

Finding a balance with former co-workers

There are pluses and minuses with keeping in touch with my former co-workers. On one level, I still want to hear about what's going on. I feel validated to hear that people are angry and upset about what happened to me. It reminds me that I was respected and valued.

But, it's also making me unhappy.

A former colleague sent me an email from the company president that essentially is stating that the company is doing well financially, things are looking good, blah, blah, blah. There was a brief mention that some of the employees have been "impacted" but nothing that clearly stated why people were let go. And nothing to indicate that more layoffs will occur...although the rumor is that more are coming.

This email upset me because if I wasn't let go for financial reasons, then it had to be performance. I'm told that my manager didn't know until the very end who would have to go and that she had no say in the decision. I'll never know for sure if there's any truth to this. I do know that if someone wanted me to stay there are things that could have been done. For example, one of the team leads could have been promoted to manager and I could have stepped into their place. But, the two team leads were told quite directly that they were not going to be considered for the manager's job. (but why not??? My former manager had very little experience and went from manager to sr. manager in three years.)

I also had lunch with a former colleague. Listening him to talk about his plans for his team was hard. Because, they can go about their business, doing good things, and I'm not part of that anymore.

But, there are former co-workers that I want to keep in my life. I don't want to stop talking to them just because they remind me of something I've lost.

I need to find a balance. I need to find a way to nurture the friendships I made and yet, not allow the fact that they work where I don't anymore to cause me pain.

A friend of mine, when talking about a painful layoff that she went through made the point that until I find a replacement job, I will have to deal with the pain and sadness. She said it took her 9 years to finally not feel any residual pain. Well, I don't think it will take me that long, but I agree, that until I am able to return to the ranks of the unemployed, I will need to find a way to balance keeping in touch with former co-workers and not having a meltdown after hearing what's going on in place where I no longer belong.

I don't really know how to do this yet.

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