JRN 493 Week 6: Rumors and Innuendo
Wednesday, everyone in the documentation department gets an email for a meeting. No big deal; we have department-wide meetings all the time. But those meetings are normally scheduled weeks in advance, not for the next day. And usually those meetings have some sort of indication of what they’ll be about. And some of the writers were complaining about not being able to contact people in development earlier…
If you can tell what the subject of the meeting was by now, you caught on faster than I did. I was a bit stunned to walk into the meeting room Thursday and be told Allscripts had laid off some 200 people. I wasn’t laid off, thankfully, and neither was anyone else in the meeting, but it was the first time I had encountered the possibility of mass layoffs in a professional setting. Any other time I’d seen layoffs off it was an individual, not a group.
I have to give my department head credit, though, she handled the meeting pretty well. She calmed the room, answered questions (all of which were a variant of “Is it over?” and/or “Are we safe?”) and lent the appropriate amount of gravity to the situation.
Afterwards, it was interesting to see my co-workers reaction to the news. Some said they should have seen it coming, some said they had already heard the rumors and innuendo, and some (invariably, the newer hires like myself) were all saying “I had no idea!” Co-workers spoke in hushed tones inside of their cubes about a guy in Boston or a gal in Chicago on their application team who just disappeared. Co-workers complained about how no one from upper management (higher than my department head) ever gets laid off for “strategic re-alignment,” and how it’s “Always 200 workers instead of 2 executives.”
Myself, I was just happy I didn’t get laid off. I like this job, I like this department, and I’d like to stay. But I’ll say this much; I’m fairly certain everyone in that meeting did the same thing I did when I got home: Polished up the ol’ resume.