Friday, November 12, 2004

Laid Off

cary grant
Originally uploaded by chrisbreitenbach.
I found out yesterday that I'll be laid off effective as of December 31st. Happy Holidays! As is par for my employer, this and other rumored layoffs in the office have been handled with all the aplomb and dilegence of a brick to the head. We're just a tad disenchanted toward the principals of the office right now and their lack of courage, respect and the general feebleness they excel in when it comes to appropriately dealing with these things. I've been there long enough to see them time and again fumble the ball when it comes to dealing with layoffs and/or firings. Doors remain shut, rumors enter into telephone game streams of office gossip and a demoralizing atmosphere pervades everything while the principles maintain an infelicitous silence, fearful, I suppose, that by bringing a healthy transparency to the peculiarities of budgets, office politics and layoffs they might actually have to treat their many young and idealistic employees with a degree of sophistication and maturity they seem entirely incapable of presently offering them. The biggest bummer of them all is to have become a part of the office sweep-out and to have not been given the opportunity to have left on my own terms.

I also find it sadly amusing just how sharply being laid off can bring into relief all that's wrong in an office. All those simple things that could boost morale and encourage incentive. You see just how demoralized the office truly is- all the weird tensions and whispering undercurrents of boredom and apathy that run through it. You see the neglect of curiosity especially. There's too much monotony and way too much routine and you see how many of the people working there bunt up against that inertia. You think, "Wow, there are a lot of bright, inquisitive and entirely capable people here who would love to become more involved in this study and helping it to succeed- so why are they being ignored?" You see that things have become so automated, with folks so micromanaged, that there's a kind of disregard (or is it insensitivity?) to the assets of the person entering data, stuffing envelopes or answering the phones. They do what they do because it's been that way for so long now and it seems to be working nicely. Regimented. Specialized. No veering from the path. All that enthusiasm drains away and becomes listless.

It's a motherfucker no matter which way you slice it- but we're in a better place for this kind of thing then we were a little over a year ago.

Updated November 13- 5:40 PM

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