I really wish the title of this post ended after the first three words. Instead, I got screwed in a different way. Turns out that both types of experiences are pretty similar. They yield a weird mix of sadness and excitement, they involve a mess to clean up, and they leave you questioning life choices.
It went down like this: Two weeks ago my boss called me. “Would you mind coming up to our HR rep’s office?”
Of course I mind! Those words can only mean that I was being called into the principal’s office and about to get expelled. But then, I thought: Hmm…maybe they want to give me the raise and promotion I requested a week prior. (I cringed just typing that last sentence.)
So I stepped into the principal’s office and said, “OK guys, this is going to go one of two ways.”
My boss replied, “Well—”
“And there you have it,” I said.
And there I have it. But what do I have? I’m still not sure. It sucks getting laid off, and I’m sure you’re thinking, “Vadim, how can a company be so stupid to get rid of you. You’re so brilliant, intelligent, creative, funny, attractive. You have such a great fashion sense too!”
I know! I thought the same thing!
On the other hand, I feel enthusiastic and optimistic about my future, even if I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. Actually, it’s not that I have no idea—it’s that I have too many ideas. I just need to grow up.
That’s why I’m rebooting this blog. More than two years ago, I launched Ethical Escalator, a blog about ethics (you can still view its posts, dated before this one). But I got lazy. I’m also a great liar, so what do I know about ethics? Besides, I’d found a job in HR that I let take over my life, so I let the blog die.
Today, I’m breathing life back into it. A new title, a new focus, a new me! It’s a Weight Watchers commercial!
I’ll be writing about workplace issues. Because I know about workplace issues. Because I’d written about them for 14 years at a magazine where I was a senior editor (see how I snuck in a credential to give the illusion of authority). Because I recently worked at a Fortune 100 company (I did it again!) managing talent engagement and doing internal communications focusing on leadership, learning, development, performance management, and more. Because I care about creating better workplaces. Because I work.
We all work. We all have all sorts of feelings about our jobs, our managers, our companies, our careers, our lives. I want to share mine with you because…why the hell not? I love challenging the status quo and provoking thought. And this is a better outlet than Facebook, where no one cares what anyone says anyway.
I hope you’ll join me for this ride. I also hope you’ll comment publicly or send me your thoughts. I especially love when someone challenges my own thinking, so tell me when you think I’m right, but also tell me when you think I need a lobotomy. I love praise as much as hate mail. (Actually, I enjoy one of them more. Guess.)
In the meantime, below is the farewell letter I wrote to my work colleagues. It best explains how I feel and offers some thoughts on workplace culture. Continue reading “I Got Laid Off”