Slamming Doors, Opening Windows

Jamie was laid off yesterday. It came as a shock but probably should not have been a surprise. He has been miserable since he took over as the director and we have felt for a long time that he has been setup for failure.

Back in my career days, I was laid off once when I was at the top of my game. I worked in Salt Lake City for a powerful publishing company we will call Meseret Book. I was over all the events for the corporate office and their 38 stores. The employees were like family and I truly loved going to work every day.

Until a tyrannical dictator took over as president. We will call this person Heri Spew. Heri was a beloved member of the community and popular motivational speaker and author. Behind closed doors, Heri was cold, calculating and feared. You did not talk to Heri unless Heri talked to you. And if you dared to disagree with Heri? Forget it.

After receiving a healthy raise and much praise from my boss, I went to work one day to find out that Heri had axed my position, along with about ¼ of the corporate office. No warning, no severance. I was seriously bummed but I was single so I knew I would get by. It enraged me that my fellow employees and family men – many who had been there for their entire careers – were not given any provisions. Except a swift kick out the door.

I was glad I was in the first round of layoffs because Heri’s R.O.T. (or Reign of Terror as we called it) continued long after, creating an environment of trepidation for those left behind. To this day, whenever I hear of anyone praising Heri, I have to bite my tongue and think, “Oh, if they only knew.”

I am in the same situation with Jamie’s job. There is so much I could say about the gross mismanagement and certain incongruous employees but I won’t. I would like to say I am taking the high road but I am not. I just feel out of respect for Jamie, my relationship with the newspaper and key players who read this blog that I need to keep my mouth shut. For once.

Make no mistake – this is a stressful time. But there is also hope. Jamie has been “romanced” by another company for months but they have been unable to extend an offer due to some vendor contract issues. We hadn’t heard from them for a while and Jamie’s work stresses reached a climax a couple of weeks ago

The two of us decided to have a fast about the direction he should take with his job. For those not in the “Mormon know,” fasting consists of skipping a couple of meals, praying for inspiration regarding a certain cause (that also includes forgetting how hungry you are) and then proceeding to “break the fast” by eating more calories than you would consume in a week.

Two days after we fasted, he was contacted by this company and invited to sit in on a consult a few days after that. Four days later, he was laid off. A coincidence? I think not.

So right now, we are in limbo. Jamie doesn’t have an offer and things will not be in place for a few weeks, if at all. But I have no doubt in my mind that this was meant to happen, that he will move on to a better situation, whatever and whenever it may be. And though I am apprehensive, I also feel peace.

And for that, I am grateful.

Update: Jamie received a lucrative offer from the other company. We will finally finish our basement with the chunk of money from his severance package. Feeling so blessed and thank you for your support!

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