That’s All, Folks!


That’s All Folks!, originally uploaded by aeromat.

My (former) cubicle at Learning Tree, El Segundo, CA*. All belongings are in box on right. Yep, I was laid off today.

*You finally know where I work(ed)!


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Timing?


Yesterday I tried to renew my MTA train pass online but because I have yet to receive my e-mail confirmation about the transaction, I figured it didn’t go through. As such I thought I’d try it again tomorrow, the last day of the month and latest possible day to renew.

Then, after getting home from a long day at Disneyland for The Kid’s real 5th birthday (which was today), I got a Facebook message from one of my fellow proofreaders.

She, along with one other person from our department, were laid off today.

Even though I get reimbursed for my monthly train pass, maybe it’s a good thing that transaction didn’t go through.

Worried


Because I don’t feel well today, I had originally planned on going home at 11:30 a.m. and use what’s left of my PTO to cover the rest of the day.

Then I got an e-mail telling us that we need to hold off on lunches until after 12:15 p.m. for an “announcement.”

Nobody knew about this until the e-mail went out. I may be reading into this too much but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about my job.

Updates to follow when I get home while on lunch and after I get home. And I wrote a post while on the train today which I will upload later as well. Advice: have Kleenex ready.

UPDATES (in the order they happened, from the top):

  • It’s 12:45 p.m. We haven’t had our meeting yet.
  • Two people seen leaving with boxes filled with personal items. They haven’t come back or said goodbye.
  • Nothing has been said to us. Mood is somber.
  • The meeting has been rescheduled to 2:30 so my sick ass has to hang around until then. I have clocked out for lunch since, considering I’m off at 4:30, I might as well put in a full day.
  • Received e-mail from Corporate about today’s challenging economic environment and what must be done to remain afloat. Company-wide staff reduction is mentioned. Gee, with what I’ve seen today, you think?
  • Meeting in 10 minutes. Nobody looks happy.
  • Layoffs officially began Company-wide; 8 let go here including Web proofreader–my former position before becoming regular proofreader.

That was all for today. I think that was enough.

Speaking of Work…


Wow, you guys get a third post today. You must be really, really special…!

A few weeks ago we got word from what is now called our Corporate Office but prior to a year ago, was not called our Corporate Office. I’ll explain in a few.

At any rate we were informed that because of the current crises in the financial markets, the Company was no longer seeking potential buyers. Whether that’s good news or not has yet to be determined, but it’s just another of many moves that I’ve seen take place during my almost 3-year employ.

In case you’ve forgotten, here’s a quick chronology of events:

October 2006: One of the Company’s founders was suddenly “retiring.” Yeah, on their own will I bet. In addition to that, people were suddenly being let go without warning.

February 2007: The office in L.A. was no longer going to be referred to as “Corporate.” The east coast location was officially taking the title. With the co-founder stepping down, I figured something was definitely in the works.

May 2007: CFO steps down. Now it’s getting interesting. In a meeting a few weeks later, the CEO informed us that the lease on our location was expiring in 2011 and the the Company was not interested in renewing. Many people jumped ship and my job hunt began.

We continued to operate “business as usual” and I went on several interviews before deciding to stick around until the walls caved in. This went on for about year until…

May 2008: Much to the CEO’s credit, they admitted that the idea to close the L.A. office was a big mistake–gee, you think?–and apologized for it. So instead of moving, the Company decided to put itself up for sale.

June 2008: In a meeting with the CEO, we were given details about the potential sale of the company. A meeting a few weeks later went over details regarding possible severance pay, benefits, etc. What’s great is that at the first few meetings we were given the opportunity to ask whatever questions we had. Few of us did because of the initial shock. However, by this meeting I’m surprised we had enough time for all of the questions, and I hope to [insert appropriate deity here] that the CEO was wearing his steel-belted boxers. The questions were being fueled by anger, disappointment, and an overall negative impression of the Company after what had transpired.

October 2008: The Company takes itself off the market because of the current financial crises.

So in just a few short years, we’ve been long-term unemployed, had price tags on our heads, had to consider the possibility of relocating or finding a new job, then were put back to Square One as if nothing ever happened.

What a long, strange trip it’s been.


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Thinking…


With our company now officially on the market, I couldn’t help but ponder…

Is it unreasonable to think that the future owners, whomever they may be, would consider keeping Corporate operations here in L.A. as opposed to moving them to the East Coast?

Wouldn’t it be easier to leave things as they are instead of undertaking the logistical nightmare relocating the office, hiring a new crew, building a new office, etc.?

Wouldn’t it make sense to cut the few people already hired for the new office back east rather than cut an officeful of people in L.A.?

Or is perhaps the sale of the company contingent upon the relocation?

Either way, there doesn’t seem to be much concern about it here. But we have a few meetings scheduled over the next few weeks (one of which is tomorrow) that will go over everything we need to know–or at least what the Powers That Be are willing to divulge.

Stay tuned…

UPDATE 5/30/08: We’ve been spared! Well, temporarily at least. The company is still for sale but the our location will remain open for the time being. It’s not really a reason to celebrate but hey, it’s a bit promising. I can’t get into more details about it so there you go 🙂