It's good to be . . . employed

When I arrived at work last Wednesday, I saw a meeting request from my boss as soon as I logged in. Mandatory company meeting at 8:30 AM. The new guy in my department asked me, "What usually happens at these company meetings?"

"I wouldn't know," I said, "Because we've never had one."

At that point, I basically knew what was happening - the company was being sold. All the signs had been there - closed-door meetings, sudden changes in routine and policy.  As I sat at my desk and waited for the meeting to start, I felt rattled. I'd been through this sort of thing before and it's scary. I remembered a friend telling me about a local insurance company that hauled everyone into a meeting and then packed up their desks while they were in there. I nervously IMed back and forth with a co-worker: "Do you think we'll have to pack up our own desks?" I asked.

When the meeting started, we all sat in the conference room and stared at a PowerPoint that was projected in front of us. "We've been sold," my boss said. He then flipped through a bunch of slides that described the new company and what would happen next. He said that his last day would be Friday. He thanked us for doing our jobs and whatnot. After he was done talking, the management team from the new company came in, introduced themselves, and gave us an overview. They had flown in from the corporate office in a neighboring state.

A lot of thoughts passed through my head as I sat there. Selfishly, I waited for a slide addressed specifically to me: "Don't worry, Claudia. You still have a job." My next thought was, perhaps, also a bit selfish. At my annual performance review in the spring, my boss told me that he wanted to move me into a management position and have the members of our small development team report to me instead of to him. I realized that I'd been duped - the company was being prepared for sale all the while.

By the end of the day, I was mostly convinced that I still had a job. I kept having "Office Space" flashbacks - I pictured the Bobs sitting me down and asking me, "What would you say you DO here." My next thought was one of concern for my friend in accounting. I knew that the new company probably had its own accounting people and that her job might be redundant. I tentatively approached her office and asked her if she was coming along for the ride. She shook her head. "No." I felt awful.

So yeah, it was a rough day. I don't think it helps that I've been sick for nearly three weeks. I did see a doctor last week, but recovery is slow. I cough professionally now - I should add that to my resume.

Once the shock wore off, I started to look for the bright side.  The transition is nerve-wracking because I'm going from a company of 18 people to a company of 1300 people. But who knows - maybe it will represent new opportunities for me. If I were 20 years older and had an acquisition looming, I'm sure I'd say, "I was done, anyway - talk atcha later!" But, as it is, I have a solid two decades of working ahead of me. So, I may as well make the best of it.

I was full of nerves over the weekend as Monday (under the new regime) loomed. I read the massive packet of paper that had been handed to me, and filled out form after form. I read the employee manual. No more jeans in the office. Artwork hung in one's cubicle has to be pre-approved. No piles of paper on one's desk (not that I have piles of paper on my desk, anyway - ya'll know how I feel about clutter). Whole new world.

Monday was a blur. The management people from the new company have been very hand-on as they help us get used to new systems.  They really seem determined to make everyone feel as comfortable as possible under the circumstances. Everyone I've met so far has been pretty darned nice. It's just a whole different world so it will take some time to get used to it. Honestly, working for a company with more resources might end up being a good thing. Someone swung by my desk yesterday to inform me I'd be getting a brand new laptop. New phones were installed over the weekend (I don't know how old our old phones were, but I felt like Fred Flintstone would have felt pretty comfortable using them).

So, I'm still stressed out, but I'm getting there. I think I'll feel better by the weekend. I've been sitting here at my desk (at home) since 3:30 AM because I cannot sleep. Also, my roommate was snoring loudly enough to beat the band and I could not shove my ear plugs any deeper into my ear holes. I wish I was a little more agile when it comes to adapting to change, but I doubt I can rewire my brain at this point.

I guess I'll go feed my doggies now. I can't say that they've been very sympathetic about what I'm going through. Jerks.


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