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This week, I had one of those moments where you think to yourself "Wow, this is just like the movies."

...And the moment I'm referring to was a day of massive layoffs at my place of employment. Everything that I'd imagined it being like came to life. People crying and cleaning out their desks, throwing their tchotchkes and illicitly-gained office supplies into boxes. "Invitations" to mandatory private HR meetings with a vague subject line of "Updates on Integration!" where the representative proceeded to read off a script and thank you for your services but, unfortunately, they were no longer required. Strange security men no one had ever seen before strolling around, attempting camouflage in vain with ill-fitting street clothes. Lots of rushed hugs and tenuous plans made on the run, attempting to circumvent the impending deactivation of email accounts and security badges. Furtive drinking in cubicles. (Okay, that last one was me. My empathetic heart was a little overworked that day.)

I was said to be one of the lucky ones, as my own corporate death will happen in Autumn. So, you know, I have time to twiddle my thumbs as I wait for the hammer to fall and stare at the empty spaces my friends once occupied.

This isn't my first go-around, but it's the latest in a bit of a line, and I feel a bit defeated. Is that all modern life is, running from opportunity to opportunity constantly hustling and fretting frantically trying to obtain security and maintain relevancy?

My feelings oscillate between my fear that I'm not accomplishing things good enough/fast enough to be a successful adult and the idea that the eternal cycle of competition, chaos, and elimination in the modern working world is a false construct and a waste of a (really short, in the scheme of things) life.

So, a few questions for my fellow INFJs:

1) If you've ever been laid off as part of one massive group/wave, how did you react the day of --- in the moment?

2) How did you handle the aftermath? Did you immediately start cleaning the house until it was spotless, or did you go out and buy all junk food in the store and retreat to hermitdom?

3) I read somewhere once that layoffs are actually positive, because people report that being dismissed motivates them to get off their butts and go pursue whatever things they always wanted to. Or, the job they found to replace the one they lost ended up being a much better fit for a variety of reasons. Did you find this true in your case?
 

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I saw at least a few similarities to my own experiences here.

We got our announcement on a July 12th (that we would be reduced from 775 employees to 90).

The last day for the majority was scheduled for September 30th, and one of the departments was shut down a month early because people were doing literally nothing for their eight hours.

Because of circumstances and events, I ended up staying on through October, then November, and right through to December 29th, instead (twas a nice turn of events for the short term).

I ended up in a company funded, reemployment-geared term at the local college, and they paid everything for almost two years, and all the stars lined up again shortly thereafter (when the old company's set obligations and contracts expired) for me to return to my old job like nothing had changed.

By then, the workforce was only 55, but it developed into the happiest years of my life.

In time, we got our next announcement that we were closing up completely, and again, I got to stay four additional months to help shut down right up until the New Year.
 

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It's sad to think about how worker bees are treated like objects. It doesn't matter if you work hard to improve your performance, knowledge, and self, you are treated like a nut or a bolt in a sea of nuts and bolts.

No wonder so many gave up. Why bother?


@Janus and @Copper North you two are both young (enough) to weather this. My brother had gone thru similar experiences like you several times in the past 20 years. Now he seems permanently off work for good (he's about to be 50). He didn't give up but he doesn't want to bother with being a worker bee anymore. It's a good thing that he has the foresight to be very conservative financially.

I personally was laid off twice in my 20s (Thank God for being young). The first time I was depressed but not knowing I was. It sped up the pace of my marriage failure (my ex accused me being lazy, not wanting to find a job). The 2nd time I was single and not as shocked (the company hired me back and then laid me off again). I got unemployment immediately and 6 months later found a job that paid less than half of what I used to make.

These experiences propelled me to seek job security and financial independence (can't depend on ANYONE to take care of me). My current job fits the bill perfectly. It's not a perfect job but I appreciate it daily.
 

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I am currently in the same situation right now. It happen on end of may where the company I work for made an announcement they need to cut down to 40 people out of 200 + staff and we just need to stand by at our office cubicle waiting for HR to call and most of my colleague become restless and anxious if they were among the 40 people listed. In the end of the day I was one of those 40

1) My reaction on the day I was being laid off was sad and angry all mixed up because few days back I had an appraisal with my superior and it was all good and as far as I remember that I don't have any discipline problem. At that moment I kept thinking that I work hard and gave everything and in the end this is how they treat me and my friend. In my case most of the my colleague that has been retrench is someone who already serve few years in the company.

2) The aftermath (next day ) instead of coming to the office returning all the office properties such as id pass and laptops, I went for a beach holiday (it was early plan before the whole retrenchment take place ) and as I was there I was very sad when my colleague which happens to be my friends and people that I know start uploading picture with messages at the facebook about how sad they are and how they wish each other all the best.

3) It has been a month when it happens and I am still contemplating to apply for a job and jump into the workforce as I see at my country a lot of company is currently downsizing and people are being laid off, it was brutal. I become unsure or lost and kept thinking should I jump back to the workforce and should looking for other alternative because at certain point I am sick tired being treated like an object where when you want to them, you promise them moon and stars and things are tough you just throw them away. I have also heard that this a time where you are able to have the freedom to do the things you really want or looking for a job which is better fit for you. For a time being, I start selling my cookies . The idea was brought up by my colleague and cousins in which they encourage me to pursue. At first , I just posted in facebook and thinking people may not buy it but in the end there is plenty of people who is interested and now I was thinking if this thing able to take off then maybe I can make into something serious instead of a hobby or some part time thing. It is true during this hard time you really need to think what do you really want and what is your passion and heck currently I am looking for a book or sites which mention about survival after lay off or finding what is your true calling.
 

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I've been laid off once, eons ago...

1) If you've ever been laid off as part of one massive group/wave, how did you react the day of --- in the moment?
It wasn't a massive group, really. But a lot of people got shown the door, because summer was the slow time for work at this place and it was summer, sooooooooo...

As for my reaction? I was happy as hell because I hated that place. It was summer and I took a couple months off and collected unemployment. Enjoyed my damn summer without any job at all. It was a good and happy thing.

2) How did you handle the aftermath? Did you immediately start cleaning the house until it was spotless, or did you go out and buy all junk food in the store and retreat to hermitdom?
See above. Hung out and enjoyed the summer for a couple months then found a new/better job.

3) I read somewhere once that layoffs are actually positive, because people report that being dismissed motivates them to get off their butts and go pursue whatever things they always wanted to. Or, the job they found to replace the one they lost ended up being a much better fit for a variety of reasons. Did you find this true in your case?
Yeah, cuz I hated that job and had only taken it to get out of the previous job, which I also hated. After getting laid off, I found something better. Though they tried to get me to come back when business picked up again... I told them to fuck off and hung up. No way in hell I was going back there.

I moved around a few more times after that. I've been at my current job for 16 yrs. It annoys the hell outta me, but I get paid very well and I certainly know there are worse jobs out there, as I've worked them before. It'll also (probably) allow me to retire at age 55, which is just 4 short years away.
 
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