Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Starting a new chapter in life.

Wow, what a day!
As in "Really? This is the informed business decision your making?"

Blind sided I got called into the conference room and handed my walking papers and a small severance package. The explanation was restructuring and they don't have enough work to keep me busy.

So I close a relatively long chapter in my life, rather abruptly. I don't think it's the money issue that is getting to me, but more the emotional side, the feeling of betrayal and perhaps a bit of identity loss.
Of course, that is the short fall, using our jobs to define ourselves. Something Eckhart Tolle talks about quite a bit. Now I get the opportunity to practice the spiritual teachings I have been trying to grasp for the last 6 months while studying Tolle's work.

The thought of it makes it not appear so easy. As a traffic signal and roadway designer my work is everywhere. It will be a challenge to not roll through one of my signal or striping designs that I have done in the last 8 years. As a matter of fact we just raced our bikes around one of the projects this evening at the Tri-Valley Twilight Criterium Series.

There is a funny side to things with a twist of irony. The firm is on the eve of starting the largest project in the company's history. It is all design work and very fast track. The person responsible for my departure, the controller who knows nothing about traffic engineering, was a staunch believer that certain issues dealing with Right of Way would put the project on hold for about 5 months.
Ha! My supervisor (also blindsided) received a call from the client less than an hour after I left saying they got the go ahead on the project.
In his own words from an email this afternoon "I am still in shock and BTW we got the word 5-minutes after you left, from Blank Company that they got the 'notice to proceed' from the City. I cannot do 26 signals myself"
I guess that's what happens when you let someone who plays only by the numbers make business decisions. There is always going to be industry specific details that they don't understand.

The irony is that I was wearing my company logo shirt today. How is that for a kick in the nuts? To boot I was in the middle of resolving an important roadway geometry issue with a client when they called me in. I guess that one won't get solved. And I tossed my shirt in the trash when I got home.

In mist of being stunned I somehow acted completely out of character by remaining calm and not exploding in the meeting. I even worked at keeping the door cracked open by letting them know to call me if conditions changed.

While I start to put my feelers out for new job, I have some serious internal work to do. I have to work at not letting the job define who I am. I have to find a new routine for my daily life. I have to work on letting go of the feeling of betrayal.

Fortunately our finances are in relatively good shape. The house paid for, and all we really have is a car and trailer payment. It will be tight, and I'll be sucking on ketchup packets instead of Hammer Gel at the races, but I'll have time to get really really fit.
I plan on devoting a certain number of hours in the day to finding a new job, then I am on the roads to turn the pedals, burn off the emotion, and find myself spiritually and physically.

BTW: If you know of anyone who needs some help with something, let me know. I am very versatile and I can manage projects like you wouldn't believe. Look at the success the team has had as an organization.



Blogger phipps said...


Sorry to hear about you losing your job, but I do envy you for all the time that you'll have to train until you find something else.

Good luck!


11:18 PM  
Blogger Nome Agusta said...

Save me a ketchup packet :-)

7:59 AM  
Blogger lauren said...


hey, i just went through this. i totally feel for you! i was laid off in january. we transfered most of the operation overseas!

after 8 years, it just ended.

i've spent the last 4 months networking like hell and making connections and finally today, landed a job.

it's tough out there. there are lots of peeps competing for a few jobs - depending what you work in.

i'm working at cyclocross magazine part time now and also a small design firm in SF full time starting in a week and a half - but it took a while!

are you on linked-in?

10:36 PM  

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