Tag Archives: layoff

Uncharted

10 Aug

Day 2

Today, I learned that in a different context, even the familiar takes on a different look.

I woke up hopeful, but couldn’t get myself to look at job postings.  Heaviness quickly sank in.

The seamstress I found online coming by to alter my bridesmaid dresses for my brother’s wedding, became my excuse to stay in despite the beautiful sunshine outside.  A quote from the Francis Ha stuck in my head last night, ” it’s good to do what you’re supposed to do when you’re supposed to do it.”

But it’s much easier said than done.

On Youtube, I watched and listened to Sara  Bareilles as my favorite songs take on a whole  a new meaning.

“No words, My tears won’t make any room for more,
And it don’t hurt like anything I’ve ever felt before,
this is no broken heart,
No familiar scars
This territory goes uncharted…”

I watched, sobbing, scared.

“I won’t go as a passenger, no
Waiting for the road to be laid
Though I may be going down,
I’m taking flame over burning out”

If you don’t try, you’ll never fail, you’ll never succeed.  You will simply sit, wondering, wishing, and looking back to regret why.

Maybe it’s time to take a leap of faith.  To do what I’m suppose to do when I’m suppose to do it.

Bad sugar daddy, good sugar daddy

9 Aug

Day 1

One of the harsh realities of living in Manhattan, is that you’re constantly reminded of how easy life could be if you were just willing to take a small step down from your moral pedestal.

After a night of restless tossing, I got up to browse more unemployment statistics before our quarterly CEO town-hall began.  To my surprise, our growth strategy, our new exciting mobile development, our data direction – almost all of it came from our product development, but all presented by another team.  Our group wasn’t mentioned once, and the head of our department suspiciously missing in the global leadership team lineup.

In a way, this made me feel a bit better.  At the end of the day, it wasn’t having to leave this company that I would be hurt over, but the trust and relationship with the people I worked with.  Confirming that the team is in trouble made me feel better about my situation and being able to trust what my boss had told me.

On my way back from cancelling my fall enrollment in my part-time Parsons design course, I saw a new burger joint my friend had told me about from LA and decided a taste of home might cheer the mood up a bit.  While looking over the menu at the bar, the guy to my right enthusiastically recommended the truffle burger, while the older man to my left gently left a statement that the original was very good.  I chose the original, and that started a conversation about his work in luxury travel, my recent layoff, living in Manhattan, and of course, the burger, which I renamed “beef tartar on a bun”.

At the end of the conversation, he wrote his number on a card, offered to take me out for drinks or dinner, and commented that a girl like me should enjoy life and take a year off to enjoy the world.  That’s when it donned on me how oblivious I was to him hitting on me.  Whoa.

I got home and looked him up before meeting my designer.  Articles after articles via a quick Google search popped up along with his photos, describing him as “the illusive travel agent to billionaires and celebrities whose unlisted number you can only get if you had the means to find it.”  Wow I thought, I would love to work for this guy – I have a huge passion for travel and food and are you kidding?  Forget about a reservation to French Laundry or Per Se, this guy made Thomas Keller close down French Laundry just so Thomas and his staff can come over and cook for one of his clients.  And all else fails, I bet he knows a ton of people who could easily make a phone call and land me a role 10x better than the one I’ve been in, this might be my in to do something in travel or trading!

But reality hit me and I realize he’s probably not looking for a friend or employee, and no, I wasn’t looking for a sugar daddy or an easy way out.  Back to the drawing board.

At the corner coffee shop, I met up with my designer with whom I both work with at work and off work on a side business idea I’ve been moving forward with.  “Here, I got you a cookie” she said, as she handed me a small bag.  She was never one for many words, but her gesture touched me in a way that almost made me breakdown into tears over how frightened and shaken I’ve been over this whole ordeal.  I didn’t, and we proceeded to discuss designs, next steps, time estimates, and I wrote her a check for the next few work items to be delivered.

I took the cookie home with me, and began nibbling on the elevator up to my floor.  It was oatmeal raisin, and one of the best cookies I’ve ever had.  Then, I came home to a small bag of financier and sweet macaroons from Laduree, a “just because” gift from the guy I’m with, and we joked about how he’s now my sugar daddy with all the sweets and sugar he’s bringing me.

From 60 to 0

9 Aug

Day 0

My job was like a balding fat Jewish husband.  A little awkward at dinner parties and as interesting as artificial vanilla.  He does everything by the book, will walk a mile to save a penny, and spends his savings on the most absurd things. Still, he was reliable and dependable, and though I thought many times of leaving for greener pastures, his stability made me content and drag on my departure.

Well that bastard dumped me today.

Out of the blue, I was called in for a one-on-one with my boss and handed an envelope.  “Confidential” it says.  Ironic because I walked in with my laptop to show my boss the 2014 project plan I’ve been working on for the whole team, something we were only talking about 2 days ago, and he hit me with a wham, bam, thank-you ma’am.  My head was buzzing as he went on to describe the impact to the company, how our budget was cut, and how scared he was the night before that it would be his name on the packet.  I asked him who else from the group was leaving, and though he couldn’t answer me, I recall our lead designer storming out the building before I walked in.

Misery may love company, but company doesn’t make the situation any less miserable.

My first instinct was that he was lying about the whole spiel about the layoff not having anything to do with me.  It had to be me.  Was it because though we’re told to test and fail fast, to be creative and customer-driven in our new product development that the unspoken rule was sell and pimp out any and every asset we have so we increase North America sales regardless of this being a forward-looking product development team?  And though my products have future potential it would take a 12-24 months strategy to realize the benefits?  Was it because I’m Asian, and I don’t fit in with the good ol’ boys club culture here?  Was it my shy nature that got me in this position from lack of kissing up to management?  I’m not sure I’ll ever know.

One thing I do know, my connecting the dots of how every single Asian female I’ve worked with, minus one, have left the company not on their own terms, have just become very real.  I would make the eighth.  It’s not easy when you don’t talk about sports, are overly humble, and sometimes mistaken for meek when you’re polite.

I went through the shock-denial-anger-acceptance cycle several times back and forth.  Sometimes experienced within the same minute.  And back to the job is like a relationship analogy?  I feel like I’ve been Jetered.

I emailed/texted my friends and family after finding out, and had private conversations with a few colleagues individually whom I’d like to keep in touch with, then left early.  I realized while I may not feel awkward continuing to work and contribute, my presence was making my colleagues who weren’t impacted feel some pretty negative emotions, and THAT made it awkward.

I packed up my teas, filed my expenses, stopped auto-investment in my Roth IRA, reduced my 401k contribution, looked up unemployment rates, re-read the severance package, and decided that I need to sit down to make a plan on what next.  New York is way too expensive for one to sit around the apartment doing nothing in, and this could either be the start of a very depressing period, or a new opportunity waiting to happen.  Either way, one thing is certain in life, and it’s that change is constant, and nothing is certain.