Bad news over good cake
I lost my job in November 2008. For about a month before I was laid off, the company had informed us during meetings that they might “potentially” lay off a few people in the next few weeks. I continued to work, not even considering that I would be one to be laid off since I was the only person who completed all of my tasks on a daily basis so I ended up being the one who had the sole responsibility of filing the 100’s of invoices that piled up and were ignored by everyone else. Of which, I also finished most days before it was the end of my shift.
I was very friendly with all of my co-workers, including my immediate supervisor (who I had previously worked with at another company as well, she brought me in to work there while I was still at the company her and I had worked before). Her and I are weren’t just co-workers, we were friends outside of work. Happy to report, we still are. On top of that I was very friendly as well with our Terminal Manager, who has been my favorite person to work for during my entire employment. He was compassionate and efficient, had a sense of humor, and was loved by all of us.
The meetings continued and the news did not change for the better. About two weeks later, they informed us they would be laying off several people from the warehouse and call center (where I worked as a dispatcher/customer service agent/file slave) for CERTAIN. They said they would be laying off people who were less productive and/or whose position was less of a necessity. Most of my co-workers during the meetings didn’t seem nervous and exclaimed loudly, “oh well, I will just go on unemployment”. I was 23 at the time and never been on unemployment in my life and was not relied on that whatsoever, I didn’t think it would even be an option for me. So safe to say, I was extremely nervous. I really enjoyed the work, the atmosphere, my co-workers, I did not want to leave and did not think it would be me. I have to note, since I had been working there I had to train 2 other dispatchers who were new hires. Not really sure why they would bring in 3 new people just to let go of people 2-4 months later? But I guess you can tell the business strategy that went on there from the powers above.
Well I went to work one day, finished my work, stacked up my files in a organized matter so I could file them the following day and went home as my shift ended. I came home, went into the kitchen to grab a slice of cake I had been drooling over all day and as I went to take my second bite – the phone rang! Cue the suspenseful music!
It was my terminal manager and he nervously told me that I was one of the people they decided to lay off. I cried softly and he assured me that I did a great job during my time and would be very missed by all. He said he would love to bring me back in a month in a different position doing routing. I asked, grabbing onto any shred of hope, if I would at least have another week to work for a paycheck and he said “No, today was your last day. I’m so sorry”. Defeated, I said okay and that was it.
Many of my co-workers who were still there called me within the following week telling me how much they missed me and how much they disagreed with the decision. After crying in the parking lot while my boyfriend held my hand, I composed myself and went in to collect my last paycheck. My co-workers all greeted me warmly and seemed very excited to see me. They also informed me that within the last two weeks my Terminal Manager had been let go and of the other poor souls who were also laid off in the warehouse/call center.
Within a few weeks, my supervisor/friend informed me she had been laid off as well. As well as one of my other co-workers I was friends with.
At this point, I still talk to three of my co-workers from this company and only one is still employed there. He also informed me that besides him and 2 other people, everyone that was there when I was there is now gone.
About a month after being laid off my boyfriend convinced me to take a shot at filing for unemployment, if I didn’t qualify, oh well. Well I did and was on it without any problems until June 2009. I have been on 6 or so job interviews and applied to countless number of jobs since then. The only positions that seem to be available for full time work are too far away (in traffic and commute. I live in the DC metro area and could not even consider moving closer, simply cannot afford it). All the others, I didn’t seem to be a right fit in the job because of my age. I still have to provide for myself, pay rent, pay my insurance? But people my parents/grandparents age don’t want to work with a 24 year old at these places apparently.
Well in June 2009 I filed for EUC benefits, basically just an extension of unemployment and was accepted but three weeks later they announced I was under investigation for not being “able, available, or actively looking for work”. Although I have pages and pages of work contacts I have made.
I am now being denied my benefits and have to appear in court in September to fight my appeal. I doubt it will go in my favor and I am now completely broke. I have $8 to my name and if I get denied my appeal will owe somewhere between $1500 to $1900 to the government to be paid on MINIMUM monthly installments.
I continue to search for work, applying to anything and everything I can. I never thought this would happen to me. I’ve caught a lot of heat for being on unemployment from former friends who seem to forget the fact that I was laid off, unexpectedly.
I will continue to look for work and continue to hope for the best but I feel like I’ve been kicked down by everyone imaginable.
This post was submitted by Rachel.