I have a like/dislike thing with Facebook (see what I did there?). Most of the time, it annoys me. Yes, I know you love dogs; that doesn’t mean you have to share every single freakin’ meme about loving dogs that you find. Sorry, your child/grandchild isn’t all that cute. Shut up about politics, already (no favoritism, both sides piss me off). The only reason I don’t say “screw it” and delete it is because I know that without it, I’d never hear from some people.
Occasionally, though, Facebook does prove useful. Case in point for me: keeping in touch with my ex-coworkers. We created a private group before everything ended, and on roughly the first of the month people check in. Some will also update on those who don’t have Facebook for whatever reason. The department was officially history as of September twenty-ninth, so even the ones who stayed until the end have a month of freedom under their belts now.
Only about five people from the department are still with Ginormocorp; as I’ve mentioned previously Ginormocorp is good about finding new positions for the “migrated.” They talk about how empty the building is, how the rumor that Ginormocorp will sell it is getting stronger. Once ridiculously gung-ho about the United Way to the point where it felt like extortion, Ginormocorp didn’t even run a campaign this summer. Obviously it figured out that when you lay off about 25% of your workforce in a calendar year, people won’t exactly clamor to give to your pet cause. All of them are either killing time until they can retire or actively seeking employment elsewhere.
A couple have shifted into new careers. Since Ginormocorp paid for career training one guy learned how to drive tractor trailers, and is now on the road. Another took a page out of my book and returned to her hometown of Atlanta, where she scored a job with one of Ginormocorp’s competitors making more money. Almost everyone else had the time in to retire and did so. The monthly check-ins include pictures of trips, grandchildren, thriving gardens and completed craft projects. And just about everybody has lost weight, some significant amounts. “I do miss our potlucks, though,” wrote one.
“My butt doesn’t,” someone else replied, to many laughing emoji likes.
Most importantly, everyone (save those still at Ginormocorp) is happy, even the former River Denial barge sailors. “A blessing in disguise” is a phrase that comes up in the group a lot. About the only gratitude anyone has towards Ginormocorp is for the severance and retention bonuses, which for many added up to a year’s salary after taxes. “I miss y’all but I DEFINITELY don’t miss Ginormocorp” is another oft-repeated phrase.
So many people thought it was the end of the world when the layoffs were announced. Now they know better, and when I see their smiling, relaxed faces I smile in return.
Take that, Ginormocorp.