After lunch yesterday, the other IT manager and I were called into the CIO’s office for a meeting.
Given the odd title of the meeting request and the lack of agenda, I suspected layoffs were going to be discussed. I was right. What I didn’t expect was this:
“Do you want to be on the layoff list, or do you want to stay? You both have been identified as people we would like to find a place for in the company, if we can. There are no guarantees that staying will be at your pay level nor that it will even be in the IT department. I need to know by tomorrow noon. Not everyone is getting the opportunity to make this choice, but I feel you guys deserve it.”
I should point out that the CIO is on the layoff list.
My gut reaction after hearing this? I’m gone.
I suspected that this was more a question to me than for my cohort. I am the natural choice to run the department after the CIO leaves. The department would be five employees including myself. Not very attractive past the first six months, truth be told.
Plus, this place needs to fucking change. While the reductions should drive some of it, I fear some of the people in leadership roles and their own personal ability to change. And as someone who is living the nightmare that I described to the same management team 18 months ago, I’m just done. Time to go elsewhere.
Then after chatting briefly with ASM, I was reminded of the other thing I’ve feared for the past couple years. The severance package. Her concern was that the first package is good, but subsequent ones would not be as good. And, for the record, ASM was right. My boss does not believe the severance package as they stand today will stay in effect past the end of the year. She is pretty confident it will be reduced.
My fear has always been not jumping soon enough. And not getting a decent package. Given my tenure at the company, I would get one hell of a package especially when you factor in my role. I have a nice parachute today,
After some discussions last night with Garbanzo, I am taking the package. (He says he trusts me. Yikes!)
I told my boss just 30 minutes ago. She understands, agrees I will be bored in six months, and has vowed to help me find something else. Then, she smirked and thanked me for making her job harder. I was the only choice internally to lead that group. She’ll be making something up for HR as to why I am not qualified for the job. I gave her some suggestions of what to use. She laughed, then quickly told me that she didn’t believe any of them – but the HR person would which was all that is important. I did stipulate that I end on the end date. If they want me to hang around to finish things – I would contract back. She said that is the expectation she is setting across the board. She knows the game and isn’t going to let them play it with her departing staff. If they need us longer – they need to contract us.
So, there you go – a leap into the unknown – putting faith in those who have always said “they enjoy work with me and would help me anytime I would need it”. And putting faith in myself. I have a lot of skills. There is a lot of change happening out in the world. As my boss told me, I’m in a great position because I have stayed a generalist during a time when people were specializing. The job market is in search of generalist in IT right now. I am positioned well.
Guess we’ll find out in about 3 months when I am officially laid off, if this is true. And, if worse comes to work, I can always go into…thieving, I mean, consulting.
(Oh, and for the three people who are local and know me and where I work. Pretend you don’t know me. None of this is public knowledge yet. And, I would like a package versus getting fired. Thank you!)
Oh, and Thank you, ASM, for your perspective last night! I truly appreciated it! You reminded me that those factors in my decision were more important than maybe I was making them.