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So, I became another casualty of this devastating economic climate. I lost my job today. It was not totally unexpected. About a month ago, there was a big meeting at the company. We were told that at least 35 people would be laid off. Nobody’s job was safe. The announcement of layoffs would come, they said, in the middle of November. November came and passed without a word.

Then today, around noon, I got a call to come into the Human Resources Department. The poor girl started her little corporate rant. As she did, I smiled. She said to me, you don’t seem surprised. I reminded her that we were told about a month ago that no one’s job was safe, and since that date, I had come into the office everyday thinking it would be my last, and so in that respect, I was not surprised.

My situation, I am sure, is not unlike so many in this country today. My own story though, is that I have a chronically ill husband, who lost his job in February at the same firm. He, at the time, I think was let go because of his illness, although these heinous people tried to make it seem otherwise.

As if that was not enough for them, when we filed for unemployment, they tried to block us every step of the way, by contesting it. We won in the end. The managers at this firm are some of the coldest people I have ever encountered in my entire life of working.

They are disrespectful and to some degree devoid of humanity. My husband nearly died when he worked there, because of the unreasonable schedule they assigned him. He was doing dialysis from home, and had to do it three times a day, at least once on his lunch break. But they would give him assignments that crossed into the time, which caused him to miss his dialysis sometimes. To make matters worse, they put him on the weekend schedule, which is a grueling schedule for a reporter with kidney failure. This was all an attempt to get rid of him. But because he was the chief breadwinner, he stuck it out, dragged himself in there, at times feet and hands so swollen it was unbearable to watch.

Two weeks before he was fired, he nearly died. Looking back, it was a blessing in disguise, that he was let go.

That is why today, as I sat in the office facing my impending layoff, it was easy for me to accept it and walk away without the kind of emotion one feels when there is a loss. The job environment is a cesspool. It eats at the core of decent people, many of whom only want to come do a good job and go home.

People walked around terrified of the prospects of losing their jobs. Having told us the layoffs were coming in November, no one bothered to address the subject further, until today. In difficult times as such, where there are sweeping cuts across the country, people can half-heartedly understand business decisions. But when managers are evil, vile and horrid in the way they treat people, it changes the complexion of things.

The road ahead is going to be difficult, but I will have a peace of mind. I will no longer be subjected to an ugly environment, where I spent the better part of my day.

The harsh economic times in a town like the one in which I live, makes it doubly hard to survive. But as I have told people close to me, the world did not end when my husband lost his job nine months ago, and I don’t expect it to now. I will go out here and do my best to find a job, any job to keep me and my family’s head above water. But at least I can do it with some dignity.

Thank you for reading, if you have made it this far. I just needed to vent.

UPDATE: Wow. I am humbled. First time on the rec list. Thank you all so much. My son has to use this computer to type his book report, I will be back later to chat some more. THANK YOU!!

UPDATE II: Once again, I want to thank everyone for all the great advice. I already have some of the suggestions you gave, in place, such as my husband's disability. Others, I will be working to pursue in the days and weeks ahead. But I can't tell you enough, how much I appreciate this wonderful outpouring. Thank you all from the depths of my heart. This is a great place to be in these difficult times.

Originally posted to africa on Tue Dec 02, 2008 at 02:42 PM PST.

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