Friday, January 16, 2009

Unemployment and Emotional Intelligence

"It's not 'show friends', its 'show business'."  - Rod Tidwell (played by Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Jerry McGuire.

Yesterday, several of my colleagues (+/- 5% of the company) had our jobs eliminated.  We were given final dates of employment in our current role and severance packages after individual meetings with HR and your area vice president.  My reaction was shock.  NOBODY except the senior management team and HR knew about this.  (They managed to keep the secret under wraps which is sometimes a challenge.)  It figures.

My day had started greatly.  In spite of fatigue from the week's workouts already done, the "wear and tear" of a normal work week and -10 F temperatures and a wind chill of -45 at 4:15 AM; I was in my car rolling to a power based Computrainer class.  For my readers who don't know what a Computrainer is, basically it is an electric "load" generator which adds resistance to your rear bike wheel.  A sweat generator is what they should really call it.  OK...I can't resist.  Though I said to myself that I wouldn't put power numbers up....601.  I hit 601 on one of the intervals.  (pounding my chest like a run away NFL wide receiver) That's right.  I'm coming back.  Oddly enough, this is the exact opposite of what I was writing when I started this blog entry.

I knew my boss was upset about something.  Nothing was shared.  (Probably because I was getting the ax and she wanted to throw up for about two weeks knowing she had to lose me and several others from the staff.)  I've been at American Imaging Management (a subsidiary of Wellpoint) for seven months and two days.  I like the people I work with.  I like what I do.  I believe in our team...and we were getting significantly better quickly.

I could react several ways to all this.  My choice was to remain positive.  For whatever reason, I am not meant to be here.  God has a different plan for me.  I'm not a super religious person, but I strongly believe in God.  Religion...well, I've studied enough of them to know that many are so similar that you really cannot tell the difference.  What I do know is that my hard work prepares me for opportunities that will come along.  This is an opportunity nothing worse.  Getting mad, upset or anything other than trying to find the window when a door is shut is a waste of energy and time (aka: resources).  You see, having worked in information technology (IT) for 14 years I have been layed off before.  Everyone has heard of "dot bomb" after the dot com rage.  The people with skills will get gigs.  Usually, even better gigs then what they had before.  I just might have to move to find that work...but with the temps hovering around -21 F this morning; I think that might be a good thing.  

I choose to be thankful for my time with these folks - for however long I get "extended" as a consultant or not.  I will land on my feet.  I am not just "my job" as well as I am not JUST a triathlete.  

I am so much more than that.

Lastly, some perspective.  I am healthy.  (No, not one of the five levels of fatness a la Gabrielle Iglecias.  I mean I have no real health problems other than a few extra pounds which are starting to melt off.  Even at -21 F.)  One of the women (28 years old) I coach got a call nobody wants to get yesterday.  She got a call that said, "You have a brain tumor...er, again."  Yes, her second one.  I coached her to Ironman success and a 3rd place podium finish in her first Ironman race (and first marathon) where she got engaged to her boyfriend who was waiting for her at the finish line.  He just barely beat her across the line.  Her real "victory" was over her life and her first brain tumor.  No Kona or wedding this year - surgery and radiation and/or chemotherapy.  That sucks and that is unfair.  Not some silly job.

6 comments:

  1. Oh Bob - that's a lot in a short time span. I'm with you on the God thing - really really well put! Hang in there... Haven't heard of any openings in San Diego, BUT it's certainly a good place to look. If you like this sort of thing. :) My thoughts and prayers go out to your athlete. We're pulling for her!

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  2. Excellent attitude. You WILL bounce back and better than before. I've been laid off multiple times (just part of my industry - pharma companies constantly aquiring one another) and each one has always led to a better opportunity that provided more chance for growth and more flexibility in my life. Best wishes on the job search!

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  3. Excellent attitude. You WILL bounce back and better than before. I've been laid off multiple times (just part of my industry - pharma companies constantly aquiring one another) and each one has always led to a better opportunity that provided more chance for growth and more flexibility in my life. Best wishes on the job search!

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  4. Bob, you sum it up well in your last paragraph. While losing a job basically equates to a struggle for survival it isn't quite the same as having a tumor. Still, it doesn't lessen your situation.

    Move west! The big cities are indeed big but they're warm and escapes are always present.

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  5. Sorry to hear that Bob. "Disaster Creates Opportunity" and I know that you can find something better.
    See you at the ALS awareness charity fundraiser.

    Ben Lin

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  6. Hey Chuckie - I'm interviewing with AmGen and Genentech in California. Also talking to a bike company out west. I think it may be time to move. I'm fed up.

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