I was stunned but not surprised when Don wouldn't meet my eyes that morning. I had grown suspicious when he started passing me over earlier that week while handing out new projects. I was responsible for 40% of the workload in a three man group — why else would he do that?
The company I worked for had been in a downward spiral for quite some time. Every month another group was laid off. Initially they started with the new people and the slackers. These were easy because they contributed little to the bottom line. After round three, the cuts started to hurt. We started to lose project engineers. Ten electricians were quietly told their services were no longer needed. What started as 150 employees would now be 78. Unfortunately for me, I was employee number 79.
A strange twist to the story
Actually, I was relieved. This may sound crazy, but getting laid off was the best thing for my family. The past year had been painful as I watched friend after friend escorted to the door. The hours got longer. The sense of despair was almost palpable.