It’s Saturday morning. I should not be up at the ungodly hour of 5:30am. I don’t have to be awake this early. I’m writing this morning because I woke from a dream that stirred a bit of melancholy within me.
You see, a year ago yesterday, my long-term working relationship ended with my former employer. Given the current economy, I understand this happens to a lot of people. In my former position, one of the things I got to do was travel to India once or twice a year. I considered myself lucky.
Last night I dreamed I was in Bangalore.
There was some festival going on and we were at some temple. It was beautiful. There was music and dancing. I got to participate at some point, because I was visiting. There was a waterfall nearby, some of the water splashed in my face as I was laughing and it got in my mouth. I remember thinking, “Oh, crap. I’m going to be sick for the rest of the trip.” But I kept dancing and enjoying the moment because it was a new experience, and I never knew if I was going to come back (we all had that attitude about the trips to India).
Then I woke up.
There are things that I do not miss about my former working environment, but there are things that I miss very much. I miss some of the people I worked with. I miss the travel opportunities, exposure to different cultures and new experiences.
A year later, I still grieve the ending of the long-term working relationship. I was with that company for just one month shy of 13 years. It’s uncommon to find someone who’s worked with a company longer than 5 years anymore. However, there are those “long-timers” out there.
With the current U.S. economy, many of these “long-timers” are finding themselves at the bad end of a business decision. So what happens to that long-timer? How does that person handle the end of that working relationship?
It’s a lot like a divorce. The emotions are identical. It even follows closely to what occurs when the couple has that final “it’s over” discussion:
- You have a private discussion with your manager. This is where you’re told “it’s over”. Your reaction may vary. You may immediately go to anger here. You may step over to “isn’t there something we can do?” Or, you may follow the path of the victim and ask, “what did I do wrong?”
- You’re packing your things (or maybe that’s done for you). You’re in shock.
- You’re at home now, just you and your boxes. It sinks in now.
And how about those former co-workers? Aren’t those some awkward conversations after the fact? It’s like running into that one person who managed to remain friends with both of you after the divorce – the friendship remained but it never was quite the same.
I’ve lost touch with nearly everyone I used to work with. I’m not upset about this, nor am I offended in any manner. It is awkward. What do you say when you are still working for the company? Or maybe it’s just my perception and I’m pushing them away. That is quite possible. Communicating with them reminds me they used to be co-workers and they aren’t anymore. It reminds me of the former relationship. Perhaps it’s a little bit of both.
Regardless, I made it through a year of emotional growth and change. It’s been an interesting ride.