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May 08, 2009

A blessing in disguise?

May 8. Day 312.

Bad news for a lot of my friends and acquaintances. This week, their company laid them off.

It's happened before -- this is the fourth or fifth round in a year or two. I've lost track.

But this one was absolute carnage.

So I wrote each of my friends who are leaving a note, with a small offer to help. I don't know what I can do, I don't know if I can help them find work, but maybe, maybe I can. Or someone I know can. Who knows.

It was a reverse asking -- the kind where you gain by giving, that is.

Gained: Hope these people will pull through, hope the cuts were a blessing in disguise, hope I might at last help someone professionally, after being helped so many times by so many others.

And you, reader, have you been affected by the economy, job-wise? If you were laid off recently, did you find it was for the best? Perhaps escape from a crumbling institution, a pressure cooker, a chance to refocus? Or was it the worst thing imaginable?

And if you weren't laid off, what's it like holding a steady job while people left and right are losing theirs? Is this idea of "survivor's guilt" a bunch of media hype, or is it real? Is it harder for those left behind, or the departed?
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