Double whammy

I found out that I had been laid off at about 10:00 this morning, when my manager called me into his office to break the news. As readers of this blog know, I had been half expecting it, but finding out was still a shock.
The first thing I did, once I got back to my office, was to try to contact Marie and let her know. But she was working at the front desk, and thus wasn’t reachable by phone or AIM. I left her an instant message to call me on my mobile phone and went to Bob’s office to inform him of what had happened. I’m not sure what I expected him to say, but I had to tell someone. After a few minutes, I decided to go see the outplacement counselors that IBM had brought in for laid-off employees to talk to. They gave me an overview of the services they’re offering (skills assessment, resume development, interviewing tips, that kind of thing) and signed me up for a three-day seminar that starts Friday. While I was talking to the counselor, my phone rang; it was Marie, and I broke the news to her. She was shaken, of course, but recovered quickly. (We’ve been through this before.)
When I got back to my office, I looked through IBM’s internal job posting database. Nothing suitable presented itself. Marie IMed to tell me that Denise had seen a position listed on SAS’s jobs database. As I began looking at the SAS Web site to see if I could find it, Bob appeared in my doorway, looking distraught. He had just been informed by his manager that he was laid off too, and he was in deep shock.
It was lunchtime, and getting away from IBM seemed like a good thing to do. We went to Chick-fil-A in Durham and talked the situation over. At this point we’re both still just coming to grips with the news, so we didn’t do any actual planning or anything like that. (Bob can write about his reactions in his own blog, if he wishes.)
We got back to IBM at 2:00, and I ended up leaving, with my manager’s approval, at 3:00. As luck would have it, one of our regular family counseling sessions with Cheryl (Ruth’s therapist) was scheduled for tonight. Marie and Ben arrived home shortly after I did, and we picked Ruth up from her school and went to dinner at a cafeteria, where I broke the news to Ruth and Ben. They took it amazingly well, saying that they were sure I would find another job because I’m good at that. (I sure hope they’re right.) Then we went to see Cheryl. I won’t go into detail about what we discussed with her, but the subject of my job loss certainly came up.
The tone of this post is very strange: it’s too clinical and detached. I should be describing my emotional reactions here, but I’m not very sure what they are. Some shock and worry, but I feel oddly calm about the whole thing. Either the full significance of the day’s events hasn’t hit me yet, or I’ve been through this routine too many times before.
The last couple of times I was laid off, I started a job hunt journal, as a way of maintaining a record of networking, job leads, resumes sent, interviews, and so forth. I’m going to do the same thing this time, but my journal will be here at this blog. Stay tuned for further developments.

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