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The stages of layoff syndrome

March 19, 2009
tags: ,

Stage 1: WTF

Day 1: Typically, this is the day the layoff happens. You’re probably a bit shocked, but it really hasn’t sunk in yet. You begin to think about all the bad things you experienced at your job. You think, “Psh. Our ‘casual Friday’ rules only allowed us to wear jeans, not sweatpants. RIP-OFF!” Or, “Man. My boss was really a $(%*#. I can find better work.” That evening, you go out drink like you were a high school senior: You inhale sour apple pucker, Irish car bombs, Mike’s hard lemonade…you get it.

Day 2: You don’t think much today because you are hung over from the night before. If you recover by 10 p.m., rinse and repeat.

Day 3: OK. The realization of “no paycheck” sets in today. You panic and realize, “Holy crap. I have had this job for years (or, ‘holy shit.’ I’ve only had this job for a month’)…How do I even look for work anymore?”

Day 4: You start the job search. You drive around looking for wanted signs. Soon you discover that no one takes paper applications anymore. So, it’s Internet or bust. You create a profile on Career Builder, Monster, and every other job site you can find. You apply for 30 or so jobs because you just want work.

Stage 2: Steady goes the pace

Day 5: Wait

Day 6: Wait

Day 7: Wait

Day 8: Wait

Stage 3: Part-time is better than no time

Day 9: You hear back from a job!! But, it’s part-time only. Oh, well. Work is work!!

Day 10: Interview. You dress nice, get your papers together and get to the interview 15 mins early. The interviewer, however, is 15 mins late, and doesn’t care about your credentials…they just want to make sure you are available everyday, at every time imaginable and if you call in sick. You say, “Yes, Yes, no,” and answer a few questions, and you are hired. Easy enough!

Day 11: You start work. Orientation is boring, but you can deal.

Day 12 – Day 17: You realize part-time work isn’t going to work. One part-time job without another part-time job is bad, and unlivable. You ditch the part-time job and spend time looking for full-time work.

Stage 4: Full-time or die

Day 18-25: You go to a couple of full-time job interviews. While these are not the jobs you trained for, you can at least keep your apartment (house, hut…). So, you try your best. You wear your suit, bring your papers, and show up early.

Day 30:  You hear back from the full-time jobs. You are turned down! Dissed and dismissed, my friend. You inquire as to why you were turned down. The answer: “you have too much experience,” or are “not experienced enough” for said job.

Stage 4: Emo-rific self loathing

Day 32: After the two day sleep fest and depression-o-ramma, you awaken to the realization that “Holy %(^. I am going to have to get rid of my apartment and move in with my parents (or friends, ex-husband, neighbor, etc.).

Stage 5: Acceptance

Oh well. It could be worse. At least you have a place to go, and your mom makes some kick ass pasta.

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