Exactly Thirty Minutes After Posting

Thursday, May 09 2002

Exactly thirty minutes after posting my last entry, my manager cruised by my cube and said “Hey Mike, you gotta minute?” as he headed for the conference room. “Not normal” I thought to myself. It looked like a big meeting. Once through the doors, I sensed a lot of discomfort. This didn’t look like it was going to be a good meeting. I made my way to the couch, the only couch, and the most comfortable seat in the room. If I was going to have an uncomfortable meeting, my cheeks might as well have some comfort.

A lot of time was spent with several blank faced managers from several departments sitting across from the growing croud of employees from different departments. It seemed that one person was missing, and that it was vitally important that this person be here before the meeting started. This wasn’t normal either. Usually we just say “sucks to be him, he’s gonna be late” and get on with it. Today was different.

Three possibilities ran through my mind. Either we were all going to get a firm talking to for something we did or didn’t do, or we were all going to be shifted into a new department (all 50 or so of us?) or we were all going to get fired. The last possibility seemed unreasonable, we just had a pep rally about how we were profitable last quarter. We were the top site on the net, our share prices were stable.

Mystery man arrived, and one of the managers started to speak. “This meeting is what you fear.” I mostly fear losing my teeth, world destruction, choking on grapes, or universe implosion. None of that seemed to be happening in this meeting, so I felt pretty good about myself. Except when the next sentenced arrived. “We have to make cutbacks, and this affects those of you in this room.” Nuts. I was in the room. I’d only worked there a few months. My wife is pregnant. I have a mortgage to pay. I never cashed in on the Internet craze. I had just told my wife that I’d be working there for at least several years.

So, now I’m unemployed, again. This time however there’s no fat royalty check easing the pain. Things are going to get difficult in Buffington land.