These are notes I took the day I was laid off. I have left them mostly as is, not correcting grammar or spelling, because I think that partially reflects my mood at the time.

Mike’s Layoff Day Notes:

Well, I didn’t expect that to happen. I knew layoffs were coming, actually, I thought they had happened the week before and I was safe. Alas, not true. My boss sent me an email and a text, inviting me to a 30 minute meeting in less than 30 minutes.

Everyone knows what that means….

I tried to steel myself for the call….but was also trying not to assume that I knew what it meant, even though I did……

Actually, she was very cool. This was a Friday. Layoffs were coming next week, but she knew I was negotiating to buy a house, so she got permission to tell me early, so I could make a decision about the house with that in mind. Very cool of her. Thanks Mary.

I got off the phone, and was going out to tell our receptionist, but she was walking toward me, with a very sad look on her face. I knew then she was just told. I wasn’t close to many people in that office, I’d only been there for 18 months, and I didn’t work with anyone there. But, I knew a few people. One of them was nice enough to take me out for coffee and walk me through some things he’d experienced. Thanks Ben.

Emotionally, day 1 was not as hard as I thought. The only time it was really hard was when I felt I had failed Julianne and the boys in upholding my end of the family bargain….breadwinner.

Looking back from nearly a year later, I’d add this on reflection on that day:

The call itself was pretty relaxed and nice. Mary spent the next few weeks sending me openings at my former employer, but I just wasn’t interested in going back there. I think looking back, while I seemed to be ok with things, and not overly emotional….I think I was in shock. Even though I was thinking this might happen some day, I was still in shock. I just don’t think you can fully emotionally prepare for this day. Try as you might, it’s just too big.

I did call my kids and my parents and probably a few others too, but it’s been a while so I don’t know who all I called. I do know that at least one of my sons was worried about money and both were worried about my happiness. I held off on saying anything to my coworkers back in MN and elsewhere, as requested. No use in getting people worried they might be next.

What were your initial reactions the day you were laid off? Let us know in the comments, or by emailing us at ideas@laidoffbetteroff.com.

Return to Mike’s Stories.