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Layoff Notice

Well, I don’t quite know how to start this but I guess I’ll begin by saying that I have now been through the process of a layoff.

I thought layoffs were things that happened to… well, anyone who didn’t work in healthcare. Now I feel absolutely stupid. The last couple of days have been an emotional roller coaster for the entire office. At our last meeting it was reported that we’ve been shouldering losses of $20,000 a month for the past 3 months. As someone who prepares part of the financial data for each meeting, this wasn’t a surprise. Our senior doctor noted that this trend cannot continue if we are to stay afloat. I thought we would have more time, but I was wrong.

The first department hit was mine. I didn’t know anything was going on until Stacy told me that I would have to start taking her job tasks. My first reaction was anger, until she sat next to me and told me that she had been told the night before that she only had three more weeks. I can’t describe the feeling that I had in that moment. It was shock, sadness, disbelief, fear, confusion and guilt. So much guilt. I was the last person hired for my department, but I handle the most. I was already told months ago that I had a job there for as long as I wanted one, but feeling like it should have been me while knowing that thought was never entertained… It feels weird. I feel horrible, sad, and sick… but I just did my job to the best of my ability. I have nothing to be ashamed of, but that doesn’t change how I feel.

I had hoped that one cut was going to be enough, but I walked in this morning and the first thing I saw was April crying. Not just crying, but sitting at her desk sending out the letters like she always does in the morning. That feeling, I hate that feeling. While Stacy took the news with grace, April fell apart. The crying turned to sobbing, and she spent most of her day in the bathroom or on the phone handling her affairs and making the appropriate notifications.

I walked into optical with a dispense tray a little later and Cathy was in the room. I didn’t see Rianna in the room until I pushed open the door and I saw her crying in the corner. She had just gotten the news that Cathy was going to be transferred to another yet unnamed department, but I was relieved. She’s my friend. We were the last two people hired, we share the same feelings. It should have been us, but it wasn’t because of our responsibilities.

Sitting next to someone while knowing that they are leaving and you are staying, it’s awkward. Helping them clear out their desks, joking about who will eat all the office candy once they are gone… It makes my soul sick. It’s like having a funeral for someone who is standing right in front of you. I understand why they were cut, I can’t disagree with the choice, but I still feel sick.

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