Sunday, February 05, 2012

So this is what that feels like...

I held off posting this while I was at the Xena-con, and it's been so crazy this last week I hadn't even looked at it. But reading it again tonight, I still feel the need to post it... so here it is.

Last Friday, at 2:30 we were all summoned to a meeting in the training room.  There was no hint or indication as to why... shortly after everyone was settled the President began.

He told of the journey that had begun long before many of us joined the company. He told of the struggles they faced being a smaller company filling a specialized niche in our industry, and of the plateau we had reached and thus far been unable to ascend above.  He said they had been searching for a partner to back us up and allow us to spread our wings, and that with a little luck we would soar higher than we ever could have climbed.

Of course none of it was quite like that, in fact none of it was even as it first sounded...

It took four intelligent, pointed questions to determine that we are no longer working for a private family owned business... In fact this partner is not just the majority shareholder, they are now the sole shareholder and own the company we work for body, brand and soul.

If he had turned into Willy Wonka and announced that the entire training room was actually a glass elevator, and then hit the subterranean button I don't think I could have felt more like the floor had been pulled out from under me, or like my stomach was any further from my abdomen.

Judging by the rest of the room I wasn't the only one in free fall.

They didn't say that there were no plans or discussions regarding shutting down the company... it was simply presented as a "Here's how it is..." then everyone with the remotest inkling of what was going on left for our biggest most important tradeshow of the year.

In the void left by "Nothing can be confirmed or denied..." rumor and speculation escalated exponentially to fill the need to talk about what had just happened.

The one thing that was consistent across all departments was "Well you know, when a larger company takes over a smaller one like ours is the first one to go..."

The brightest glimmer of reassurance came from the Vernon Star on Monday... Yeah, that's right we had to wait all weekend for a quote from the CFO... in our tiny little local newspaper:

"We remain committed to the facility and the workforce there," he said, adding that no changes are anticipated"
That was all most of us needed to hear and it probably would have made the weekend a little less stressful. Instead many of us got the advice from friends and loved ones to dig out and polish up their resume, and get a head start on the job search.

I think the one thing, that while it doesn't surprise me... definitely disappoints me, is that the last few years many employees sucked it up and toughed it out, but to find that the raises we didn't get went towards solvency so that the company could be sold for more than a little profit sucks donkey. The fact that there is now no longer any thanks owed or any implied debt monetary or otherwise... just shattered my last remaining misplaced belief in loyalty to an employer.

The slate which has been wiped clean with the sale feels like a swift kick in the ass with a frozen boot, and for the time being has left the acrid tang of a bitten tongue in my mouth... the kind you chomp on for a week after every time you have something to eat.

All of this isn't to say they haven't been a fantastic company to work for. But while people may forget what you did, and they will usually misquote what you said. They will always remember how you made them feel.

Only time, will reveal the true intentions of our new employer, and I hope they fall closer to the awesome end on the scale of scuttlebutt and scandelosa.

I know you're not supposed to write about your work on your blog, as it may lead to dire consequences such as being fired. But I find myself in the Vancouver airport, both excited for the upcoming Xena convention and mildly concerned, that maybe the money I've spent could be more useful in the case that I come back to find that my position is... redundant, or that they have an entire team of highly trained professionals to do what I do...

Firing or not, some things just need to written about.