Lola Got the Axe

Well, if you read my last post, you know that my company had announced layoffs for December 18-20.  And guess what?  I got laid off.

Even though this was not the most fun thing I’ve ever gone through, I wanted to blog about it anyway.  I guess I’ll do a little Q&A here, because a lot of friends and family have asked questions.  Here are the most common questions:

1. Did you expect to get laid off?

I honestly had no idea.  I thought I had a 50/50 shot, because the rumors were that HR makes a lot of these decisions based on where your personal residence falls on the map.  If they map out the new territories and you happen to fall in the middle of it, you have a good shot and staying on board.  If your house falls on the edge of a territory, or in an “unproductive” area of the territory, then you are definitely more at risk.  I’d also heard that if you live in the middle of a good area near many other reps, then you can be  judged against your peers via your sales ratings.  A lot of my coworkers lived in Houston, so they were all pretty concerned about their ratings.  But, no one lived even remotely close to me.  I am the only rep within 70 miles of any other rep.  Even my partner and my former partner told me that they suspected I may have an advantage based on my zip code.  Turns out, not so much!

2.  How did you find out?

We were told to wait by the phone on Thursday.  I knew the call would come at or after 11am, so I was sitting on my carpet in my bedroom waiting on it.  My manager got the email with all of the information at 11ish and told us he’d be starting the calls right away.  He called at about 1pm and was really straightforward.  “I’ll get right to it… you were not placed” is how I remember him saying it.  It’s crazy because he had to go through the same thing the day before, but he was placed.  He was as sympathetic and understanding as possible.  I feel really sorry for him that he had to call so many people and go through that, and yet he had no control over the decisions.

3. So, are you okay?  You just lost your job.  That kinda sucks.

Alright, there is no denying it.  It does make you feel really bad about yourself to lose your job!  I did learn that when you have almost a month’s notice, you have time to think about it and sort of accept either outcome.  I still got all choked up at the end of the phone call.  It went on a little longer than I could hold it together, and I had to hang up after a quick goodbye.  I cried on the floor for like, 2 minutes, and then I called Oatmeal.  “I just lost my job, honey.”  He was quiet for a long time.  I went on, “I feel like such a worthless person.  I feel like a loser.”  He let me cry for a few seconds, and then he said everything I needed to hear…. that I’m not worthless, that I am not a loser, that I couldn’t have done anything differently.  He told me that this was a wonderful opportunity for me, that now I can get a new job and a fresh start and do anything I want to, and that in the meantime I just get to spend so much more time with Poppyseed.  I’ll always remember him saying that, because it made me feel so much better.  We talked for a few more minutes and then I got off the floor.  So that ten minutes or so was pretty much the end of the crying and feeling sorry for myself. I got up and took a shower and cleaned up the house a little bit.  And then I went and picked up Poppyseed from daycare for the last time!

It sucks because you never get to know WHY.  I mean, if someone were to tell me, “Look Lola, you just didn’t sell enough vaginal cream, plain and simple.  There’s just too much vaginal cream collecting dust on the shelves of pharmacies, so we had to cut you loose” then it would be a little less hard to take. If they were to say, “Hey, you just stunk at selling that bladder medication.  I drove through your territory, and all I saw were wet pants.  Sam’s Club is making way too much cash selling adult diapers for us to trust that you are making any difference at all.”  If they were to tell me that, or maybe, “Hey you know, you just live in the wrong part of the state,” then it would have been easier to accept.  But truth be told, getting laid off without knowing why is a HUGE blow to the ego!

4.  What about everyone else in your company?  Were any of your friends/close colleagues laid off as well?

Gosh, this is the worst part.  Yes.  In fact, most of them were.  We were asked to stay quiet until 4pm so that our manager would have time to call all 12 of us before we started talking among ourselves.  Because the rumors were that 20-40% of us were going to get hacked, I expected to be one of 3 or 4 lost.  At 4pm we all started calling and texting one another and found out that 8 of 12 had been laid off!  That made me feel really awful.  There were people who had been with the company for the better part of 2 decades who were laid off.  One employee just won a huge award within the company.  Several employees have won trips and big competitions and had been promoted to specialty reps recently, and they were still laid off.  I even checked the sales scorecard yesterday, and at least 3 or 4 of us had over 100% quota for all of our products, yet still were laid off.

The GOOD thing was that the two people I am closest to were survivors!  I work with a very close friend who actually got me the job, and she is still employed.  She works her tail off, and is so committed to the company.  I have to tell you, I’d have felt terrible if she had been laid off and I hadn’t after she got me the stupid job in the the first place!  And my partner made it though as well!   My partner is so dedicated to the job and the company.  So to hear that he was still on board was awesome news.  He was actually laid off in 2009 and then rejoined the company in 2011.  If he had been laid off for a second time I’d have cried much longer than 10 minutes, and it would really have just left a horrible taste in my mouth.  I truly hope that he retires with that company if that is what he desires.

5.  So what do you do now?   Don’t you have company property? 

Yep, I have a company car, a gas card, a computer, a storage unit, a corporate AMEX, and a WHOLE LOT OF PILLS.  (And vaginal cream.)  Supposedly I will get a package in the mail soon that will explain what to do with all of this stuff.  But for now I can still drive my car and use the gas card. I guess I’ll hear what I am supposed to do after Christmas.  I’m not even in town right now, so if they already sent me the package, I have no clue.

Side note:  You know what’s really funny?  Saying “Vaginal Cream” in front of Oatmeal.  His reaction is H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S.  Anytime I say anything immature or sexual in real life, he says, “Why do you have to be so leud?”  But when I said vaginal cream he couldn’t say anything.  He could only squirm. Because it was my job, and it was a serious matter.

Hey, you know why we are eating ribeyes instead of ground beef for supper tonight?  Because I sold so much vaginal cream, babe.  Eat up.”

“Oh you want to go spend $150 to go roping on Black Horse this weekend?  Eh, we can afford it.  I sold, like, 30 tubes of vaginal cream more than my quota this quarter.  Big money, big money.”

Sorry, now that I’m unemployed, I have zero filter.  ZERO.

I kinda like it.

6.  Why do you think they had layoffs right before Christmas?  That’s cruel!

Eh, it is and it isn’t.  If I had to get laid off, I’m glad they told me a month in advance that it could happen.  It enabled Oatmeal and I to budget for it.  So when I was doing my Christmas shopping, I made sure to buy carefully and not just throw money away on something that a loved one “might” like.  And the nice thing about getting laid off just prior to Christmas is that you just get to spend more time with  your family on a major holiday!  🙂

7. What will you do now?  Are you already looking for a job?

I’m not immediately going to hit the pavement and look for a new job, no.  It’s not because I think that the job market is horrible, in fact I believe just the opposite.  Three of my colleagues had interviews lined up before the layoff even happened because they wanted to have backup plans, and several more had interviews set up by the following day.

Doesn’t that tell you how hard working some of these people are?  They are not afraid to….

I’m sure of one thing.  All 8 of us will land on our feet!

But anyway, back to my plan.  I have had several chats with the husb about this, and he wants me to take a few months to think it over.  The truth is that I have had 4 jobs, and I haven’t loved any of them as much as I think I need to love a job in order to be happy there permanently. Everything changes when you have a baby, especially for the mother.  You begin to search for that perfect job that enables you to feel fulfilled as a mother and yet do something non-baby on the side.  (Or at least that is how I feel.  My family will always be priority #1, but it will always be a part of me to want to do something else as well!)

So, here lies a confession.  Do you know what I do love?  I love writing.  I was telling Oatmeal today that the only thing I can remember really enjoying throughout my life is writing.  I loved to write at age 8, at age 18, at age 28.

So how can I make money writing?  I have no idea.  I may spend some time in January/February trying to figure that out.  If any of you have tips, I’m all ears.  No one comments on this blog (WHY?!), but I’m around.  Facebook… text… there are ways.  I assure you I’ll read it and get back to you.  I got nothing but time, after all.  😉

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Comments

  1. So, I never comment but I almost always read your blog. Why? Because you’re a great writer. You’re relatable, and even though I don’t know you very well, I find myself laughing at your blog like we’re old friends. I feel like that says it all right there. You should definitely do something with writing, even if its just on the side!

    • Thanks Megan! I really do like to blog. I would do it every day if I had time. I’m glad that some people enjoy reading it and hope that by being personal (in some cases probably too much, but whatever) that people who read it WILL feel like they know me well. In fact I wish everyone blogged.

  2. Hi Lola, I’m sorry to hear that the layoff affected you.I actually work for said company and know several people that were laid off and it’s never easy but you will get through. I’m not a mommy yet but I understand the bit about finding a dream job and being more fulfilled, and am on a similar journey. I will say this, when I first stumbled on your blog a few months back, I loved everything the way it was written. I thought you were witty and quite captivating and I probably read for a few hours. That being said persuing writting/blogging full time would be a great venture for you. There is definitely a way to make a decent living doing that, it just takes a lot of work and often shameless sellf promotion via various social media outlets. There is a course that I’m actually planning on taking this Spring regarding the business of blogging, there are plenty other resources out there but I’ll leave this link for your reference :http://asubtlerevelry.com/e-course. Good luck with whatever you decide to do, I’ll be sure to check back more often to see how it goes. Also, having been here through more layoffs than I can remember, I can attest that almost everyone that I knew that got “separated” ended up being happier in the long run.

    • Hi there, and nice to (sorta) meet you! I loved your message and so hope that you are right about being better off in the long run. I will definitely look at that link/class about blogging and also will keep up with yours! You look so fun and stylish. 😀 and I love knowing another paleo drug rep… There aren’t many of those out there I don’t think… 😉

  3. Lol! Nice to ‘meet’ you too and thanks for the compliment 🙂 I’m slightly fashion obsessed. I’m actually working on a brand new blog to better organized everything I’m interested in including yummy, mostly paleo food! I agree that there aren’t many drug reps out there but it’s growing. One of my team members from another state just converted bc she just had a baby and he was super cholic-y and miserable for a month straight, and paleo is helping her a lot. I’ll keep in touch to see how it all goes, good luck!!

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