Social Distancing and Bad News

Towards the end of my telework day, I get a phone call from one of the women I work with. I instantly hear my other co-worker saying, “We’re all here.” All I could think of was, “Aw, shit, what happened, we didn’t plan this call.” I then found out that one of the ladies was removed from the contract and client that we are supporting. I was gutted. This woman with so much historical knowledge of the department, before and after the changes, was being moved with no explanation as to why. I sat in silence for what I’m sure felt like a long time for them but seconds for me.

I am disgusted that this occurred during this time. NOW out of all times – when our state is under mandatory stay-at-home orders, she’s being removed? There were rumors back in January about the future state of our department but none of us could have predicted this would be the end result. I had so many questions – how would this work? She can’t go back into the building to turn in her equipment, to pick up her belongings. They couldn’t have let her ride out the last year? If it’s a performance issue, for the person with seniority, shouldn’t there have been discussions about how to rectify whatever problem was occurring? Shouldn’t she have been given a fair shot? Especially after the last person that was let go entirely was given month, after month, of nothing but chances? Is this personal?

The thought that I won’t even get to say goodbye to this woman is frustrating. The thought that she won’t be able to give a proper farewell to those she’s worked with for over ten years is sad. She’s now being thrown into a state of uncertainty and for what? Why now? She was a year away from retirement! And for reasons unbeknownst to all of us, that hope could be stripped away from her?

I can feel myself withdrawing from my life as I type this – turning into myself. I feel like I’m faced with a do or die situation with my employment and that’s not okay. I know in my field we are all replaceable but this?

I don’t know if you believe in karma, but I do. Talk about feeling even more isolated and alone.

I don’t know how to rationalize what happened, mainly because it’s irrational, and during this time when all I have are these four walls I know that this is going to consume my thoughts until I hear answers. And not just some BS excuse but the honest truth. Honesty is missing here and for the second time on this job I’m left speechless.

How can you do this to people? Where is your conscience? I always say, “Business not personal,” but this feels personal. This feels deceitful.

Receiving news like this, at a time like this, furthers the belief that there is no hope, no common decency. There are not enough words to describe how the news pushed me further into a pit of despair. I want to give up, I just want to sleep this all away and wake up when life returns to some sort of normalcy. I know that I can’t do that so in the meantime, I’m going to virtually lean on those that I can to uplift me. It might not be much but the distractions are going to be welcomed with open arms.

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