March Twenty-seventh; If I Had Only Known the Change That Was Coming

 Today is an anniversary of sorts. This time last year, I was working my last day as an employee for a company I had given over thirty- four years of my life. I was four months shy of a thirty year stint after having taken a brief  stroll around the greener pastures earlier on. But I digress.

 The day began like any other work day. Up at 4AM, at work before 6. I had a preferred parking space and getting there early helped me in getting that spot. (Funny looking back now how I had allowed silly things so much importance.) At 6AM, the machines were fired up and the day began. I worked at a manufacturing plant that created novelty yarns. Some of which went to customers who made fabric for furniture, some went to craft stores for knitting or crochet projects. Over the course of years, the company had diversified in the hopes of one department staying active when others did not due to market changes. All of this was working fairly well, right up until the pandemic. 

I will be up front and honest here. When all this began, I was one of those who thought it overblown and out of control. I swore they took the flu and morphed it into something more fearful and dangerous. I, along with everyone else, was watching life around us become very different. It was like watching that metaphorical train wreck in slow motion happening around us.

 Business started to go down, fewer orders meant needing less people. The first round of lay offs happened. I watched as coworkers came back from the meeting, carrying that manila envelope, to get their belongings. If they had tools, they made arrangements to come pick them up later. As we watched this going on around us, we who remained were assured we were essential, we were safe. And, I bought that. 

As days passed, we watched the strangeness grow. We were no longer required to clock in to work, (via a code number and fingerprint recognition) the managers would write us in. Only so many at a time were allowed into the break room to eat. We left fifteen minutes early so to be gone before the next shift came into the building. (I do still wonder how they would have handled the department I worked in as those machines at the time could not be simply stopped and restarted, it took a major process.) They had someone who pushed a cart through the plant disinfecting things. I watched this person, they pushed their cart through the plant and pretty much waved a cloth at things no one touched during the day. The things actually handled were ignored. Go figure. Still, I was working and that was what mattered. I was among the ones told, ‘you are essential, you will have your job.’

 At the time, we were working four ten hour days, Monday through Thursday. Unless there were enough orders that more time was required. That time though, we were not and I was sitting here at home calmly enjoying my coffee when the call came. I was being laid off temporarily, come by the plant Monday for the paperwork. When I went in on Monday, I was told it was permanent, or up until work picked up, then they would call me back as if nothing had happened.  I was dumbfounded and in a state of shock. What had happened? What about all of those times I had been told that I would be there as long as the plant operated? What about all those times I had been told I was important? What about being essential?

 I walked out of the foyer, I wasn’t even allowed into the building, shell shocked.

 Fast forward to now, one year in. I can finally say with a smile, I didn’t lose that job, God took me out of there. I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll probably mention it again, I was needed here for mom and dad. I live next door to them, I’m handy and can be there if needed quickly. I help them as I am able. Other things are left to the younger and stronger. 

While I was working those ten hour days, some weeks were nearing if not sixty-plus hour weeks, I would be physically and mentally exhausted. I knew my job. I liked my job to a point, but it was slowly killing me even as it kept me active and mobile.

Now, life is moving a bit slower, with a time more mine. Being here may mean that I’m more on call for my parents, but even when I roll my eyes as I see them approaching for a ‘favor’ I know how blessed I am that they are still here. Even as I silently grumble at yet another interruption, I am thankful they are here to interrupt. If I were still working, I would be missing this time. 

I was also here for other purposes and reasons. Things I discover as days pass by. Things that some times are less easy to get beyond but I will. I will because I know that there is something else waiting. 

So today, is a celebration of sorts, a liberation day of sorts. A day when I can look back from a different viewpoint and perspective and with greater understanding. I walked out of a building in which I had spent so much of my life, understanding that loyalty means nothing and the bottom line means everything, into where I am now.

Happy with change.

Assistant supervisor and I carried more tools than the technician.

About rebecca s revels

A writer, a photographer, a cancer survivor. An adventurer of the mild kind, a lover of the simple pleasures such as long walks and chocolate. A Christian unashamed of my faith and a friend who is dependable and will encourage readily. Author of three self published books with more waiting to find their way to paper. An advocate of good things, a fighter against wrongs.
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35 Responses to March Twenty-seventh; If I Had Only Known the Change That Was Coming

  1. The pandemic affected all of us in different ways. God indeed was looking out for you… which it probably did not seem like it at that moment in time. I know when I look back at the difficult things that have happened in my life, I can see that He had a hand in the direction my life has taken! HUGS ❤

  2. Thank you for Sharing.
    I’m glad you’re thankful and grateful.
    You’re probably not where you are suppose to be yet but I’m grateful to God you’re not where you use to be.

    Keep thriving and stay blessed.

    • I believe that our life here is a journey where we are always learning, always growing and always used for God’s purpose. It is only when I reach this journey’s end and stand before the Lord, that I will be where I am supposed to be. Thank you for your visit and kind words.

  3. leendadll says:

    Good way to look at things. I have a similar perspective about what started as a decision to take a 6month break between jobs (laid off with no idea layoffs were even being considered) turned into 4yrs of being largely bedridden with no one able to diagnose why. It sucked my soul and confidence – but it also allowed me to take care of other things.

    Having never spent my life as a temp/contractor, I’m used to switching job and being let go on little/no notice. I can’t imagine how shocking it must have been for you after 30+ years.

    • Thank you. It wouldn’t have been so bad, had they not just the day before told me I was among the essential and was going nowhere. Big big turn around in less than 24 hours but…oh well. Life goes on and actually better.

      • leendadll says:

        I learned, long ago, that you can’t trust mgmt about that stuff. Even if they want to warn you, they’re usually told that they can’t.

        I’ve had exactly 1 job that was honest and, as promised, warned employees as soon as they knew. It was an extremely gracious 9 MONTH warning but was delivered just before xmas so employees still freaked out.

      • I’m sure they did. You could see the look in people’s eyes when the first round was going down. AS soon as word got out it was horrible the feeling that was in the place. Now, I’m glad I wasn’t called back.

      • leendadll says:

        I once “played chicken” with a job I HATED, about returning fro 6months of stress disability. There was NO way I was going to actually return but I was pretty sure they didn’t want me either. I went back on a Friday. They were unprepared. I was told to go home and return on Tues. I did, my job had mysteriously moved to NoCal over the weekend, and I got a great layoff package. I sang “I got la-aid o-off” and did a dance in the lobby!! It was one of the best things that ever happened to me!

      • leendadll says:

        At that same crap job, staff always knew about upcoming “surprise” layoffs before we were supposed to. They had become quite routine. My fav story ever was a guy in the field getting called in. He knew what that meant and claimed he had a doc appt, so they agreed it could wait till morn. In reality, he went to a doc friend and got put on stress disability (it was extremely common there, with cause), and the company couldn’t lay him off!!

        The worst was a guy who, a few weeks earlier, had rec’d the 1st coworker recognition award… we loved him!! Mgmt made him drive in early, knowing it was a 3hr commute, just to lay him off and send him home again. Coulda done it on a day when he was already in the office but noooo… had to be aholes. The employees had just awarded him “best coworker” and then mgmt treated him like that… and were surprised that it destroyed morale.

      • Wow. Moral can be destroyed so easily, much more easily than it can be created and maintained.

      • leendadll says:

        Yeah. I figured out, early on, how much backstabbing occurs at my current job. But I thought it was only my dept. This week the extent of the situation, the fact that it’s global corp culture & caused by executives, took me by surprise.

  4. Good for you! I didn’t get any sort of package, but considering the company I worked for no surprise there. I think I wanted that call back because that was what I was accustomed to doing. It was a really difficult decision that for a long time I felt pushed into, for me to take early retirement. But, as long as I can hold out for four more years, when I switch over to my late husband’s SS it will be easier.

  5. Hard to believe that a year has passed already… the world feels like it’s in a slow motion fast forward time warp since the pandemic began.

  6. tanssityttö says:

    Life can surprise but when you loose something, you will also find something new, maybe even better! That happend to me when I did loose my earlier job few years back. I found a better one!

  7. I am so sorry to hear this. It seems to be the case all over the world.

    • Thank you, yes, it does seem to be the case. In mine though, it has worked out for the good. I am able to be where I am most needed and that is more important than money and jobs.

      • I am happy you found something after your thirty-five years of working at one job. I never thought about where the colorful yard comes from. Now, I know. 🙂

  8. Even after all the time I worked there, I found it amazing to watch the process from beginning to end. thank you again for your visit and kind words.

  9. wynneleon says:

    I love how well you write about growing through experience. Your perspective one year later is so refreshing and delightful even though the process was hard and disappointing. Amazing!

    • Thank you so much! I believe that turning it around from something terrible (which at the time I saw my losing my job as the worst thing ever) to an adventure in growth and learning made the biggest difference. Thank you for your visit and gift of kindness through your words.

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