Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Getting Kicked Out of the Nest

Background: I worked for Pharmacia for 17 years. Pharmacia was acquired by Pfizer. Thousands of us in Kalamazoo are being severed. We call it being Pfired.

Late last fall when I first learned I was going to be Pfired, my initial reaction was happiness. After all, I wasn't planning to work that many more years and the severance package was generous.

We had a psychologist brought in to conduct a class on the emotional impact of being severed. He talked about denial, anger, resentment, and depression. I listened, decided it didn't apply to me, and threw the handout in the wastebasket. Classic denial.

In a few months as the slaughter began, I noticed that it didn't take much to bring tears to my eyes. I started having uncharacteristic emotional reactions to everyday events. By that time everyday events included the elimination of everything familiar at work: the departments, the systems, the culture, and the people.

The anger, resentment, and depression cycles peaked in August. These were the weeks prior to one of my favorite workmates getting Pfired. For several weeks I was unable to concentrate and the slightest thought of what was happening brought a big lump to my throat.

I think I'm better now. I think I've reached the stage where I accept and I'm ready to move on. I don't like what is happening. I'm never going to feel good about what is happening. But I'm almost ready to thank Pfizer for throwing me into the next phase of my life.

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