I know a young woman — a young mother — who will be finishing her last day at her job at the end of this month. And the news came only as a small shock. She had overheard and seen documentation that her job was in jeopardy, it was being phased out. Her title — Executive Assistant — would no longer be needed and her responsibilities would be divided among her 3-4 higher ups. About a week and half ago, her supervisors had offered her to transfer the position to another location if theirs, in which she would no longer be salaried, but hourly and the commute would be an hour and half longer. After some consideration, she declined the job transfer. It did not make sense financially to travel farther for less money. When she returned to her supervisors with what she had decided, they told her they would get back to her with their final decision. She waited every day for the hammer to drop, as she knew it would. She could not keep the job at its current location — it would no longer be there for her –and she turned down the job transfer. Now she was just waiting to hear when her last day would be. Five days went by and still no answer. It was on Friday. Friday, late afternoon, moments before she was set to leave the office for the weekend when she had gotten word that her final day would be that following Thursday.
There. She had an answer. Her last day would be in six days. But she wasn’t happy about the date. She just needed to know to prepare herself for thr envitable and hit the ground running. But she was far from overcome with joy. She left the office that day quietly, introspectively. I’m sure she was consumed by her thoughts as what to do next, how she would support herself and child in the interim, and could she find work soon enough not feel the icy cold effects of unemployment.
I share her story because it is one of many in which people quietly and neatly get expelled from the work force only to begin again. Prior to her Executive Assistant position with the company letting her go, she had worked as an Office Manager and in Human Resources. She had transferable knowledge and a skill set. But no job security. No reassurance her job would be there as long as she needed it. No guarantee that she would have an income to take care of the household. Just another temp – to – perm position. Just another job.