The boss called and started off with something like "It's not the kind of thing I enjoy but..." and I pretty much already knew where it was going. It felt like I was being diagnosed with something terminal and all I could do was accept the diagnosis. He did his best to make it clear that "it's not you, it's us" and that the company is working desperately to cut costs and I'm just one of the things that has to go. Apparently they even have to downsize their office space.
Can't say I was surprised, though. For years it's felt like the company's been cutting back more and more. My first year as a full time employee, we all got a Christmas bonus. That was the last year I saw one. But every Thanksgiving they would give us all hams, or a kosher or vegetarian equivalent. One year, they suddenly switched to a cheaper company for the hams. Last year, they were dropped entirely.
Perhaps the kicker was a few months ago when we got a company-wide e-mail saying, "There's no reason to worry about the condition of the company! At all!"
So for a while now I've been feeling a bit uneasy, with fewer projects trickling in. I was subconsciously drawn to articles like, "How to spruce up your resume!" and "Best answers to interview questions!" I guess I was just sort of waiting for this to happen. I didn't see myself staying with this company forever, although I could've if they could afford me.
Anyway, as distressing as this is, it feels like it could also be an opportunity to find something bigger and better. Ideally I'd be able to get a government job for my next job. Already have some ideas where to try next, so we'll see.
Still, it really felt like time stopped today. It still felt like it came out of nowhere. And with my severance package being just two weeks' worth, I don't have a whole lot of leeway to work with. And even if I do find a place that's better, or pays more, or whatever, it'll still be a major change. But I feel like I can make it work.