As I posted previously, I gave my 30 day notice of resignation to my employer on Tuesday. ha!
Well, on Wednesday we had our monthly "all-staff" meeting. At the beginning of this meeting we were given cards thanking us for our contribution to the organization with personal messages. Mine was very kind. Accompanying these cards were $50 gift cards to WalMart (so NOT my favorite store - but it is the thought that counts, right?). Ok, so that was nice. Our staff has been through a lot in the last year, floods, fires, lots of changes, lots of work.....it was really good to receive, and to see others receive, recognition for all of this.
The meeting ended a little differently though. The director of our organization tearfully explained that for financial reasons, the organization would be re-structuring and several people would be laid off. The first on the list were those with no grant funding for their positions. One of these women is a fabulous woman who happens to be my closest work-friend (and the preserver of my sanity most days) and the other is an incredibly kind woman who was 2 months shy of completing 10 years with the agency. Next on the list is, of course, me. Since I had just announced to the group my intention to leave in April, I was next to be told that I will no longer be employed after next Friday. There will likely be several more layoffs before the week is over, as the ability to meet payroll is in serious jeopardy. Health insurance for those staying is also on shaky ground.
This is a big deal for an organization that only employs roughly 16 people, full-time, as it is. Many of the women I work with who are in jeopardy of losing their jobs in the coming week are single moms. They have no margin for error in their bank accounts. There is no room for things like this in their already maxed-out budgets. I am really worried for them. The market is not great, especially in the non-profit world.
I am also worried for the clients we serve. How will they be affected? Their need for services will certainly not decrease during this time....
How does this happen? I have no idea. Explanations were given - something about grants falling through, funding cuts, and bad decisions made by board members in the past....but it is all still very confusing to me. I think that non-profits walk such a fine line every day in determining if they will meet their funding needs, when one thing, or several things, fall through or go differently than planned - it has a huge effect on everything. Did someone make mistakes? Who knows? Does it matter now? Not really.
Mr. Spicy took me out to dinner last night to de-stress. He has been incredibly accommodating about all of this, especially considering that for us this means the loss of 2 more paychecks we had counted on. I even "allowed" myself a glass of wine last night. I figured that the alcohol was probably better for me than the dizziness caused by my blood pressure trying to climb the Swiss Alps and all those fun stress hormones having a dance party in my bloodstream. I did feel better after a glass of wine - and after massive helpings of spicy Mongolian bbq.
The thing is - I feel guilty even being stressed at all...so many others, others I really care about, are in much worse positions. One dear friend that I work with cried through the entire announcement. I knew what her tears were for. She has little ones at home. She was already struggling with the money she makes now. There is no fat to trim in her household. I think a lot of my stress is for these friends, these women, who certainly don't deserve to go through this. It is the hardest thing, in some ways, to know that I am not going to struggle as hard as they will, that I am going be ok - but that there is so very little I can do to really help them.
In the midst of all of this, I did something last night, out of panic, that I feel rather foolish about today - and so, I will share it with you for your enjoyment:
Well, Monday, I interviewed for a summer position. Basically it is a day camp counselor position working with kids and animals - can I just say how perfect this would be for me???? So, anyway, they asked during the interview whether I would be interested, or available, to work a position at their day camp during spring break. I explained that I would not be available during that time as I was not leaving my current position until April (double ha!). Well, last night, I frantically called and left a message for the woman who interviewed me letting her know that I would be available for AND interested in a position over Spring Break, you know, if she decided to um, hire me, or something. And then I laughed nervously, repeated myself, wished her a nice day, and hung up. But, oh no.....that wasn't enough. I emailed her as well. You know, just in case she like, doesn't check her voice mails or something, you know? And in my email to her, I misspelled a word!!!!! Yep, classy. That's me! When I want a job, I will call you, I will email you, I will electronically stalk you, but I will not, I repeat, I will not take the time to proofread my emails to ensure proper spelling or grammar. Nope, that's just not my style. If you know what I mean?
So - the woman emailed me back:
"Thanks for the update. I will be making decisions early next week."
And I can imagine her adding:
I am only being polite to you because, frankly? You scare me. Next week you can expect that I will very politely let you know that we did not decide to hire you (big shocker) and then I will promptly change my phone number and email address.
I blame the wine.