November 19, 2003

Judgment Day

I have survived five rounds of redundancies from Company X over the past three years.

I have watched many good people go.

Today, 2,000 people in Stockholm are being notified as to whether they have a job or not.

33% of my group is to go.

And due to the fact that I only had 5 years with the company, I am one of them.

I have lost my job.

Posted by Everydaystranger at November 19, 2003 09:54 AM | TrackBack

I've never read your blog before and you don't know me from Adam's housecat, as some people say.

This won't make you feel better at this point, but I lost my job two years ago with all the responsibilities that comes from having a family and it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.

I hope you have the same experience as I.

Posted by: Tim at November 25, 2003 11:32 PM

Shit. I was so afraid this would happen. I've been worrying myself sick about you, hoping I'd finally get online and find you blogging about a happy ending. Or at least another survival, anyway. Just dodging termination is happiness enough sometimes. But instead...

I wish I knew words to make you feel better, but I don't. I think back to my own experiences, all the times a dot com laid me off or didn't renew my contract, and the only thing that ever made me feel better was someone saying "Let's go get drunk." The bliss of forgetting and feeling numb. And then the next day, the distraction of a hangover. Even vomiting up my guts could make me feel better in a strange way, just by taking my mind off losing my job or contract. Maybe you know what I mean.

I also remember hating all the crap about "the rest of your life starts now" and blah blah blah, at first from outplacement counselors (if the company had any), then from well-meaning family and friends. And it's true. Losing your job can be a parole from death row, introduce you to new people and opportunities, change your journey through life. But I always wanted to marinate in my own anger and depression before I started trying to be all upbeat about unemployment checks and interviewing and stuff. You can't rush your coping, hey?

Anyway, I have boundless faith in you as a person. More than anything in this blog, you've shown us your resilience. You know how to overcome. You have "grit" as it's called where I come from. And you have lots and lots of people who will support you when you need it, in your real life and here too, because you're just wonderful and beguiling and supportable like that.

Take very good care of you!

Posted by: Sedalina at November 20, 2003 10:54 AM

That sucks ass!

Please notice, while you are feeling it, that you have a ton of friends who will not let you suffer.

Don't know what else to say....damn.

Posted by: Serenity at November 20, 2003 09:21 AM

Helen...So sorry, Love, but for what it's worth, in my heart I KNOW you're gonna be fine. Even better off than before.
Chin up, Sweet Lady...

Posted by: Stevie at November 20, 2003 06:06 AM

Helen, I had so hoped to check in this morning and find you had made it through. Sorry to hear that's not the case. I won't go on about door/windows as it's already been said. Just know that ALL of us are rooting for you and that we know you'll be okay because you're a survivor. And really... to hell with Duct taped hamsters... We love you!

Posted by: Suz~ at November 20, 2003 04:01 AM

Shit. That truly sucks. I don't know if there's any stress release from not having to dread it anymore, but I do hope you feel better about your prospects soon.

Sounds like you're strong, from reading what little I have. I hope you are able - at some point - to see some opportunity in this.

Best of luck. I wish I knew the magic words to help.

Posted by: cyberangel at November 20, 2003 03:14 AM

I think the comment that resonates the closest to my immediate reaction to the news is, "Good Luck."
The phrase, "I'm sorry" didn't even pop up

The reason? You really are not the sort to go thru life with a sense of secured groundedness and settled days...You have too much personality and skills to live like the rest of us!!!

Stand Tall

Posted by: eri at November 20, 2003 01:59 AM

Sorry to hear this H. It totally sucks.

Posted by: Del at November 20, 2003 12:44 AM

Well that sucks sweaty donkey nuts. Make sure to steal some letters off keyboards and pee on your boss's desk if you get the chance.

Posted by: Johnny Huh at November 20, 2003 12:36 AM

sorry to hear it, Helen.

did i mention i hate companies?

Posted by: jcrue at November 19, 2003 11:43 PM

*ONLY* five years? Snort. That they'd give the sack to someone they trust enough to have sent on a 2-week international trip selling their duct-taped hampsters only a few weeks ago, while the sword of Damoclese was hanging over her head, tells me they're a bunch of ninnies.

Helen, dear, I'm sooo sorry. You know I have to give advice, so here it is: crawl into bed for the next week with bottles of alcohol and oodles of battery operated toys. Cry copious tears.

Love you, hon!

Posted by: jean at November 19, 2003 10:50 PM

Having read your blog for a while now I sensed that you already knew you were going to lose your job. I had hoped that when I logged on to Everyday Stranger today I would find out you still had a job.
Don't give in, don't give up. You just have move on.

Posted by: zenwanderer at November 19, 2003 10:43 PM

I was going to suggest something similar to Courtney, as one of my buddies has followed that path and found himself amongst great riches and promise.

If not, drink heavily, sleep for a week, cry for a bit and then.. chin up, search for an alternative.

Obviously, this is not your worst, nor your best - you're much bigger than this and you'll be fine.

We're all rooting for you.

Much love and best wishes,

Posted by: Jamie at November 19, 2003 10:16 PM

So sorry.

Posted by: Kathy Howe at November 19, 2003 09:50 PM


I'm sorry

Wish you the best. I'l drink a beer tonight for you!!

You know your always welcome here in Texas.
THe wetwired gys and gals would love to help you drink those blues away.

Posted by: Agamemnon at November 19, 2003 09:45 PM

Hey Helen-

Go Go Gadget Hug.

Posted by: amy t. at November 19, 2003 09:39 PM

Oh Helen, I am so sorry! (((hugs))) I won't give you any quaint little sayings. We've been there. The only fitting thing (that I can put in print, that is) would be that just sucks!! I am so sorry!!

Posted by: Jenn at November 19, 2003 09:22 PM

I'm so sorry! You know we are all here for you if you need anything. {{{HUGS}}}

Posted by: Ash at November 19, 2003 08:57 PM

By the way, after translating the previous quote, I have discovered it makes no sense. Replace "Helen" with "Company X". Then again, I guess it doesn't matter since none of speak Swedish anyways.

Posted by: Don at November 19, 2003 08:51 PM


No offense but your plan is doomed. Names and addresses will get you no where since they're all Swedish and you'll send them a mean note and they'll just be like, "Helen visar vinst igen, vilket är en viktig milstolpe, men mycket återstår att göra innan vi når god lönsamhet..."

Um, yeah.

Posted by: Don at November 19, 2003 08:49 PM

sorry. i read the news this morning and have been hoping for something inspirational, but nothing has come to me.
everything will be all right.

Posted by: hilary at November 19, 2003 08:21 PM

That blows goats.

I want names and addresses. They're gonna pay...

Posted by: Jeff at November 19, 2003 08:07 PM

Now you have plenty of time to dedicate yourself to blogging. Or at least write that fantastic erotic novel that I just know is in your little head.

Posted by: emily at November 19, 2003 07:37 PM


i'm sorry to hear this helen. you had a lot of people rooting for you. and you still do. do something especially nice for yourself today.

Posted by: kat at November 19, 2003 07:00 PM

That does totally BLOW! I had hoped things would turn out differently, as I'm sure you did too. We're all pulling for you! Hang in there.

Posted by: Sue at November 19, 2003 05:58 PM

Babe... sorry, really. I wish I could say something to make you feel better but I don't know that I can. Let me just reiterate... it's YOU that counts, you are WHO you are not WHAT you are OK. You will turn another corner and bing, there will be a new merry-go-round to try.

You have a lot of people rooting for you right now, and if a trip to Brussels would help just let me know.


Posted by: zeno at November 19, 2003 05:36 PM

Well, the suspense is over at least.

So, come back to Texas, to San Antonio this time. I'll sleep on the sofa, you can have the bed. I'll teach you to knit and in not time at all you can start marketing your own line of designer sweaters and knit lingerie.

Posted by: David at November 19, 2003 05:35 PM

Oh, that totally BLOWS.

I've enjoyed your wonderful writing for a while and knew I could not let this pass without a comment, for I feel like you're a friend. I was so sad to read your news... I was confident you were going to pull through, and feel much empathy for you.

Sometimes, unwanted changes force us in the direction we should have been going in anyway, but weren't for whatever reasons. Maybe Mr. Y being back has something to do with it.

Trust that the universe will unfold as it should!

Posted by: Camino at November 19, 2003 05:34 PM

There's simply nothing to say except I am deeply sorry, sweetheart.

Posted by: Kaetchen at November 19, 2003 05:29 PM

You can move back to the States, to New Orleans specifically, and come work for me. You'd be my personal shopping assistant, bikini car washer, and self gratification muse. I offer benefits, too: I'll share John Cusack, should the occasion arise. I mean really, the only thing better than a passion filled night of animalistic sex with John would be a passion filled night of an animalistic threesome with John, hmm?

Posted by: Carlene at November 19, 2003 05:22 PM

Sudden change sucks! Sorry for the loss of your job. I know this won't make you feel better right now, but generally, when one door slams shut in your face, another one will open up. Just be sure to tune into new opportunities. Keep us posted!

Posted by: Marie at November 19, 2003 05:17 PM

I just popped over from Zeno's site...I am so very sorry to hear this, Helen :( Wish I had some great advice for you! I'm thinkin' about you.

Posted by: sheri at November 19, 2003 04:51 PM

So sorry to hear it, sweetie. Let me know if you need anything.

Posted by: Jennifer at November 19, 2003 04:12 PM

oh no, sorry

Posted by: shortt at November 19, 2003 04:11 PM

Hey, like I said, its life, roll with the punches. On the brightside, or the other side of the rainbow, if you move back to the states.... You've got plenty of people to buy you a pint. Wetwired included. Course we'll buy you multiple pints and take you to a strip club and see if we can get you and Kitty Says into trouble.... but thats besides the point.

Posted by: pylorns at November 19, 2003 03:52 PM

Well, that sucks.

I notice from the comments that you have a lot of support. I know that there are a lot of unknowns right now, and that you hate that. And I'm sure you're getting advice from all corners. I'm not going to add to that. Just know that you have people in your corner, rooting for you.

Posted by: Howard at November 19, 2003 03:51 PM

Oh H~ I am so sorry...I know nothing I or anyone else can say that will ease the pain. But, just know that we are ALL here for you. We care about you and when you hurt we hurt. So, take this negative thing and know that you can turn this around into a positive. (although it may not feel like it now) Things happen for a reason...I truley believe that, with all my heart. Go look at your card and remember everything will be all right. Have good cry and have a drink or few...
My thoughts are with you sweetie.

Posted by: Tiffani at November 19, 2003 03:43 PM

I am so sorry to hear about that...

Good luck,


Posted by: Stuart at November 19, 2003 03:30 PM

i'm really sorry to hear about you loosing your job. i really hope things work out for you.

Posted by: erica at November 19, 2003 03:21 PM

Sh*t. I was afraid I would read something like this when I came here, but I had hoped, hoped, hoped.

I'm sorry. And angry, and them basing those decisions on tenure (if that's what they did) doesn't really help.

Best wishes from someone who's been through this as well (except that in my case, they didn't factor in tenure, which saved my ass in the first round (30% lay-offs) but did nothing in the second, final round (50%))...

Posted by: Gudy at November 19, 2003 03:16 PM


If you need a plan - which I doubt you do, but if you do - I've found that a US citizen can go to school (both graduate and undergraduate) at certain universities in the United Kingdom utilizing student loans from the US Department of Education - which essentially means that you get interest free loans to go to school - and if you know about interest rates, you're basically making money on the deal while you're getting an education.

If you're interested, drop me an email, and I'll give you more specific directions.

I always think education is a good investment, because it's the one thing that no one can ever take away from you.

Posted by: Courtney at November 19, 2003 03:16 PM

Crapcicles. Sorry to hear that babe. The "only 5 years" thing disturbs me. I'm going on 20 months here at my job and it's the longest I've ever stayed in one place. They thing 5 years is lay-off worthy? Bollocks.

Posted by: S. at November 19, 2003 03:05 PM

***Hug*** - I'm sorry H.

I'm thinking about you and wishing for the best. These things have a way of working out, but then, you know that already...

Posted by: Clancy at November 19, 2003 03:01 PM

My heart goes out to you right now, I'm so sorry.

Posted by: Kandy at November 19, 2003 02:57 PM


That is really rough! I went through that a year ago, it is tough.


Posted by: -d at November 19, 2003 02:50 PM

Went through all this once. At the time, there wasn't a whole lot that was said that helped. Still, I know how you feel, and I'm sorry.

I'll just say to look on the bright side. Enjoy sleeping in while you can, and just think of all this as an opportunity.

Posted by: Tommy at November 19, 2003 02:10 PM

Bloody hell.

I woke up early this morning and ran straight down to the computer hoping to read otherwise.

I have no idea what I could possibly do to help, but you name it and I'll try.

Take it easy the next few days. Take some time off, forget about work, and just do things you haven't had time to do the last five years.

All will be well. I got faith in ya.

Much love from the ATL.

Posted by: Joey at November 19, 2003 02:03 PM

I'm sorry doesn't even begin to cover it. Anytime you want a shoulder...

Posted by: LeeAnn at November 19, 2003 01:52 PM

{{{{{{{Helen}}}}}}} I am sending hugs from Texas and hoping that this is door closing is a window opening to another opportunity.....We love you....

Posted by: MiMo at November 19, 2003 01:17 PM

I am so sorry Helen. That's all I know what to say :(

Posted by: Rob at November 19, 2003 01:17 PM

Good Luck, Helen.


Posted by: Rob at November 19, 2003 01:01 PM

So sorry hun. Not that it matters much but did they offer you severence (sp) package? Is there unemployment insurance over there?

If I can do anything let me know

Posted by: Drew at November 19, 2003 12:55 PM

I had hoped not to read this and am very, very sorry and sad. Hugs and all my best wishes.

Posted by: Melodrama at November 19, 2003 11:54 AM

Ooh, I almost forgot . . . I have a dumb sense of humor, so you mayn't find this as comforting as I did, but this little cartoon here got me through my layoff experience over a year ago (and apologies if you've already seen it).

Posted by: ilyka at November 19, 2003 11:27 AM

I'm sorry to hear this bad news. But don't give up your hope. Just keep trying and having fun :)

Posted by: Ali at November 19, 2003 11:24 AM

Helen, I'm so sorry. I really had hope you'd be retained, too.

And due to the fact that I only had 5 years with the company,

I realize many companies feel seniority is the fairest way to make these decisions, but in a way, that would hurt me so much more, to know that it came down only to that. Especially if I knew I'd worked as hard as you have.

Posted by: ilyka at November 19, 2003 11:21 AM


Anything I can do, Helen, I will....
My thoughts are with you.

Remember, you're free. Fly.

Posted by: greywulf at November 19, 2003 11:20 AM

That just sucks. Companies that work based only on tenure seem to overlook that the best people may not have been there the longest.

No doubt Company X's loss is someone and somewhere else's gain.

If you need anything just yell (or email).

Posted by: Simon at November 19, 2003 11:10 AM

I know I can only echo what the others are saying, but keep the chin up, don't let it beat you and you'll stay on your feet. You have too much inside you NOT to have things turn out well. And, if you need anything, or just someone to vent to, you know how to find me.
Chin up, kiddo.

Posted by: James at November 19, 2003 10:57 AM


Anything I can give is yours, H. I'm an email away if you need me.

Posted by: Jim at November 19, 2003 10:55 AM

By my watch I make it 9:26 which means its about half 10 your end. You need to locate the following as soon as possible:

1) Vast quantities of something alcoholic and drinkable
2) Even larger quanities of love and support from friends, family and fellow bloggers everywhere.
3) A plan (this one isn't really neccersary just yet)

Mixed in the correct quantities 1 & 2 should make the next few days more bearable allowing you to find 3 more easily.

Hang in there H ... things can now officially only get better.

Posted by: Robert at November 19, 2003 10:34 AM

I am terribly, terribly sorry that this happened. What can I do to help?

I live only to serve.

Posted by: Guinness at November 19, 2003 10:01 AM
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