Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Recession, Regression, Depression
Now you see them, now you don't...
There were recessions before, but like many fortunate souls, I escaped unscathed. I kept going, building my career to where I am now. Nothing stupendous but I regard myself as blessed.
The recession is here again. It has become real and a crisis. It is not about to led-up anytime soon and also not without dragging many casualties down with it as well.
This time around, I still cannot feel the fear of loosing my job. My livelihood. This time around, I am not so sure if I will be spared like the recessions before this. Time will tell.
The much rumored list from management had been passed down to HR and reality sank in late last week. Execution time was done like clock work.
"Please tell J to go to HR now." One of the managers from my department told me over the phone. I sent my subordinate, J to HR with a very heavy heart. I had difficulty breathing at one point... some thing I had never felt before. The palpitations. It was a horrible feeling. Helpless.
He cried upon seeing me to say goodbye. I cried too. A sole breadwinner to his family. He is having his new home on the way. The timing just was not right for him. For several others too as soon as the "chosen" few emerged from HR.
Senseless, inhumane, everything dirty I felt.
It must be a terrible job for somebody to do the dirty job of telling the unfortunate souls of their fate. It was definitely even harder for these people that were released... ten folds!
What will they be doing? How will they pick up the pieces? Do they have a plan?
Do I have a plan? I am like walking on a wire.
Yes, I do have a plan... but during this recession period, the plan is not exactly ideal. Where there is no demand, it will be pointless to supply.
A plan B? Nope. Must start to conceive a contingency.
My iPhone tinkered this evening. It was an SMS from an office friend.
"C got the axe today." It read. I was shocked not because the exercise is over, but because she released a long sigh when she told that she was taking over A's job after A got the axe last week.
It was just yesterday that she told me during a meeting. I was happy for her because she has an ailing elderly mother to care for, being the sole breadwinner, they only have themselves. It is painful to think of her fate tonight.
Nothing but bad news this week. One after the other...
Being off work last Friday. I took Dad to National Cancer Centre for his first check-up. I missed seeing and saying good bye to a few close friends when they were let go immediately.
My dear next cubicle neighbor was gone when I came back on Tuesday, after the AidilAdha public holiday. I called her cell phone but it was turned off. I left her a message but have yet to get a reply. I guess she needs time and wants to be left alone for now.
Today, I realize that the office was colder than normal days. There were empty cubicles. The work files were all there, but no traces personal to the previous occupants. Just cold.
It was tough to concentrate on work these past few days with so much unpleasantness going on behind the scene. It was even tougher to put a smiling face with visiting Customers today and throughout the week with them being here.
I do not fear of loosing my job. I am a survivor, my family is too. I have discussed the possibility, God willing, we will be alright. I have Wifey's support. Like my Dad with Mom, I realize I get my strength from Wifey.
Wifey and I both came from not a well-off family. We lived our growing up lives watching our parents made ends meet. We learnt to be tolerant, we learnt to be patient, we learnt to persevere.
We live a much good life now, but it will not be a tough transition to go back to being more prudent with our choices and spending as a family. We got everything we need. The house has already been paid for in full. We have no debts and we saved ample enough for ourselves to hopefully keep dry during this rainy and trying times if it has to come to that.
I am blessed because with my rather extravagant spending especially with the techno gadgets, I have Wifey to fight my urge to splurge. She is the strength that pulls me back to the ground. She is the voice of reason even when I wanted to lavish her with expensive gifts. She is my total opposite.
She is so sane about money, it drives me crazy... crazy jealous of her self-control!
I am blessed regardless. I am wealthy. My family is my fortune.