Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lightning strikes again

Well, it only went and happened again.

Things have been going well at work. Though initially tough, I was actually starting to enjoy my new role. One of my projects made it's first deliverables deadline last Monday and everyone was very happy. I'd done a lot of work to push things through with my team and it had been and excellent job all round by everyone.

My other project was delivering to schedule too. The development team had won a company award for achievement and we all went out for a nice meal to celebrate on Thursday night. It was nice to sit down, relax and socialise with those I'd seen sweating blood and tears to get things done and find out a lot more about the people behind the hard work.

Back in the office, I was just putting the final touches to my future planning when a bombshell struck.

My company was going through its annual appraisals process. I'd only been there coming up to six months but had still been set a number of goals some of which I'd met, some of which were no longer relevant and some of which I had room for improvement on.

I'd put in a few hours writing up notes preparing for the meeting and was rather dismayed to find my manager moving it back a week to the morning of the Thursday that we were all going out and then to the evening of the Thursday that we were all going out and then to the Friday morning after (deadline day for the whole feedback process.)

Perhaps what I'd thought would be a serious evaluation would just be a quick "let's just get this over with" job.

Nevertheless, what happened at 9am on Friday morning still came as a shock.

"I'm afraid it's bad news" my manager told me as soon as we started.

Alarm bells started ringing. Flashbacks to earlier in the year and nine years previous burst into my head.

"We don't think that you're the type of person we were looking for when we employed you here," he carried on, "This explains everything that'll happen now," he said as he handed me a sealed envelope and tried to end the conversation then and there.

"What went wrong?" I asked bemused, stunned and shocked. "My projects are running fine and delivering on time....What has happened to bring this about?"

"I can't go into detail. I just don't think it's working out," is all he would say.

"Can you give me any examples of where you think things haven't gone right? Why have I never received any negative feedback to indicate that this was going to happen. Isn't this the whole point of the appraisal process?" were just a few questions I asked.

He couldn't or wouldn't answer any of them.

I pushed a bit further and he finally said "I can contact you to meet up and give you feedback next week outside of work," and I had to be content with that.

So the HR person came down, I packed up my stuff and walked out. A girl in my team had tears in her eyes when she found out, everyone else thought that I was joking until they saw the serious look on my face.

And that was that. I am unemployed once more.

I walked past the Evening Standard vendor's stand down the road with the previous day's headline still "UNEMPLOYMENT IN LONDON REACHES RECORD HIGHS" and I realised that I was now just another statistic.

When I got home, deflated, I realised that I'd left my suit jacket in the office on the coat rack and a pair of trousers in the local dry cleaners to boot. *sigh*

Livf goes on I guess, and whilst positive things are also happening (happily married, starting to learn to drive), this sure as hell isn't plain sailing for me at the moment.


Arry said...

Dude, really sorry to hear your news.

mzieg said...

Man, that totally sucks.

I know you keep your blog anonymous, but make sure you network around on LinkedIn and such. Even if you can't post a full resumé on your blog, it might be worth summarizing your industry, overall job history, etc, and setup an indirect throwaway email address on gmail or yahoo so readers can at least get in contact with you.

Stiff upper lip and all that. Hell, I'm a Yank and don't even know what that means. Kick back some bourbon and hope Monday looks better when you get around to it :-/

doobrie said...

Thanks. Good advice.

C'est la vie and all that.

Fingers crossed things turn out okay...

American Mom In London said...

I found your blog by way of "London Crackers". We're in the same situation as you (and feeling pretty bummed), but reading your post, I'm twice as gutted.

I'm not sure what industry you are in or what your situation is, but I really hope it works out.

I'm in West London too, so if you ever want to get a coffee and chat/vent. I'm here for you.