Well, we all knew another "Reduction In Force" was coming. I survived the first two, but today was my turn. Out of the 41 of us left on-site, they released THIRTY-FOUR, an 83% staff reduction.
My employer, a very large American Aerospace company, is the Prime Contractor providing integration, management, and technical services at a local site that does Real Neat Stuff(tm). Yes, I'm not "naming names" because technically, I'm still employed by them for the next 75 days or so, and I don't want to violate any terms of my employment which might result in me being 'terminated' rather than 'laid off'. It will take 10 days~two weeks for the paperwork from our client to catch up with The Mothership, and then I'll get my official "60 Day Notice". During this time I use a special charge number, and keep getting paid with my regular benefits. If I fail to find another assignment within the company (not very likely) during this time, I'll be 'separated without prejudice', and get a severance package.
Our client went into Chapter 11 at the end of June, and has been shedding contracts and people every month like clockwork. They (my management, not the clients) tried to keep most of my team together, but it's a business decision out of their hands, and the time finally came to let us go, or in the correct parlance, "Returned" to my division of the parent company.
It was really sad; the guys were all 'stiff upper lip', the ladies were all teary-eyed, and the Head Engineer was visibly upset about having to release us. "We just decimated the best team on Earth" was his comment.
And I have to say, that out of all the jobs I've had in my career, and I've had some pretty amazing adventures, this one was hands-down the best. I had the honor of working with the absolute best group of people I've ever known, and got to do things I only dreamed about as a little kid growing up in the cornfields of Illinois.
So, as one of my co-workers put it, "Sometimes the sound of one door closing is the same as another one opening", and it's time to reflect on what I want to do with the rest of my working career, since I can "retire" in about 5 years.
I have several options open to me, one of which is going back to my previous employer. I left there on very good terms (you're going WHERE? WOW!), and one of the other Engineers I worked with has pretty much told me to contact them if I decide I'd like to go back.
I can also go to another local company that does pretty much what I was doing, but they're a start-up, and I got burned a couple of times working at start-ups during The Great Internet Bubble, so I'm a bit gun-shy about start-ups.
Anywhoo....I've now got the luxury of 60+ days to get myself and all my stuff moved in with my girlfriend, so I'm going to use the time to my advantage, and get regrouped and settled in.
Sure was a fun place to work, though!