Running into former colleagues after a layoff
November 28, 2010 12:22 AM Subscribe
Awkward public run-ins with coworkers who survived the company layoffs when you didn't - I need strategies for getting through the situation as gracefully as possible.
posted by green_flash to Work & Money (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I live in a pretty small community where it's likely you'll run into people you know both in public, professional and random situations. About this time last year, the company I was working for (where I loved my work, was well paid and enjoyed my coworkers) finally started to feel the economic downturn.
Cut to the chase, they started laying off staff at the end of Q1 this year and I was one of the people whose position was cut. I've been doing everything to get back to work, but the stars haven't aligned for me yet.
In the meanwhile, I'm starting to feel a little like the jilted ex because I'd been really friendly with several of my coworkers there. Which is not typical at all for me, like I'm usually not social at work. Despite exchanging info and promising to keep in touch, none of my friends from this company have kept in touch with me -- including not returning calls or texts about getting together for lunch. I've only heard from one person, who is the relative of a long-time friend.
That part's been pretty hard and in the past week, I've had a couple of random encounters with people who I worked with at this company. Not my core group of buddies. But running into people who still have jobs there when they're shopping for the office holiday potluck (the only office holiday potluck I've ever enjoyed) and you're still unemployed? Not fun.
I know that I'm just going to have to get over feeling like these people were my real friends instead of work friends. But in the meanwhile, I also want to just be more composed in talking to people during these random encounters. Instead of feeling like a loser for being one of the people who got the boot. Or like the crazy ex who tells your friends how things have sucked since you broke up with them. My behavior during the layoff and accepting the severance package terms was pretty dignified and gracious on my end, and at the least I want to keep up the appearance of professionalism. Especially because one of the awkward encounters was right after I'd been at the gym and hadn't showered yet.