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Bad case of "survivor guilt"

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#1 *New* Mrs. G

*New* Mrs. G
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  • 226 posts

    Posted 01 October 2009 - 10:07 PM

    My vent

    Two people got laid off this week in my office. Can't say much about details, but they're restructuring my department across North America in my workplace. Part of me feels tremendous 'survivor guilt' because I was spared. I know I can't control what the company does, but one of them was a single mom. The other part of me is grateful because I want to stay with the company and I've long argued that the current way things work DOES NOT WORK. We've been drowning for a long time and been screaming for help and the customers suffer. Now they're changing things around and we're going to be in a transition period from now till about December. The uncertainty is very disheartening.

    We'll have to wait and see what pans out. I may apply for a new job once they sort out our department if I don't like what we'd be doing.

    This sucks but I guess it could be worse. Thanks for letting me vent. :o)

    #2 super19

    • Sr. Member
    • 1,123 posts

      Posted 01 October 2009 - 10:26 PM

      I'm sorry you are going thru this. I work in Human Resources and have had to do far too many layoffs. What you are feeling is totally normal. In fact, we prepare our managers and supervisors to help employees thru the survivor guilt during the difficult days after layoffs. You'll go through the whole range of emotions while you deal with the loss of members of your team.

      Hang in there!

      #3 march132010

      • Sr. Member
      • 1,057 posts

        Posted 01 October 2009 - 11:18 PM

        That's such a hard thing to deal with.

        #4 amygirl1169

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        • 653 posts

          Posted 02 October 2009 - 12:05 AM

          Ughhh, I've totally been there! Earlier this year, my entire team (including my boss) was let go - except ME! So I was basically the ONLY person left in our team... it was horrible. We're a very close team and it felt terrible for this to be happening to everyone.
          To top it off, I'm in HR, so we had to execute layoffs within the business as well. It was the most exhausting month of my life! The 1st one I had to do was a young guy that had pictures of his wife and newborn baby at his desk, it was so disheartening. I literally cried when I got in the car after this dreadful day was finally over...

          #5 Karen_and_Andy

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          • 23 posts

            Posted 02 October 2009 - 12:27 AM

            I totally understand what you are going through. The same thing happened to me back in January. 14 people from my department were cut, including someone I worked closely with for almost 10 years. She and I were the only two who had the same job so not only do I have the pressure of taking on all of her work, but I still feel guilty that the managers chose for me to stay instead of her. A few of us still left in the department had lunch with her last week for the first time since she left. She is 63 years old and encountering severe age discrimination as she attempts to interview for new jobs. I know she would like to retire, but she cannot afford to retire for the lower social security benefit. She is hoping to work until 67 and get the full benefit amount. I feel just terrible about all this.

            #6 Vikki

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            • 807 posts

              Posted 04 October 2009 - 12:48 AM

              I think the fact that you're sensitive to it means a lot. This is a really hard time for many people and there are so many unknowns. However, there are so many people that are forced to make a change in careers that they never would have had the courage to make on their own and end up going back to what they really want out of life and benefiting greatly from the career change. This happened to my father when I was growing up. He was laid off and out of work for 2 long years during a really tough economic time and things were really hard for my family-but the job he left was killing him and the job he moved to turned into a successful 25+ year career.

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