I’m sure that if you pay attention to such things, you know that AOL laid a lot of people off today. I’ve been through several (I think this is my sixth or seventh, I can’t keep them straight now). They’re no fun, and it always feels like people have died when I hear they’ve been laid off. I still have a job. Most of my friends still have jobs, but some of them don’t. For those that don’t, I don’t know what that feels like and I hope I never do.
No one feels much like working right now, but I’m working anyway. Through my cold and running nose, I’m plugging along writing more Java, trying to make things speedy and happy and light. Inside, I don’t feel like any of those things. In fact, the worst part about this is that I’m afraid I’m not feeling much of anything. I’ve been through so many of these that it’s almost routine. The rumors start a week or so before they happen, then there’s quiet as people wait for that knock. There are constant IM’s asking if I know anything, and me asking the same. Then, it starts. People drop off Buddy Lists. IM’s start… “They got X who sits next to me. He’s crying,” and “I guess this is my last day… know anyone who’s hiring?” If they’re lucky, they get to send a good-bye e-mail that tries to sum up years of work, relationships and feelings in the fifteen minutes before their e-mail address is ::poof:: gone and they’re gone along with it. And here I sit, feeling guilty for still having a job, and trying not to think about the imminent re-orgs I know are coming. All the while, I keep working. I keep doing the same thing I’ve done since I got here, through a dozen re-orgs, a new position in a new groups and now a half-dozen layoffs. I’m all alone in my little office… typing.