It happened again. The recortes de personal. This time I have no occasion to feel any guilt, because I did not survive!
My severance letter was dated January 2. This was probably in the works long before Christmas. I wonder how long my boss knew.
Investors were not impressed; the company's stock price, which had been stable for a few weeks, has been going downhill ever since. (I remember the good old days when this sort of thing was good for the stock price.)
I cleaned out my desk today. I've barely updated my resume. I'm still catching my breath. My LinkedIn profile still isn't fixed up yet (almost, but not done). I have some leads that I haven't had a chance to follow up on.
I've been in touch with two of the other three writers who were included in the purge. We're all flabbergasted; we did good work. But it's clear that our work is going to be completed in an exotic land. The software is coded and tested there already. (It's not technically "outsourcing" because they're all company employees.)
As for the reason we, specifically, were chosen, we weren't given a straight answer. The answer I got was mathematically improbable. In reality, I think it had to do with office politics. It seems that staying out of office politics can be as dangerous as getting involved, if someone takes your silence as evidence that you've sided against them.
The software industry has been very unstable for me. My job title doesn't command much respect, either in creative circles or in technical circles. Some people see technical writers as overpaid secretaries; some see us as failed novelists; some see us as unimaginative nerds. We're usually at the bottom of the food chain in a software company.
I'd love to do something else, but it's very rare that I see a job description for anything that doesn't require a lot of exactly-the-same experience. Employers aren't really into "transferable skills." Or the job is entry level and won't pay enough to cover my bills, assuming they'll even agree to speak to someone with experience. Or they want someone with a master's degree. Or they're really, really far away. I'm going to have to get creative about ways to make money.
PS: Forgot to mention - I took home a souvenir with my boss's blessing.