A few days ago, Susan lost her job.
I am very thankful her D.I.D had nothing to do with her company’s decision to cut her department by 25%. Her production was excellent, as was the accuracy of work she produced. We do not have deal with guilt about her losing her job because of her mental state. (At least not now.) At times, the insiders did get in the way, but I believe they were also part of why she was so successful at what she has done for 30 years, the last 15 or so with this company. She often worked at home and I could see the power of concentration she had as she could close out all around her to focus on her work. You might say she dissociated into a state where she could focus on the task at hand and not be disrupted or distracted.
The day after she received the news, she had to return the office equipment she had at home and go to the office for the “exit interview.” Meantime, I could see the effect the people inside her as it came to the forefront. I could imagine the people and parts inside her in general tumult as they each tried to determine how the loss of work would affect them as individuals. Nervous. Scared. Angry. Maybe the leader was so tied up with emotions she could not calm and assure the younger people and parts. Pure chaos.
Susan could not keep any food down. She thought she was sick with some stomach bug. What ever went down, even the mildest food, hit the trampoline in her gut and bounced right back up. I stayed home from the shop the next day just to be with her and to take her to the office for the interview and return the equipment. We both were not thinking very well, evidenced by me taking some wrong turns on the way there. I waited in the car for the 15-20 minutes it took for her to get her parting information. There was enough sun out to keep the car warm as I waited, looking around at the leafless trees.
She left the building smiling with her now former supervisor. I opened the back hatch so the equipment could be removed. ordinarily, I would have assisted get the stuff out but I was not feeling very gallant, and besides, the items did not belong to us. We chatted about the severance package she was given as we drove east, our backs now to the sun. We stopped for some Chinese take-out then a few more blocks and I turned up the driveway.
We ate quietly. Susan thanked me for being with her. Sometimes that’s all you can do for a person who is having a rough time. Us guys want to fix stuff that needs fixing and there are some things that just can’t be fixed, except for the passage of time.
The insiders had calmed down. Her dinner stayed down. It just needed to be over for her and those within.