Thursday, February 19, 2009

Why This Blog, Why This Subject?

"Being Pink" - refers to being in a state of "pink", or of having recently received one's "pink slip" - a proverbial pink paper that indicates one has been laid off from a company.

"I just got laid off..." That was the text I sent to one of my close friends when I invited her to come and meet me for a vodka at eleven a.m. on a Wednesday; she had responded to the invitation with more than a little shock and concern at this uncharacteristic martini lunch, but those five words were all I needed to say. All at once, friends did show up to drink with me in the middle of the working day, to dry tears, laugh, encourage, and share their own layoff stories.

More than those that came the bar were those sending messages via phone calls, emails, texts, Twitter tweets, and comments on my blog. Friends near and far were calling me with words of support, love, and laughter - there was always the odd in-joke, snappy zinger against old employers, and the relieved chuckle that bubbled up even as emotions were raw. It was everyone else's stories that were making the difference to me.

That evening I was spent. I returned home worn out with emotion, a little bit tipsy, and craving macaroni and cheese. But even as I curled up on my own couch I started to think about the stories I'd heard. They were good stories, and every single one of them had a great ending. The person that had been laid off went on to bigger and better things for themselves, had learned their self-worth, and become closer to their own professional ideal in some way. Some went on to other companies, some got re-hired at the companies that had laid them off in the first place, and some had eschewed the whole traditional "working world" for academia, art, or entrepreneurship and were all the more happier.

Over the past weeks I've been trying to think of a way to gather these stories together in one place. The layoff stories. Not just from the employee's point of view, but also the manager, the HR person, the business partner, and especially those that weren't laid off - the survivors. Everyone has a take and they're all interesting, insightful, shocking, and redemptive all at once.

This collection of stories about "Being Pink" will de-mystify an increasingly common event in our time, while they will show that life does indeed move on, usually in a far better way than that old job would allow!

Do you have a story to tell? Please email us:

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