Saturday, March 21, 2009

Story 8: The Cabbie

As told to Pink Lady, by Issa Hawamdah, Luxor Cab Driver, San Francisco, CA

Yesterday morning I got into the cab of Issa Hawmdah, a charming older cabbie who spoke English with a heavy accent, peppered with the phrase "bless your heart." Grey haired, glasses, wearing a windbreaker - he looked like the kind of gentle grandfather who'd pick you up from school and take you to get ice cream.

He told me about how he works seven days a week from 5AM to 10AM, but that afterward he likes to drive his own car, far out of the city to The Russian River or Carmel. He said that it's hard to work seven days a week, but that he was thankful for being able to earn his living and get out to see nature too. He said that some days he is busy, but that other days he's not; but a lack of customers doesn't frustrate him - "I just take it easy and see what comes to me. It all happens for a reason. If I am busy I am happy because I make money, but if not, I just see where I go and try to avoid accidents and tickets. I am always thankful for the customers I get. It is the kharma - I will get what I need, and if I don't it will come another way. It goes into storage for now."

I agreed, but mentioned that I heard times were tough for cabbies since so many people were losing their jobs. This was when he gave me this dose of wisdom:

"I hear people are losing their jobs and they are sad. I know they are sad, but they should not be. Every time in the past that I have lost a job it has always made me happy, there was always something better. Something better always came along. They should know that there is something better coming to them, it always comes. Don't get me wrong, I send out a prayer for people who have lost their jobs - that they will find work and healing and be happy. And, because I know that this prayer will come back to me too."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Story 7: Some May Call Me the Axe Lady

By: The Axe Lady, Menlo Park, CA

Though I have not recently been laid off (was once, 11 years ago), I was hoping “Being Pink” might want a story from “the other side” – I am HR.

I know HR people get a bad rep the majority of time. We have to deal with “issues” and “conflicts” and work out benefits, 401k, harassment, and assorted other problems. HR also has to carry out the dreaded process of laying-off good employees. Over the past 10 years, and 3 companies in my career, I have administered 5 layoffs. They are never easy; actually the entire process has made me emotionally and physically ill on more than one occasion. But, that is all I am going to say about how I feel. This site is about you, and for you, I just want to give you a quick glimpse into the other side.

The layoff process starts “at the top” – business decisions are made, departments, jobs, and numbers are reduced. These are all done in the hopes of saving a company, keeping them up and running for as long as possible. In the state of the current economy many employees have become astutely aware of the tell tale signs of an impending layoff; closed doors, private meetings, and late nights for those that usually hit the door at 5:01. There is a lot of negotiating between managers and those reigning in the budget. They fight hard for their teams, and they have to make hard decisions. This part is never easy.

When “D-day” arrives, as many call it, managers have been coached, provided packets of information and given a schedule of when they will terminate their employees. I have witnessed managers’ breakdown emotionally before it is even time to meet with their employee, so it is even harder to predict how an employee will react when they receive their pink slip. The emotions will range from anger, sadness, disbelief, and so much more. Many are stunned, and blind-sided that they are being let go that they do not know how to react. Responses may come later, and now, there are a variety of outlets in which to purge these emotions. You are not alone in any of the feelings you have, it may just seem that way for awhile.

When you meet with your HR Representative to go over the details of your termination packet it is an overwhelming amount of information. The hire process in reverse involves just as much paperwork. I sincerely hope that each of you was treated with the utmost respect during this process. You should have been given an appropriate amount of time to collect your things, and left the building without feeling shame or disrespect.

The stories you have shared with “Being Pink” and her followers have hopefully allowed you to process your situation and helped you to move on to bigger and better things!

Press: FLYP Magazine, March 13 - 26, 2009

In the current issue of the fabulous online magazine FLYP, there is a segment entitled "Unemployment 1, America 0". FLYP put together a beautifully animated set of pages with eye-catching drawings and interesting factoids. A few pages in, you'll find a page called "Free Falling" with a number of interviews posted. Yours truly is listed under the audio section...

Along with Being Pink, Norm from Jobless and Less and Matt from Unemployment Haiku Weekly are also featured.

FLYP Magazine: "Unemployment 1, America 0"

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Story 6: Blueblood Bailout

Our next story is in video format from one Charles Tripp Mortimer Wellington Worthington of Greenwich, CN. It's a remake of a classic tune, with what looks like a set of eighth-grade-ish future American Idols on backup. So hilarious!

Send us Your Story!

Thank you for all of the visits and emails today! It's great to know that Being Pink is getting noticed...

Hopefully, some of you new visitors will send us your layoff stories too! This blog is driven by all of you, it's your stories, your experiences, your happy endings that are the magic. There is definitely hope and optimism in being laid off and your stories are the proof!

Please check out the rules at the right and send us an email of your story!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Press: Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2009

Special thanks to Alina Dizik who gave us a mention in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal. Her article in the Career Journal is entitled "Windows Into Lives After a Layoff" - Being Pink is given a mention in the column at left under "More Blogs from the Laid Off"...

I must say, it is indeed exciting to wake up and find an email from the Wall Street Journal in your inbox. Thrill me! As a well-seasoned blogger I'm used to getting random emails from people, but this one definitely made my morning coffee taste especially delicious.

Ms. Dizik's article talks about how many different layoffees are using blogging to network, find new jobs, or to simply vent. Other Buddy Blogs are also mentioned, like Jobless and Less, 405 Club, and Miss Pink Slip...Congrats gang!

Read the full article online:

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Oddity: Terrell Owens

I'm not a fan of Terrell Owens, most people are not, in fact. But given that he was recently "released" from the Dallas Cowboys, with the expected ensuing macho sports-star-just-got-publicly-castrated behavior: alligator tears behind bling-y sunglasses on the sports highlights reel, I'm intrigued.

Just how did Terrell Owens get to be such an entitled jackass, and how are the mighty fallen? I'm sure it would make an excellent story. I wonder if he'd submit to my lil' ol' blog?

Does anyone know how to get in touch with The T.O.?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Buddy Blog: The 405 Club

So the 405 Club isn't exactly a blog, per se, there's a lot more to it than that! This site dubs itself as New York's Official Unemployment Collection Club, The Fastest Growing Club in New York. The "405" refers to the $405 that is the maximum unemployment benefit for New York State...

This site is full of humor, resources, and other projects that encourage you to share your stories...oh, and they sell some hilarious t-shirts too! Go check it out...

The 405 Club