Corporate Survivor’s guilt


Corporate Survivor’s guilt

Back in the early 90s I used to work for a little heating and air conditioning company.  At the time California was experiencing a housing bust and the company needed to contract in order to stay in business.  I watched as each of my co-workers got the axe, I was the last one out the door.  I remember feeling both sad and relieved when one of my co-workers had to leave.  I don’t know why, but I always felt guilty, like somehow it was my fault.

Years later when I worked for Hewlett Packard the same thing happened, but much more slowly.  It took months to trim the organization down.  I was finally let go when I was promoted to a position that I was no longer qualified to occupy.

Once again my current employer is going through the same thing.  Currently I don’t see myself on the chopping block, but that doesn’t lessen the anxiety or the sense of guilt after surviving another round of layoffs.

I understand that this is nothing new to most people, we are in a difficult economy and the average worker has to prove themselves every day.  Each day when I go to work the interview begins again.  But is this any different than any other job?  Maybe, maybe not, but it doesn’t make for a collaborative environment.

It’s a dog eat dog world out there, and I am a cat person.


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