Thursday, November 13, 2008

The axe man cometh

And by "axe man" I in no way mean a guy who plays guitar. No, I mean the guy who says "Mr. Chicken, here's your axe. Please use it to sever all ties between you and your employer."

As you may know, I work for the bank formerly known as Washington Mutual. Back in September our chickens came home to roost in the form of an FDIC seizure and a hasty sale of banking operations to JP Morgan Chase. At the time, JPM said "we'll let everyone know by December 1st if they're staying or leaving." Well, today it was confirmed that I'm leaving.

I must say (and I'm sure I'll milk this for several more blogs over the coming weeks), this has been the strangest layoff of my life. Not like I get laid off all the time, mind you...this is only #3 in my 18-year career. But the other two were a surprise, while this one was expected.

I suppose that technically layoff #1 back in 2000 was expected...the company had gone through a big merger, we were the smallest and most remote marketing team in the now nation-wide organization, and our function was easy to outsource. We were a simple way to cut 15 FTE. The second layoff, back in 2004, was also probably predictable: we'd had a big management shake-up and ended up reporting to a team out of Chicago who, naturally, wanted the department moved there. But in both cases I was actually surprised when I walked in to the conference room and saw the boss and the HR rep there. This time? Not so much.

The first few weeks after the seizure were pretty busy: we had a quarter to close, information to gather for our new owners, breaks to take while the FDIC rifled through our desks, etc. But the last month or so have been insanely dead. The department head has been on calls and trips, the data people have been busy running data, but the rest of us have been twiddling our thumbs. And playing Fantastic Contraption. And surfing the net. And waiting for the axe to fall.

And today it fell. Well, it fell half way. I don't have the paperwork yet, so it's not officially official, but it's all but. My last day at the company formerly known as Washington Mutual will be January 29th, 2009.

And hopefully, after 18 years, my life as a banker will end too. 'cause man, I'm ready for a change!


bonnie said...

oof. sorry to read that.

Scott Chicken said...

Not as sorry as I was to write it!

Tina Rowley said...

Oh, man. That sucks! I hope you find something really good, really soon. Damn it!