Roger Walks in the door and says, “Hey Babe, I have good news and bad news.”
Lets stick a pin in that and come back to it.
I have a job working for Aramark Uniform Services in Everett, Washington. I work with new customers to transition them from the Sales process to the Service side of things. I manage a process and work with several departments to get the new Customer setup in the accounting system, get their uniforms sized and ordered and finally make initial delivery with a representative from the Service team usually the customers new driver. I have been in this position for 2 years and worked as a driver for two years before that. I was working here when we had our big travel year in 2016 and made the decision to do it full time. A decision that was kept from my Employer for quite some time. That is until a newspaper article got out about what we were planning on doing.
The article was supposed to be for our little town local paper, but after it ran, a larger paper picked up the story. The secret was out! The article was posted on the lunchroom bulletin board and it was talked about all over the plant. My General manager even called me in asking when he was going to find out. Evidently he saw it on the Newspaper’s Facebook feed. Luckily for me I am very good at managing the process and the only one in our Market Center that knows how to use Salesforce. I am a good employee so they were fine with it and just wanted to make sure I would give them adequate notice to get a replacement trained.
The Laundry and uniform business is extremely competitive and profits are low. It is a business of pennies and volume. Lately our Market Center had been experiencing a significant amount of business. The Competition had beefed up it’s sales team and were winning business. Our sales team however had been struggling. Management changes and a high Account Executive turn over meant that we were not gaining ground and in trouble. We started in about October cutting staff. Staff in Production, reduced the number of Routes and drivers on the road. It just kept getting worse. I run a meeting on Monday mornings to go over all of the new accounts I have in process and it went from 2 pages to 1/2 of a page in 3 months time.
End of the Quarter comes, I get my Annual review and get stellar marks. Meets or exceeds expectations in all categories. Other benchmarks are reflected in my Bonus that I almost max out. I m doing great. I do however feel like my GM is watching me and looking to give me more responsibilities. I am in a salaried position and I get paid to get a task done. It does not matter if it takes 80 hours or 30 hours to complete. It just is expected to get done. Normally Salaried positions lean towards the 80 hour mark. I, however had become extremely efficient. Managing processes and team logistics is really my jam! I was only working about 30 hours a week. I had a meeting with my GM last Wednesday to discuss the Management training program for the year. No doubt he was going to ask me to take on some more responsibility.
Time for our meeting and he comes to my office to ask if I am ready for our meeting. Telling him yes I follow him to his office and he has this giant grin on his face. We are just about to walk into his office and he turns to me with that grin and says, “This is bad, but this is really good for you!” I step into his office and the Regional Operations manager is there also. Not what I was expecting. We sit down and he starts talking about how we have been laying some people of in different departments……
Okay, right here is where my grin matches his and I am getting it. He pulls out a big envelope and informs me that I am the next lay off! Why the exclamation point you ask? Why was I grinning also? Because I knew that based on my length of employment, he was holding a severance package in his hand and I was leaving in like 5 weeks anyway! I was given 4 weeks severance and they cashed out my vacation for a total of 6 1/2 weeks of pay. That will be right up to the point I was going to leave any way AND I can collect unemployment before we leave.
Christmas had a replay. They escorted me to my office, I gave them a rundown on what was happening with the in process accounts and cleaned out my office. Just like that, I WAS RETIRED!!!
Amy: Give me the bad news
Roger: I was laid off today
Amy: (smiles) and the good news
Roger: I have a severance package that pays me until we leave . . . I’m done Babe!