Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Big Sale

I was going to be in bed half an hour ago. Today is just one of those days.

The company I have worked for for the past 3 years was bought out by another very large company today. I have been working very part-time since I started law school but even if I wasn't working for the company at all, this would still be a bit of a blow. As we all know, economically speaking, banks have not done particularly well this year. Some can scream that it's their own darn fault for creating their own darn messes. Others can say that it's about darn time this company went by the wayside. But for people like me and some of my family, as well as some of my closest friends, the fall of the giant company is much more than a Fox News alert--it's something personal, no matter how much anyone thinks personal and business should not coexist. So I don't intend to address the economic issues or the long-term impact of the largest bank failure in U.S. history (as if I adequately could). No, all I want to do tonight is try to explain what it feels like to have the wind somewhat unexpectedly knocked out of you.

This company was not just a money-making corporate entity for me. No it wasn't a permanent career for me and I was rarely more than a part-time employee just trying to make enough to pay for my undergrad, but the company was much more than something that could simply be put on paper for me. It's a company that I really love. One that I never had a hard time dedicating myself to. I have made some of my very closest friends working there. I have also met some of the most wonderful people throughout the community I have worked in that I will likely stay in touch with all of my life. I grew so much within the walls of that little building and had so many experiences there that I will take with me wherever I go. I'm a different person now than I was 3 years ago and it's largely because of this company. There I was encouraged, supported, taught, and befriended. I was challenged, appreciated, and scolded regularly. And now that this is all coming to an end, I feel like a big piece of me is going away.

I can't believe it was 3 years ago that I first walked into that building. The tile floors had just been set and we were days from opening for business. There was so much excitement as our company brand was posted all around and I quickly began to feel a part of the team that was introducing our new branch to the community. I didn't have a clue as I sat behind a desk reading and watching training video after training video while my assistant manager quizzed me on company policies that to this day he'll tell you I either still don't know or rebelliously refuse to follow; this has been a major point of contention between the two of us for 3 years. And when I called him tonight to ask him what tomorrow would be like just after I heard the news, he said "business as usual." He then scolded me on branch policy that I had not obeyed the previous weekend when I submitted some paperwork.

I don't suppose this all means much to anybody reading this except for maybe those directly involved in the situation; but we can all relate somehow to really big change. We all handle change differently. Some of us cry; some are "business as usual" types; and others of us are the ones running through the building, throwing paper in the air screaming, as if anyone hadn't heard, "WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!" Whatever your method is, I sincerely hope for all of you that there is something inside that doesn't stop saying "sure it's sad. I know it's hard. But everything is going to be just fine." And even if there doesn't seem to be any logical explanation of why everything will be fine, which is often the case, that something has a rather convincing power, logic defied and all.

It Just Gets Stranger~


  1. Great post! I am definitely sad, but excited to see what will happen next! And even though John gives you a hard time for not following policy, I know he appreciates all you do. You are fabulous!!!

  2. Welcome to your first? buyout! Having been in the software industry for several years and knowing that the computer industry is cyclical, I've been through a couple of these (although not in a failure situation) and can somewhat empathize.

    I'd rack it up to experience and be glad you're getting it early in life. My first wake-up call like this was in the dot-com bust of 2000 when I learned the company was in trouble a few days before they laid-off about 1/2 of the company, well over 100 people. That was tough! I survived but lost many a good coworker in that one.

    More recently there were rumors flying and then getting stronger for a few weeks that the small company I went to work for in 2006 was being bought out in the fall of 2007. It finally did happen and was a good thing for my stock options, but has had mixed reviews going from a very small to a very large company. No jobs were lost in this latest buyout--however there was a layoff (5%?) a few weeks ago when we did not meet up to big company buyer's expectations at our small division.

    So, welcome to the world of corporate "wheelings, dealings, layoffs, and firings" that you have absolutely NO control over!

    It can be a very emotional time but hang in there and remind yourself that someone far away made the decision to purchase your company, and whatever happens, don't take it personally.

    Chances are you'll end up working with some of the same great people another time at another company in another phase of your life.

    For now take a deep breath, hold on tight, and enjoy the ride.

  3. Wow, I hadn't heard the news yet. That happened to me right after I left Zevex. Before I had felt like it would always be there. And while many of the same people work there now, it just doesn't feel like the same place.

    That's kind of funny about your boss giving you a hard time - I can totally imagine your reaction in that situation!

  4. Just like you said in the last paragraph of your blog... "Everything is going to be just fine."

    Don't forget that... it really will be just fine. This kind of shiz goes down all the time in corporate America and, you're absolutely right, everyone handles it differently.

    Stay positive, work hard and keep being as smart as you've always been and you'll sail through these inevitable changes.

    Love you mucho!

  5. I love Washington Mutual! I am sad too. But things happen for all different kinds of reasons, and they usually turn out for the best in most cases. Hopefully the only thing that will change, is the name and everyone will feel as though things are normal! And Eli, when you become a lawyer, I want you to sue Krishelle. I think she is going to open a string of branches called "Mutual Washington". I just don't think that is very ethical and even though she is going to switch the name around a little, I don't think she has the legal rights to do that. (read my comment on Krishelle's blog).
    Your awesome! Keep me posted on all of this - I am a paying customer.

  6. I don't know if you hate this or not, but I tagged you on my blog. Please consider it a compliment.

  7. So... were you the one running through the building throwing papers in the air and screaming, "We're all gonna die!" ?

    Just kidding.

    I'm sorry to hear about that. I've been uneasy the last few days (ever since President Bush's address) but even with all the craziness going on, I really feel like everything will turn out just fine. It will probably be harder than we want it to be... but it will be okay :) I hope the transition goes smoothly for you guys!

  8. Maybe that's why I thought your's would be great. I already read it!

  9. I just want you to know that as soon as I heard about the Washongton Mutual buyout, I thought, "Hmm, I'd better check out Eli's blog."

    I'm not sure what that says, but it says something.