Chapter 8: Build Your Community Part 9
The last post ended with the no layoff policy at Southwest Airlines. For the vast majority of companies however, layoffs are a reality. I’ve been through multiple layoffs in my career, although only once was I let go. (As I’ve written previously, I was thrilled when it happened.) Being of the survivors was much harder. I felt like one of the walking dead, wandering the halls morning those who were no longer there.
The personal connections at work often feel like friendships, and sometimes they are. But sometimes they aren’t.
“Giorgio Danza” learned that lesson the hard way. Giorgio moved to San Francisco after college because the city was friendly to his lifestyle. Giorgi has a hearty laugh that matches the intensity of his personality. Think Polo, panache and perfect. His hair is dark brown, short, and perfect. And his sunglasses are amazing, and never the same.
Giorgi worked for the same company eighteen years after college, ten as a laboratory technician, and then eight in product management. I asked him if the company felt like his community.
“Oh God yes, absolutely. I prided myself on having great relationships with people, from shipping to manufacturing. I think people saw me as very knowledgeable, experienced, knew how company worked, how to get things done. I stepped in [to the company] as a kid, literally as a child, and didn’t learn stuff about politics that maybe I would have learned better if I had life experience outside of the company. ”
I asked Giorgi about the layoff. “It was devastating. I did not see it coming.”
Giorgi’s story continues in the next post.