Thursday, May 7, 2009

Eerie silence

Monday at work, it was announced that after many budget reductions within AHCCCS, the agency will have to lay off some people, 82 to be exact. I give our director, Tony Rodgers props. He really cut expenses any way he could in order to avoid layoffs. Unfortunately AHCCCS is still millions of dollars in debt. It's just getting worse, because as people lose their jobs and benefits, they come to AHCCCS to receive medical care. It's a bad cycle.

When this was announced on Monday via email, my stomach fell. In the back of my mind I always knew that layoffs were going to hit us, but it stayed in the back of my mind until Monday. The layoffs are to be announced tomorrow. I'll be honest, I'm scared. Eighty-two people is a lot and roughly about 10% of our agency. They are not going by seniority, work performance. They are looking at positions to see how valuable they are to the agency. They don't care if you have been with the state for over 15 years, if they see your position is not needed, you're gone.

The sad thing is, this is just the first round of layoffs. The next round, if needed will come 6/2010.

I went into work yesterday, the first time being at the office since the announcement. It was heart breaking. I got caught up in the moment of the layoffs and only thought about me possibly losing my job. But there are a great deal of people being laid off. The floor I work on was quiet, in an eerie kind of way. Usually in the morning, you hear "Good mornings" along with other conversations. You smell coffee and breakfast obtained from the cafeteria. You hear radios, people on the phone, the fax machine. But yesterday, none of that was going on, it was all too quiet. One of my coworkers said it had been like that since the email on Monday. She admitted to me she hasn't been able to eat. She's a smoker and said that people who haven't smoked in years are outside smoking again. Grown men are filled with fear and their hands are shaking.

We are all sitting on pins and needles waiting for this announcement. We are all scared to death knowing that we could be laid off. I don't know what is worse, being forewarned and the whole waiting deal or not being notified and caught out of the blue. Our fate literally lies on that piece of sacred paper where every one's name is listed that is being laid off.

I went and talked to my boss yesterday, to see if she had any idea if one of my team members were being let go. She had no information for me, sadly she's just as scared as I am, no knowing what's going to happen.

Earlier in my state employment we went through a RIF (reduction in force), that was pretty hard. But that just meant the state was freezing any open positions that were open. We were not to hire anyone. But this layoff thing is a whole new thing.

Through the darkness of this right now, I'm completely blessed by my friends. If I were to lose my job and get to the point where I can't pay my bills, I've been offered a room from two different people for free. I won't go that route unless I have to, but it's great to know I have people who will take me in.

I'm trying not to stress about it, but how can you not?
Tomorrow is the day...the day I find out if I will still have a job.

Please pray for not only me, but for anyone else who will be affected. These people are mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, etc, losing their income.

Quote of the day: "This is going to hurt like hell..." lyric from one of Sarah's McLachlan's song, Hold On.

***Update 5/8/2009***
Layoffs happened yesterday at my job. It was not pretty; there were a lot of tears. It was the scariest day of my life so far. By only the grace of God my job was saved and I’m still employed.
Please, if you remember, pray for the families that were affected.


Tara said...

I am an AHCCCS employee as well and I am worried. Your post really sums up exactly how I am feeling. I will say a prayer for all of us. Good luck and I certainly hope that we will both have jobs tomorrow.

Brandy said...

Tara, I hope you get this comment. I have no way to email you. Thanks for your comment. I pray you are still employed. I was spared this round and I'm so, so thankful.

The Vehons said...

I hope I'm reading this right and you are safe. We are praying for those you work with