Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ever changing moods...

Its safe to say that the mood at work has certainly been a strangely unsettled one since they announced our potential closure later on this year.

Even though I am in the thick of it all with 150 or so of my colleagues, I still find it interesting to see how people are coping with the situation and the difficult challenges that lay ahead for us all. For some reason, I keep relating it back to the seven stages of grief that people apparently go through.

Shock/Disbelief. Although we all figured it would happen sooner or later, very few of us had anticipated that it would be quite this soon,

Denial. I've had or heard the conversation so many times, the longer term implications don't seem to have been thought through very well and they can't possibly close the plant at such short notice.

Bargaining. Some may have hoped that there would be some sort of rescue plan for the site, although given that the parent group are not in financial difficulties, this was never really likely.

Guilt. Strange, but only natural I suppose. Could we have worked that little bit harder or smarter? Is there anything we could have done to avoid or at least delay this action?

Anger. Oddly enough (or maybe not), I jumped straight in at this one. I've worked damned hard and sacrificed a lot of personal time over the last 14 years, but now it makes no difference, we are all down the road together, exceptional efforts and achievements or otherwise.

Depression. The job market is not a healthy one at the moment. How are we all going to find jobs? What are we going to do next? How am I expected to pay mortgage/feed family? Little wonder people are worried

Acceptance. Well there is nothing we can actually do about it. Although officially it's still only a proposal, we know damned well that the place is going to close, so lets just try and leave with the best package and prospects possible. Better still, use this as an opportunity to pursue something you always wanted to do with your life.

I know I have been through all of these in varying degrees and even been back to revisit a couple of them before arriving at what I now believe to be some level of acceptance. When I look at some of my colleagues though I am not quite so sure.

Some are still hopeful that a plan will emerge to get things back as they were, some are still as infuriated as they were the day they found out, while some still seem quite numbed by the whole experience and still find it hard to believe what's happening. But, for the best part, most are still flitting in and out of each of these stages rather than following them in any particular sequence.

I guess we have as much a responsibility right now to try and support each other over the coming months and try to look out for those at the more vulnerable stages than others...


delcatto said...

It's certainly a good idea to try and support each other, especially looking out for those who appear stuck and find it hard to accept and consider their options for the future. Is the parent company offering support or help?

Seany said...

They are outsourcing some sort of support (e.g. Job Centre) to provide career advice and help with writing letters, CVs, interview technique, etc.

Aside from this "official" reponsibility, in day to day workload terms they appear to be more demanding than ever :(

Jeremiah Andrews said...

I guess that this is the point that I ask some simple questions.

1. If not working here, where would you prefer to work?
2. What is your passion?
3. What contingency plan have you put together in case you loose your job?
4. If not this job, where would you NOT prefer to work?
5. Have you sought information from those people you visited on your job? (clients/suppliers/other locations)?
6. Do you have a goal date in mind to put into action your contingency plans?
7. It is always good to have a plan even if it is remote, so that you are not caught unawares...

Let us know ...