Sunday, March 9, 2014
The Black Cloud Continues to Follow
Then fate catapulted me into management and I slowly settled into an 8 to 5 Monday through Friday job. House fire aside, I seemed to be taking to the duties pretty well. I have my own office replete with papers scattered everywhere. I have overhead compartments to stash my own trash bags in for those times when housekeeping forgets my new office exists.
I designed my corporate email signature and established my voicemail. I keep my business cards close at hand in case an impromptu meeting springs up and I'm required to press palms. It has been pretty nice when you boil it all down. I get to take half the kids to school in the morning and sometimes we even stop for breakfast...if we're ahead of schedule. I'm home in the evening for dinner and homework before we settle in for the night.
Around noon, as I was about to pull into a Subway and enjoy my favorite footlong sandwich with Sis, I got a phone call from my boss. He was my Director and I was his loyal Manager. He asked how long it would take me to get to work (as in "come in right now") so I hesitantly said "30 minutes." Sis and I darted into Subway, grabbed our sammies and headed to our rental house across the street.
The slow drive to work was one of those "oh no, what did I do" moments. Why was he calling me in? I parked in the restricted parking lot instead of the one on the other side of town (so it seems) like I usually do. I didn't plan on being there for long so I wanted a quick get away.
"No, I ALWAYS wear a coat and carry my bag around with me," I chuckled. That's when he almost whispered, "You haven't heard yet, have you?"
"The boss has been laid off." he said.
Right then my boss, our Director, came walking around the corner. The man who helped bring my family together by offering me this job and he was pale as a ghost. This was the man whom I called while my house was burning to the ground because he was the only person I knew in this town at the time. Standing before me now was my best friend and boss...who after 15 years of loyalty, had his world turned upside down.
It was like any other day for him. Same job for the last 15 years, although he had worked his way up the ladder from Xray Tech to Manager to Director. He was called into a meeting in Human Resources and was shocked to be greeted by an HR Manager in tears. "What the...?" he thought. Then he was handed a generic white folder containing his severance package. "You are terminated immediately. I need your badge please," she said between tears.
When the dust finally settled about an hour later, four Vice Presidents and five Directors were gone. No one at my level (Mananger) or lower was affected. The "official" story, as told to us in a meeting about an hour later in a forum meeting, was that the Administration (three Admins) could see the storm coming from Obamacare. They said it was unstoppable that our reimbursements were going to go down in a big way. Rather than wait for us to run into the wall head-on, they opted to do a preemptive strike and reduce costs now. Heresay estimates they saved a cool $2 million dollars annually laying off those nine administrators.
This was hard to stomach as I gazed at our cafeteria which was vastly under construction to get a face lift. "We had money for that" I thought to myself. My boss left that day with an empty look on his face. Sniffles were heard throughout the halls of our department for the rest of the day. It was replaced the following day with anger. One of the last things he said to me before he left his office was "They're going to expect you to keep doing your job...and start doing mine too."
And so it began. Phone call after phone call of people introducing themselves and where they had been on such-and-such project with my boss. My office door became the cliche revolving door as droves of people came in and out with questions and condolences, problems and projects. My 8-5 has turned into an 8-10 as I stayed later and later trying to keep up.
In essence, we have two hospitals in our system and each had their own Director. Administration decided to layoff half the administration and require one Director to be in charge of two hospitals for every department. Some Directors are in charge of multiple departments at both hospitals.I don't envy any of them. I'll be officially meeting my new Director next week when we sit down and I try my best to tell her everything that is going on at my facility.
Wish me luck...and her.
PS. On the bright side, Boo and I build a tree swing today in the front yard. Smiles abound!