"We're Eliminating Your Position"

It's impossible to forget such a game-changing day. I was a high paid journalist at a prestigious publication, and had worked hard to get there. Sometimes, my job seemed too good to be true - it was fun, exciting and different every day. This day was very different, though - within seconds of my arrival at my desk, I was greeted by my boss. This was odd, because we hardly ever interacted. Most of my communication was with my executive editor, who took care of everyday tasks including assignments, vacation time and special projects.

"Do you have a minute?," she asked. Of course, I work for you.


"Okay, come with me."

We headed into the human resources office, where previously, I had only been in to fill out my hiring paperwork and submit my expense reports. I knew they weren't handing out raises, so this couldn't be good.

Next came the words I'll never forget:

"We're eliminating your position."

Simple, succinct and straight to the point. My mind went to goo as I raced for answers in my head. It was like one of those dreams you have at night where you're running away from someone but you can't seem to get your legs to move fast enough. My mind was flooded with emotions, questions and a twinge of anger but I couldn't seem to say or do anything of substance. I was handed my walking papers: a few weeks' severance and a small bonus if I signed a paper saying I wouldn't sue the company.

"Any questions?" I had dozens, but they seemed to be lodged in the bottom of my throat, and all I could say was "So that's it?"

I didn't even get to clean out my desk that day. They offered me the chance to save some face by sneaking out and heading home immediately.

I never did return to collect my things.

Next:The Drive Of Shame >>

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Ed is a journalist who has worked for some of the largest media organizations in the U.S. His career has taken him to places big and small across the nation. With experience at various employers, Ed's career has run the gamut - he's been hired, been the one doing the hiring, quit and, most recently, laid off for the first time.

Thankfully, Ed has never been fired, although many years ago he once came close while working part-time at a pizza place - turns out it was a misunderstanding.

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