A Layoff Story

layoffI was laid off two months and one day ago from my job as guest service manager at a successful hotel chain. (Trivia: This company was the very first hotel "chain." Take a guess!)

On the day I was laid off, I was brought into the restaurant section of the hotel. The general manager, front office manager, and co-guest service manager sat me down at a small table.

I was offered water. I knew I was fired then, without anyone saying a word to that effect-I could tell by that all-too-familiar "nice guy" voice that we in the industry know too well. I declined the water. "No, well, alright I guess we can get started," said the voice. "We would like to discuss with you some of the challenges the property seems to be going through..." and so on.

This happened around 3 pm on a Thursday. I was back home by 4:30.

Once home I didn't even bother to take off my suit and went straight to the icebox to pour myself the vodka drink I had been yearning for ever since I sat down at that little table back at work. The rest of the evening I emailed pretty much everyone I know to see if they knew of any job openings... and continued to drink until I was in a stupor that didn't subside until about 12 pm the next day.

I understood the cause for the layoff: The property isn't living up to company standards financially and as we all know, frequent and loyal customers start with a caring and attentive staff. As for how fair it was, we were a new property-only 4 months old-and it usually takes at least 6 months to a year to build a consistent client base. The location we were in was a fast-paced, high volume area that called for seasoned veterans who could handle the customer service tasks that go along with the industry-but I wasn't given the chance to hire my own staff because the company wanted to rush the opening.

At the end of the day it's all about producing results. If those results are not met, changes need to be made. With that being said, you shouldn't start the business until all your ducks are in a row. I'm just saying...

A regular day for me now consists of waking up at around 9 am, checking my emails from earlier in the morning (people seem to wake up early these days), jumping in the shower, wasting about 10 to 20 minutes Facebooking, and getting started on the job hunt at around 10:30.

At noon I clean or run any kind of errands that need to be taken care of, and then continue to peruse the Internet for the rest of the afternoon looking for job leads. I usually quit everything around 7, start cooking, and find a movie to watch.

I am collecting unemployment. It takes care of rent, and rent alone. Thankfully my brother lives with me, so we have another steady flow of income coming in. I don't have health insurance. It's stupid not to do COBRA, but I figure I can weather the storm.

So far, the job search hasn't been that bad. I was fired right before the holidays so the hiring process had certainly slowed down, but I've been on a good amount of interviews that are still pending, and I feel positive. The good thing is, these next two months are prime time for hiring in the hospitality industry. I'm confident that by the end of February all will be fine.

Have a layoff story of your own? Share it in the comments below.

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