When God Closes a Door

by Heligirl on December 8, 2010

in Daily Ramblings

Somewhere He opens a window. Julie Andrews told us that in the Sound of Music and it has resonated with me my whole life. Every time a door slams in my face, I try to remember this advice. Or the tried and true, “a kick in the butt is a step forward.”

I was reminded of my faith in those sayings on Monday. Not long after my morning coffee, my boss pulled me into a meeting with the HR lady no one ever really wants to see. My position as the company spokesperson was being eliminated at the end of the year. Our sister company and their team of people with no experience in our company would be responsible for our PR from now on, and despite gallant efforts by my vice president, that company could not be convinced that offering me a position was of any value to them.

Merry freaking Christmas.

As I sat there and listened to the HR lady’s speech about how generous the severance package was, my mind ran in several directions at once. As I turned and looked into the deeply saddened and defeated eyes of my VP, I remembered the first day I walked into the building. I was horribly miserable in L.A. and at my current job. I wanted desperately to work for a company that cared about its people. And I wanted to move home to Seattle. I knew this company couldn’t pay much more than I was making, but when I met the people who would be my superiors and experienced how they listened and talked to me, I was in love. They could have paid me less and I would have taken the job. I felt like I’d come home.

I cried long and hard the day I was offered the job. Freedom. Sweet freedom. I was coming home.

I met my husband through this job. My VP, whose voice just cracked as he tried to tell me the job elimination had nothing to do with my work, had introduced us.

I had my two babies while I worked here. My amazing coworkers threw me two lovely baby showers.

This was the company that worked with me to be flexible with my hours so I could be home with the kids more often, even participate in their preschools.

I remembered my first blissful days in this job. I had an office with a window and a view of a little residential lake across the busy boulevard. I had a front row seat to some gorgeous sunrises. Every day I was so grateful to be home.

Every day at work I was surrounded by great people and my passion, aviation. For three months I would have nightmares that it was all a dream and I was still stuck in L.A. It all felt too good to be true.

This was the company where, until this year when we changed presidents, I would get a card with a handwritten note from the president of the company thanking me for my work.

It was those memories that made the tears start coming. This was the company that came to my rescue, cared for me, was there for me, helped me get all I wanted (home, hubby and kids), and now I was being forced to say goodbye.

I’ve been watching the company break apart for a couple of years now with the recession and such, with the worst being the last four months or so. So many people have been let go or sent to other jobs for the sister company. It’s not the same in the office. Most of the “family” is gone. My VP was the VP of five people. He had to lay off two of them on Monday. He still doesn’t know what will happen to him.

It’s actually been very lonely and depressing at work. I’ve even been entertaining a few thoughts about leaving to be a stay at home mom. But I couldn’t walk away from the company that was there for me. I decided to go down fighting. I guess I did.

I was told my job ends on Jan. 2, 2011. I’ll be employed one day in 2011 so that I’m eligible for the bonus for my work in 2010. There are some other payouts that are a nice gesture and I do get to collect unemployment.

But as I sat there and looked at my VP, I felt deep gratitude for the six wonderful years I was able to be a part of a very special family at a very special company. I don’t know if I will ever have that privilege again, and that’s why I was so sad.

When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window. I’ve been thinking hard about building up my freelance work to a business. We’re financially sound enough to try. This was what I needed, my kick in the butt, to take the step forward.

The door is closed now. Time to try to sneak out the window.


Krista December 9, 2010 at 6:50 am

This was a hard read for me. The family company I work for was sold in June and it’s changing. It’s hard to explain, it’s not just the layoffs and positions that have been eliminated, it’s not just that almost our entire budget was cut, it’s not just that I feel like I took three steps backwards, it’s just not the same. It’s not family owned. My job in marketing & communications is safe, for the moment, but it’s hard to not start thinking about looking for a new job. I keep saying I’ll wait until after the baby comes and then decide. Hopefully by then it will feel more like the company I wanted so badly to work for five years ago. But I doubt it.
Sorry to leave a “whiny all about me” comment. I guess I could have just said “I’m sorry about your job.” and “Good luck in whatever it is you decide to do.” And “I’m thinking about you!” That would have been much more appropriate.
Krista recently posted: A body remembers

Twitter: Heligirl
December 9, 2010 at 7:57 am

Thanks Krista. It’s been really sad watching our company be cut up. I know exactly how you feel. And I appreciated your comment a lot because it showed me you do understand the feeling. I’d love to say more, but to get my severance, I can’t say anything mean (truthful) about the changes going on here. 🙁

Megan (Best of Fates) December 9, 2010 at 7:26 am

I’m so sorry for what’s happened – but you’ve clearly been incredibly blessed in your job and I’m glad it gave you so much.

Twitter: Heligirl
December 9, 2010 at 7:59 am

Thanks Megan. I really, really was. It was such a special place to be. I draw comfort from the fact that I was here at the height of the company and saw its amazing potential. It’s been like watching a dear relative in hospice these last several months.

Liz F December 9, 2010 at 12:16 pm

My mom works for the same company as you and when she told me that you’d been furloughed I almost cried. I used to work for the same company myself (2006 – 2007) and know what a truly special atmosphere it is. God (or at least the reps at the sister company) have closed the door on your career there, but have opened the window for your chance to be a SAHM. It has its challenges, but having done it for the last 13 months I can say that it is one of the most rewarding careers I have had the opportunity to do. Good luck 🙂

Twitter: Heligirl
December 9, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Ah Liz. I know who you are now. Your mom was talking about you today. It’s not the same there anymore. My “family” has been cut apart so much. I was one of two in our department cut. Now there will be three and the VP, and we don’t think the VP will be around long. They won’t let a high paid VP stick around if he has one employee (that employee will have two if his own). It’s all really, really sad. I’m excited for my new chapter as a SAHM with freelance work on the side. I’ll be much happier. Thanks much and don’t worry. Heligirl isn’t going anywhere. 🙂

Liz F December 10, 2010 at 10:41 am

Oh boy. Only good things, I hope!

Twitter: solarchief
December 9, 2010 at 1:21 pm

When that happened to me, a thousand years ago, it gave me the chance to open my own business and make more than I could ever hope for while working for someone else… BUT, what I did was pattern my own business after the same methods and employee relationship that they had used and it made my entrepreneur life so wonderful. My employees stayed for the full duration of the businesses and kept their jobs under the new ownership. If you’re in a financial position to try your wings, fly, girl! You’ll never forgive yourself, if you don’t… Come visit when you can…
SharleneT recently posted: Its My SITS Day! Welcome- SITStahs! Happy Holidays!

Twitter: Heligirl
December 9, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Thanks so much Sharlene (and congrats on the SITS day. I’ve been a bit out of it as you can tell. You’ve hit the nail on the head. I think I will be focusing on building my freelance work now, and, if it grows enough, starting my own pr biz. Who knows where it will go. As long as it doesn’t take time away from my kiddos.

Twitter: rachael1013
December 9, 2010 at 3:53 pm

I’m so sorry. I know how it feels to be laid off from a company you love, but I wasn’t there as long as you were at this one. Even when the position is being eliminated, it still hurts, and when you’ve made SO many memories there… it’s just hard. I’ve found that things like this often end up okay in the end, because like you said, they do open windows. But for right now I think big, giant, internet hugs are in order!
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Twitter: Heligirl
December 9, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Thanks so much Rachel. That’s so sweet of you. Yes, the worst part is leaving the people and memories. But truth be told, the new president is not a caring person (he was put in that position to strike the death blow). Lots of good people are out of jobs. Most of my closest pals are gone. Two of which got the ax the same day I did. I’d have been miserable, even more than I’ve been the past several months, if I’d been left behind. I think there are better things waiting. I’m just moving through the sadness of saying goodbye.

Roxane December 10, 2010 at 11:00 pm

I’m really really sorry you’re having to go through something like this, especially considering the fact that you actually had a job that you loved.

But you’re right about that window. Who knows what’s in store? Sending good warm vibes your way.

And good luck!
Roxane recently posted: Call Me Susie

Susan December 11, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Your pain is palpable in your writing. I’m so sorry you’ll be leaving such a wonderful environment. I only wish I had ever worked for a place such as you have, with the supportive people. May the window you float out be opened to something equally or even more wonderful. Looking forward to reading all about it.

Lacy Wolfe December 25, 2010 at 12:50 pm

My mom works for the same company as you and when she told me that you’d been furloughed I almost cried. I used to work for the same company myself (2006 – 2007) and know what a truly special atmosphere it is. God (or at least the reps at the sister company) have closed the door on your career there, but have opened the window for your chance to be a SAHM. It has its challenges, but having done it for the last 13 months I can say that it is one of the most rewarding careers I have had the opportunity to do. Good luck 🙂

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