You may have noticed the news yesterday that my employer, Caterpillar, announced it was in the process of laying off 20,000 employees. Many media outlets incorrectly reported that all 20,000 lay offs occurred yesterday; in fact, these job reductions have been taking place over the past two months.
What disturbed me and my coworkers was the 20,000 number: we had, up to that point, known of 15,000 lay offs--but we were unable to account for 5,000 of the lay offs. Yesterday was, in fact, an announcement of 5,000 previously unknown job cuts. There was a lot of dark humor circulating in the office yesterday as we joked about losing our jobs.
But today in a meeting with our vice president, we were relieved to hear that none of the job cuts would be occurring in our business unit (research and development). Sadly, there was a definite sense of emptiness to the relief. While I realized the pink slips had past me and my immediate coworkers, I am unsettled knowing that our colleagues in other divisions will be meeting a different fate in the days to come.
We have yet to learn where exactly the cuts will come. :-/