Two years ago, the Canadian company I work for was bought-out by a large American retailer. However, the deal did not include any of the people or the company name – just the store leases. What this has meant for thousands of our employees is loss, sadness and uncertainty.
Yesterday at head office, where I work, our approximately 200 remaining people were reduced to 60. Some of those leaving had been with the company for their entire careers, many spanning beyond 20 and even 30 years. To them, what they have lost is much more than just their jobs. Over and over again, I’ve heard it expressed that it’s like losing family – and it really is. We haven’t always liked one another and sometimes we’ve even fought, however, the bottom line is that we all knew what was important; what we were working towards was the same.
The farewell parties and gatherings have been numerous – capped off by a huge gala this past Thursday evening. Over the last year, we’ve also had celebratory Facebook and Twitter campaigns to count down the final days for our customers. And we’ve even found a good home for our famous mascot, who has now been officially adopted by a wonderful children’s charity.
Yet despite the undeniable sadness we all feel right now, it’s important to remember that this is not the end of any of our stories – it’s just one more chapter closed – and that is not necessarily bad or good; it just is.
I have only worked here for eight years. And prior to this, I have left a few companies on my own, as well as experienced being part of a downsizing situation. But each time I’ve moved on, I’ve also achieved other milestones in my life, such as traveling the world, getting married, and the births of my two children. I also had the opportunity to run my own business, which I enjoyed very much. So although my time here isn’t yet up, once it is, I will try to remember my own advice and look forward to the next adventure – because I know for certain there always is one.
Image: A country road in Caledon, Ontario.