Tag Archives: Short Story

Incoming Layoffs

There was a boom, it rattled the earth beneath our feet.  Our building shook slightly.  As we were trained to do, we donned our vests and helmets and took cover.  The sirens sounded their Alarm Red.  A second boom was heard, and the sirens called out again.

The siren tone changed signaling an all-clear, it was time to do our sweeps, and up channel our status.  No direct impact on us.  If it had been closer, we would have heard the whistle.

“I jus heard 249 layoffs.  One building completely emptied.”

The next two months were spent processing data to be released to the laid off employees.  Systems were collected and disposed of.  The good hardware passed around and used to upgrade others setups as needed.  It was rough, but we pressed on.  We missed those who we used to see day to day.

Some time later, I showed up at my desk a little early and logged in.  My Data-Loss-Prevention leads showed up shortly after.  He looked ragged like he’d just been raked over the coals for something.

“So, uh, today is going to be a very hard day”.  I could barely hear the whistle in the air. “There may be folks asking for data to be written to USB, make sure they follow the right process”.  It was slowly getting louder.

We exchange a couple more words, but nothing specific is said.  He gets up and heads back to the other side of the hall.

“Hey, did anyone notice Security in the hall?  What’s going on?”  The whistle of air passing through the stabilizers was now apparent to everyone in earshot.

Boom.  Sirens immediately went off.  We all took cover.  This one was close, too close.  We heard the gravel plinking off the side of the building.

An all-clear was sounded, but it had a very different feel this time.  We performed our checks.  Got a status of what was going on.

“Shit!  We just lost a quarter of our I.T. Department!”  The office became a mess of emotion.

Those trained to the task assisted in helping those laid off with packing up their stuff and recovering project data from their computers.  At one point, my IT-Security lead stops by looking for carts to help move boxes of personal goods to cars.  He was near tears.

After things had calmed down a little and the smoke began to clear, meetings were had.  The remaining I.T. supervision was going to have to reorganize to accommodate for reduced staff size.

Throughout the day we found out that notifications were sent out by corporate at 0300 that morning, leaving those who had to deliver the news with little to no time to prepare themselves for the news they’d have to deliver.

So here we are, the day after, picking up the pieces.  Trying to figure out who’s going to report to who.  Business goes on, and we’ll recover with time.  But damn if it doesn’t suck for the time being.