25 Minutes to Goodbye

He thought she was joking. She wasn’t.

The layoff was not unexpected, he was the new guy there, just a year in a non-critical role.   He laughed in naiveté.   She had to explain that she was serious, he had 25 minutes to collect his things, turn in his computer and leave the premises.

He wasn’t an IT guy that could damage critical systems.   He was a gentle young man with a family to support.   Not having been there long, he would get two weeks of severance.

25 minutes later

As he loaded up a big blue Ikea bag with his books, pictures and other belongings, I walked up to shake his hand. I gave him my contact information and told him that if he needed anything, he could call. It seemed an empty gesture, but if nothing else, it was a human thing to do in what felt like an unhuman, surreal situation.

As I walked back to my desk I pushed feelings down.  He was not the only person I knew who was laid off today.  People I have known for decades would be leaving on this day our work-force was decimated


25 Minutes to Goodbye

6 thoughts on “25 Minutes to Goodbye

  1. Laura Herrera says:

    This story may be short but the impact of this day will be felt for a long time. By him,his family,by you, the many around you, those still there and those moving on. Always remember my love that no action of human kindness is ever empty.

  2. Unfortunately that scene is being replayed over and over again. Too often people forget about the humanity of the situation–giving people just five more minutes so they can get the paperwork from their father’s estate or properly say goodbye. Touching post.

    1. Vanessa, thank you for stopping by. Agreed that the human element has so been taken out of things and it’s quite disturbing. Hope you and your growing family are doing well.

  3. Mihael, Very well said. Having been on both sides of that situation, I’d rather be the one leaving….not having to see the empty cubicles everyday, seeing their hand writing on document revisions, empty spots at the daily lunch get together, the constant reminders of a very personal loss. Take care and God bless. You have a true gift for expressing human “ness.” Live simply and peacefully.

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