Sunday, January 17, 2016

Bad News and the Comfort of Dogs

Friday was a difficult day. The CEO at work announced that the company will undergo a major reorganization, moving a large part of the company's focus and resources from R&D to Innovation. I agree that this is probably a smart strategy; however, a change of this magnitude is not without consequences.

The one that affects me directly is that I will have a new boss. My current (now former) boss had been considering leaving the company for more entrepreneurial ventures (I wasn't entirely surprised at this), and his departure was accounted for in the reorganization. While I am happy for him, it's a bummer for me. He's a great guy and has been a pleasure to work for. I will now report to his boss, the head of R&D. Former Boss will be around for a few weeks to help with the transition, so I'll work with both him and New Boss for a while.

Another consequence with a far greater impact is that 27 people were let go; 11 were from my team (nearly a third of the team). This was completely unexpected and left everyone reeling. It was horrible watching so many people leaving the building. My heart was breaking for them and for the colleagues and friends they'd worked with for years. The one mitigating factor - and the reason my conscience will allow me to go back to work tomorrow - is that the company gave a generous severance package to everyone who was let go, and they have committed to helping them find new employment.

I was immensely relieved that I did not lose my job; at the same time, I had a profound feeling of survivor's guilt. I made it through Friday in a daze, and came home feeling drained, sad, and still stunned.

In such times, dogs are better than any medicine and worth more than any riches. Never have I been more grateful to have two happy little creatures greet me at the door. They lifted my mood that evening, and in fact, helped me get through this weekend.

About one month after their adoption, I am happy to report that Nook and Indigo are doing very well. Indigo in particular has undergone a drastic transformation. She was a sick, scared little bag of bones who wanted only to cling to me. Now she is spunky and alert, and she has gained an entire pound of weight... pretty impressive for a 5.5 pound dog. I can no longer count every rib, though her spine still looks like a stegosaurus. She is eating lots of food (dog food even!) and learning from Nook how to be a dog - exploring the back yard, gnawing on chew sticks, and playing.

Nook's idea of playing consists mainly of mock fighting. Nook growls, but her tail is wagging the entire time. She uses her heavier body to push Indigo over, but Indigo then kicks at Nook with all four feet. They roll around in all sorts of funny positions, gnawing at each other's faces.

It is positively hilarious to watch. :D In pictures, they look like vicious little terrors... with a combined weight of about 15 pounds. ;)

Nook: I'm gonna bite your head!
Nook: Now I'm gonna bite your face!
Indigo: I shall call forth the evil spirit...
 Indigo: And become the Snarling Red-Eyed Zombie Dog of Doom!

Oh, hi! Didn't see you there.

22 comments:

  1. Your dogs are absolutely adorable! Im glad they've improved and lifted your spirits after a hard day, I know they would for me

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    1. Thanks so much! It's impossible not to laugh at their antics... which of course makes me feel better. :)

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  2. Hope you adapt well and without too much stress to your new work situation. Your dogs are cute. I totally understand you: my dog gives me so much strength! Good luck!

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    1. Thank you! The situation will be a bit stressful for a little while, but it should work out okay in the end.

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  3. Dogs are such a comfort! I have only had Sarah around four months and I already don' t know what I did without her!

    Such cute little demon dogs!

    I am glad your company did so much to help the employees let go, that is so rare! I hope all is well with the new boss!

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    1. They are indeed! It would have been awful to come home to an empty house after the bad news Friday.

      I was very pleased to hear about the severance packages. I would have major qualms about working for the company if they had just tossed 27 people out into the cold.

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  4. They are absolute sweeties, if a tad possessed! So lovely to see them thrive.

    The work situation is crap and must be very sad and uncomfortable for all concerned. Hope it all goes ok when settling in with your new boss.

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    1. It's amazing how much one month of good care can change a dog. :)

      People all around the office are feeling awful about the situation. It will take time to work through.

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  5. Oh god, they're so precious. <3 I'm so glad Indigo is settling down well!

    That's awful about your job - I know far too many similar stories. I hope moving over to the new boss will be okay.

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    1. Thank you!

      It's my first experience with a layoff... and it's terrible even though I kept my job. :( But once I get past the bad feelings, I think I'll be okay. My new boss seems like a good guy.

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  6. They're beautiful! I know that when I've had a rough day, my dogs offer me a comfort that is unlike any other. Sometimes I think my husband is jealous at how soothed I become when I sit down with them. They're truly precious gifts. It is so wonderful to see you healing and helping those sweet dogs heal as well. Congratulations on Indigo getting healthier and I'm very happy to hear that you still have your job.

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    1. Husbands/friends/loved ones are great, but there is often a sense of obligation or reciprocation in human relationships. Dogs just give, give, give... and we need never feel guilty about taking love from them. They always have more to give. :)

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  7. What sweet creatures <3 I am so sorry to hear about the upheaval at your job and I can totally understand your feelings of guilt. In time, the sting will go away and I hope you are to be successful in a relationship with your new boss.

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    1. I'd heard of survivor's guilt... and now I know exactly what it feels like. :( It sucks!

      I am thankful that my personal situation isn't too terrible; I think my new boss will be pretty easy to work for.

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  8. I'm so sorry about the restructuring at work, etc. Ed went through the same thing last year and is still getting used to it. He has a hard time with change, especially when things are going well.

    Your kids are awesome! I'm really happy to hear that Indigo is gaining weight and that they're getting along. WAHOO! :) Sending you and your fuzzy kidlets lots and lots of love.

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    1. I usually don't mind change, but when things are going well and then suddenly it all blows up... that really stinks. :(

      Thank you very much! I am so happy they are doing well.

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  9. Oh man, I remember those days of massive layoffs in the oil patch up here. It's a hard thing to go through and I remember my relief that I'd made it through round of cuts, and the sadness for those who didn't. And we're going through it again now. Difficult times. :(

    But let's talk about those puppies - they really do look fierce, don't they? All 15 pounds of 'em! Thank goodness for puppies. <3

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    1. It's my first experience with layoffs... and I sincerely hope it's my last! It is awful.

      Tiny but ferocious. ;) I kind of want to buy one of those "Beware of Dog" signs with a Doberman on it... and add "Shown Actual Size." :D

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  10. Sorry to hear about your work situation. It can have such a major effect on all other aspects of your life when things like that happen! I hope everything turns out okay for you.

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    1. Thank you. I'm doing my best to leave the stress at the office, but I feel sapped and exhausted most evenings. I hope it will get better as the situation settles down.

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