It all begins with a story...

Two years ago in the month December, a month of happiness and rest, Joe, a friend took leave from work - he was a manager. Took the family on a holiday with savings he had done during the year and it was a fun family moment.

For a new year's gift, he bought his wife Winnie a new car. They agreed with the wife that in the new year, they would find a house to buy through a mortgage because his company had this nice facility arrangement with a local bank. All was set, the New Year was looking promising. Their oldest child Jay joined grade school and the younger one Sally, started kindergarten.

2 months into the year, they found a wonderful small house that would serve them well. Winnie was running a small boutique and her income would not have been considered for a mortgage and so they relied solely on Joe's salary. They went through the paper work, the HR department approved and confirmed Joe was employed permanently and was pensionable. All risks covered, they moved into the new house. It was a tight squeeze financially, but the couple handled it well as they knew, Joe was a diligent man in the office and was not looking to change jobs. In fact his ambitions were set towards being a General Manager in two years.

About 3 weeks after moving house, the couple invited their friends and close family for a house warming party. It was great moment that gave Joe a spring in his step on Monday morning as he reported to his office. At tea break, while making a cup of tea to accompany his home-made sandwich, Brian, the Head of Department, walked in to their open plan office area and called out, "Guys, could I please have your attention?" It wasn't odd for their tea break to be interrupted by such announcements. Nonetheless they paid attention. "I have a notice to read you." Everyone moved closer. "Following recent strategic changes in the business," Brian began while looking at the paper in his hand, "the company will go into a phase of redundancy to cut back on our staffing and other costs. Your line manager will be in touch with further details on an individual basis." The silence in the open office was telling. Even the desk phones seemed to understand the moment as they remained silent. "Any questions?" Brian asked while trying to appear brave to his team.

Joe recounts to me how that moment was for him, "Some of my friends have gone through retrenchment. I never thought that it would come near me. But I remembered how hardworking I was and how I had always been recognized by my bosses and I felt sad for those who would be affected. That day, I went home and I told Winnie about it and assured her that I would not affect me."

The next morning, Joe went to the office as usual thinking of all the reports he needed to do and as soon as he had put his bag down, Brian called him to his office. "So Joe, how is it going?" he started. "Everything is okay. You startled us yesterday with that notice from upstairs." Brian rubbed his temple. "Yeah. It was hard telling you guys. But that's work and it needs to be done. I really feel sorry for you guys." He paused. "Joe, the changes are affecting everyone. Our department is shutting down and in other sections, people are being moved to new departments to take on new roles because of those who are leaving. Am sorry Joe, I have been asked to let you go. Here is your letter."

Joe was confused, "What do you mean letting me go? Are you moving me to another department in the middle of this confusion? Am your right hand man, Brian."...

The story requires no continuation. Maybe you can relate to it directly or you know someone who can relate to it and is a perfect fit for Joe’s situation. WHAT NEXT? You might ask.

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