“Having said all that, it wouldn’t really come as a surprise if I actually got laid off tomorrow.”
The above quote is from my previous post. It turned out to be a prophetic statement as I was indeed laid off today. This time there was no forced march into a job I didn’t want. I was truly set free today. Getting laid off wasn’t a complete surprise to me. I can be honest now and admit that I knew I was going to be let go. The only bit that surprised me was that I thought it was going to happen in January when Fight Night was almost done.
While I’m being forthright here, I’ll also admit that I lost whatever passion I had for my job at the end of March of 2010 when I was essentially forced into a position that neither engaged me nor satisfied my interests. I really had no choice at the time. It was either take whatever handout job they had for me or walk away with nothing after four long years of service for the company. I didn’t have another job lined up at the time, so who would have walked? Who would have left with nothing, to go onto nothing? So I played their game and took their charity. Now here’s the thing you have to be clear on. If they had given me a choice, if they had offered me either a severance package or the chance to work in the sports label, I would have been fine with that. I would have taken the severance package. It would have allowed me to move onto something else, a new job on my own terms. That didn’t happen though, so I was forced into a job that I didn’t want and they got an employee that wasn’t doing what he did best.
For six months, I just did as I was told, trying to do my best while my heart wasn’t really into it. While I wasn’t super awesome at what was I doing, I actually wound up doing a decent job and would be able to find several people who can attest to that. At the end of the day though, having an employee do decent work when he or she isn’t invested or engaged in their job isn’t really good for anyone in the long run. Now if you’re wondering if I expressed my discontent to anyone, the answer is yes and no. I didn’t want to be a distraction to the rest of the team, so I only told my new career manager about how I was feeling. I worked with a lot of other people that didn’t need to know about my feelings about the job so I kept my mouth shut.
Being laid off today is the option that should have been given to me last March. I had to wait six months for it but at least I got what I wanted in the end. While I’m relieved it’s now all over, I cannot help but think about the last four years plus of work. This is the longest stretch of time that I’ve ever been employed. Even if you don’t include my time in QA (two years), this is the longest I’ve worked for any one company. In that time, I’ve used the same computer, monitor, mouse, keyboard, and TV. I’d hate to see what’s lurking in between those keys in the keyboard.
When I think back to the best memories of working at EA, the early years easily come to mind. Strangely enough, I found my job to be the most rewarding and most fun between August of 2006 to June of 2009, the exact same time the skate team was in downtown Vancouver. I loved my job back then. I was thrilled to be working downtown. The skate team was filled with so many great and good people. Working on skate and skate 2 provided me with so many good memories, enough so that I would like to share some of them in separate posts in the coming weeks. In sum, my working life was the most rewarding when I was working downtown on the coolest 12th floor possible with the best people I’ve had the pleasure of working with.
Now going forward, if you’re concerned about my well-being, at least financially, please don’t be. Though I’m not at liberty to disclose the full terms of my severance package, I hope I can mention that I’m getting my full salary paid (with benefits) for a decent amount of time (well into the new year). I will allow myself to take about a week off to relax, get some rest, and think about the next step in my career.
Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who gave me support, wished me well, and had kind words for me today. When I mentioned the awesome people I worked with in the past, those are the people who were there for me today. You guys are the best!