Location: Santa Ana, California, United States

Virginia Bola operated a rehabilitation company for 20 years, developing innovative job search techniques for disabled workers, while serving as a Vocational Expert in Administrative, Civil and Workers' Compensation Courts. She is a licensed clinical psychologist with deep interests in Social Psychology and politics and an admitted diet fanatic. She has performed therapeutic services for more than 20 years and has studied the effects of cultural forces and employment on the individual. The author of two interactive workbooks, The Wolf at the Door: An Unemployment Survival Manual and Diet With An Attitude: A Weight Loss Workbook, she also publishes a monthly ezine, The Worker's Edge and various weight loss mini-courses. She can be reached at,, or

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Take-Over Tension

More than 110,000 layoffs are expected in the next few months. The June layoff rate increased 35% over that of May and was 75% higher than June, 2004. And you thought it was finally getting better?

On a personal note, the large company for which I work was bought yesterday by a much larger competitor. There had been no leaks, no rumors, just a sudden, totally unexpected announcement. Unsure of what changes will come, the office had a funereal hush all afternoon as everyone digested the news and tried to conceal their anxiety.

There are those who embrace the excitement of change, welcoming a shake-up of their humdrum world. Others fear anything new and start to panic at the thought of the potential loss of routine. Most of us just keep plugging away at our everyday tasks, trying to do a good job, while listening warily for any inside gossip that can indicate future directions. And we all look at each other with masked eyes, wondering where and when the axe will fall.

At some not too distant point, reorganization plans will break the almost unbearable tension. Then some of us will breathe a sigh of relief and return to our duties. And some of us will slide into the murky swamps and self-esteem-crushing horrors of unemployment.

The jobs picture is a national problem. The pink slip is a personal wound we each face alone.


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