Hello, Sadness.

by Penelope Smallbone


I have serious issues with abandonment. I was never left as a child, but as an early and young adult I seem to have a lot of people leaving me. At first it was in high school. All my friends went away for college and I stayed in town. Then my college friends went away after college and I stayed in town. Then at my first real job my project manager left for LA after only my first 6 weeks on the job. I was crushed. He was a big reason why I loved my job, and he was not even close to being satisfactorily replaced. Ten months later when I moved to NYC it was finally my turn to leave. I was finally the one who got to go somewhere! No longer would I be the one stuck behind, feeling jealous and sad about everyone else’s fortunate departures.

Now in New York, I love my job. I love many of the people I work with, and many of the projects are meaningful and fulfilling for me (a rarity in the design world). In January we had a disruption in management that has caused a wave of change across the company. After one of the three partners left, about 10 others have left or been asked to leave. Until now none of them directly affected me. In a company of 30 people, most of the ones who left were not involved with the design portion of our business. On Monday my project manager announced his resignation. He is one of the most respected and senior members of the company, and many have taken his departure as a great loss to our company and its well-being. I am confident that the others who will fill in his gap will not do as wonderful of a job. Aside from the fact that we get along great, we work together very well and I have never ever been let down by his project managing prowess.

On to the sadness. Since his announcement, I’ve had the most terrible sensation of deep sadness. I have always heard that “the company will probably get along without you.” In most cases this is true. There are very few people that are so unique that they make or a break a company’s success. But at this point, with all of the other resignations, lay offs, fires, and lack of hires, I am starting to grow very concerned about the fate of my company. Not to mention the grave conflict in my head. I don’t want to leave my job. I like my job. I just don’t know how much I’m going to like it if this rolling ball of change doesn’t start slowing. I get the feeling that it’s not heading for a good place, and I don’t think I want to be wrapped up in the tangle when the impact hits.

Being an adult sucks. I’m totally over it.