When National City Bank was purchased by PNC Bank back in October of 2008, that left many workers wondering what would happen to their jobs. I had been through the whole “merger” act before. I was hired by First of America Bank in January of 1996 and in November of the following year, National City bought FOA.
It doesn’t matter how many times you have been through it, you still got that uneasy feeling, even if you were told that things were going to be just fine. For a few years after the PNC purchase, things were just that. But then word began to trickle out that the Bank wanted out of the area of business that I happened to be employed in.
Long story short, they sold our division back to the man who owned it previously. You see, he and his partners sold the business to FOA back in the day. Isn’t it funny how things work out sometime?
That set off a chain reaction of change, uncertainty and new beginnings. But for five of us, it also cost us our jobs. When I officially found out I was going to be let go (I kind of knew for a few months beforehand), it was not a shock and I actually felt excited about the future.
Sure, I was jobless in one of the worst economic disasters of all time, but I still had faith. After much thought and discussion with my wife, I decided to go back to school. Being without a job, the first thing you want to do is add to your debt to the Department of Education!
Without having a job to go to, I also had the opportunity to spend quality time with my father, who as you know, battled pancreatic cancer. If I was working, the time I spent with him would not have happened to the degree it did. And it was time I cherish. So I guess it is safe to say that losing my job was a little blessing in disguise for the reasons I listed above.
Even with all of things that I consider as positives after losing my job, I still felt a sense of loss and frustration. I missed my co-workers, the family atmosphere and even the clients and carriers I worked with on a daily basis. I swore that when I walked out of the building that final day on June 2, 2010, that I would not go back in again, unless of course I was an employee.
If I met my former co-workers for lunch, we would meet outside the building. I don’t know what it was that made me feel that way, but I think it had to do with the respect I had for the job and the people, that by going back inside and NOT being a part of the team, would be difficult for me.
I kept to that pledge and did not enter that building again until Aug. 6, 2012 when I walked back through those doors as an new “old” employee! Again I say, funny how things work out sometimes!
It was a perfect storm that led to me going back. One of my former co-workers sold her house and was moving out of state. Instead of hiring someone new and having to retrain that person, I was available and knew the job already, a win-win for us both. The only bad part of it all was saying goodbye to a great friend.
A few people asked me if it was weird or strange to go back to a place that clearly “did not want me.” I did not see it that way. I was not let go because of my performance or my attitude. It was just one of those things. I may not have agreed with all that was done, but in the end, things worked out for me just fine. And that is all that matters anyway, right?