We'd expected this day to come. Working for 8 years at Wells Fargo Auto Finance has been an extraordinary experience, one that saw my talents utilized and appreciated for what they were. It was a place where new ideas and processes were welcomed, no matter who suggested them. But we'd felt a shift in The Force. The credit crunch, careening unemployment numbers and a huge decline in new auto loans and current inventory brought the news to us last Wednesday.
We were called to room, all 50 of us, and advised by a manager who was choking back emotion that as of 10 AM that day, our jobs were gone. Envelopes with each individual's package of ongoing pay, benefits and options for retention with the company were passed out. This was not unexpected. It just caught us by surprise.
Strangely, there were few tears, little emotion. All who worked in our little Walnut Creek, CA office knew this day would come. We grabbed boxes and began packing desks. Mine was done in about 10 minutes, so I said a quick round of goodbyes and slinked out the door.
For myself, this was a move that may prove to be the best of everything. I can still post for jobs within the Company. I have writing skills and some books in the fire, books that I'd had little time to work on - until now. I'm in mild demand as a speaker. I'm quite sure I have the chops to make a career of that, and now I have time to put programs together, to find an agent or booking service, and to make other lives a little richer through my words.
I'm not wetting my keyboard with tears. Wells Fargo is an incredibly cool place to work, and I bet if go to them with a finished motivational product they'll spend what it takes for a couple of hours engaging their people.
It was a great run, but over - for now. It just might have been the most important, positive day of my life....