2005 was a sucky year for the computer publishing industry. people need information about how to run their computers, but they don't really buy computer books anymore. from what i understand, almost all companies doing business in the computer publishing market took a loss in 2005, some worse than others. the industry badly needs to adapt to new methods of content delivery.
and so far 2006 hasn't been a very good year for me personally, either. my cat died at the end of january, and now, as of today, i've been officially laid off.
there had been rumors of reorg and layoffs for awhile (probably since last year's numbers came in), and then today we received an email about "required meetings" that would happen today at 12:30. same-day notice of mandatory meetings is a very bad sign—that's how they announced the last round of layoffs a few years back—so we had an idea what was coming.
i went to my designated meeting in room 2253 and i pretty much knew what would happen before the meeting even began. it was obvious (at least to me) from who was in the room. normally for large meetings which are broken across multiple rooms, entire departments go to the same meeting. but in my meeting, there were only 4 people from my dept (the three copy editors and one indexer, the indexer who was the most recent hire), and a few different people from other departments. considering this odd distribution, i concluded that they had broken us down, american idol style, into "yes" rooms and "no" rooms, and that i was clearly in a "no" room.
fortunately, my soon-to-be-ex-employer is european-owned and thus relatively progressive in terms of benefits; after my employment officially ends on march 31, i get a few months' severance, and they've also contracted for a month with an outplacement service... i go in for my first day of outplacement counseling on friday morning.
in a way i'm kind of relieved. the job hadn't excited me for awhile, but between that and my various art projects i didn't have time to look for other employment. being laid off gives me the opportunity to refocus my career and look for something new. maybe i'll find something really cool.¶