At approximately 4:15 pm today, my boss’ boss asked me to come with her into the main conference room because “they” wanted to speak with me. “They” would be the board members who have been frantically trying to sell the company due to the fact that no banks are lending and therefore my company does not have the cashflow to push it into the next season. We are 2 weeks away from a so-called “holiday season” and therefore, had we made it that long, we would have had some money to float us to Summer.
There have been talks about “back up plans” and “decisions being made soon” but even with the threat of shut down looming in the air, nobody really thought it would come. It did. It came fast. On Thursday, we were talking to 2 potential buyers and we were told we had time. By Tuesday, the buyers had retracted their interest. By Wednesday a new and “serious” buyer entered the picture. Today, the buyer backed out.
My company, as of today, after 9+ years of business, is closed. I was called in to be part of the “skeleton crew” that would keep up operations until the final lights out.
I thought I would be a bit more ecstatic, but i’ll admit I’m sad. I’m bad at goodbyes. It’s weird to think that I won’t be seeing these people 40+ hrs a week, bitching and moaning and, well, bitching and moaning. It’s weird to see the clean desks, and the shell of the company still intact, knowing that in a month or less, everything will be cleaned out and sold off bit by bit. It’s weird to be a part of something that will no longer exist. I was around during the dotcom days and I saw this happen to many a company. However, I was not there til the very very end. The sense of finality is pretty indescribable.
At approximately 4:45 pm today, I accepted an offer from another company.
Needless to say, this has been bar none the craziest work week of my professional career.
UPDATE: two weeks later, said company filed for bankruptcy, received emergency funding, and continued operations with a smaller staff. They asked people back, and (stupidly), they returned. Shakes head. Not my problem anymore. Thank. God.
Editor’s Note 11/8/15: After hanging by a thread the company was finally bought out. It remained in SF for about a year as the company transitioned and then eventually moved to the buying company’s corporate HQ in SoCal. As part of the bankruptcy filings, a lot of our benefits — like PTO — were withheld from us. Years later, I was finally paid all the back wages I was owed.
I know I bitched a lot about this company but in retrospect this was one of my favorite job experiences, at least in the beginning. We had a lot of fun, the people I worked with were respectful, knowledgeable, and allowed me to do my job. I still keep in contact with many of my old co-workers. The company is still around and seems to be doing fine. As for the office where were once worked, it remained empty for some time before being bought out, gutted and most likely subdivided and turned into a generic cookie cutter office space. My new job was just two blocks around the corner.