1. Recession leaves many in employment limbo. Many workers who still have a job fear the ax may fall at any time
2. It can often take months for companies to complete a massive layoff, leading to a nerve-racking period in which workers are left to wonder whether they will be targeted, and anxious to defend their position.
3. “The condition of uncertainty is sometimes actually worse than actually knowing that you’re going to get laid off,” said Leon Grunberg, a professor of comparative sociology at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., who has studied downsizing extensively. His research showed that people who were fearful of losing their jobs but hadn’t lost them yet were more likely to suffer symptoms of poor health, such as headaches, indigestion and sleep disorders.
4. The widespread fear of layoffs, combined with an absence of any concrete information, also can have a deep impact on both morale and productivity, as workers find it hard to keep their minds on their jobs amid rumors about who could be next and anxiety over what will happen if they are the ones to get the pink slip.
5. Jackie Hopkins has watched as some of her co-workers have been let go. And every payday, she’s wondered if she will be next. The couple lost their home of five years to foreclosure and are currently renting a trailer. The situation has left her riddled with anxiety, worried about doing her best at work and consumed at home with looking at job sites and wondering how she will pay her bills and keep food on the table. “This is something that consumes my whole life,” she said. “It’s all I think about.”
6. Tricia Henington has worked as a school nurse in Idaho since 1992, doing everything from helping students with insulin shots to administering feeding tubes. Now, with the state facing a budget crunch, she’s worried that her job may be on the chopping block. Henington worries that if she loses her job she’ll have to go back to school to update her skills for other nursing work. At 52, she doesn’t relish the thought of retraining for a new job when she had hoped to retire in her current one.
Damn, aren’t we a nation of whiners?