A couple months ago I got an email from Simon’s girlfriend telling me that they weren’t going to be visiting us in Cascadia this year as had previously been planned on account of Simon being laid off from Falstaff. Longtime readers of Hit Coffee will recognize Falstaff as being the company I used to work for that inspired a lot of this site’s early material. I was sad to hear the news about the layoffs. Partially for Simon’s sake, but also because if Falstaff laid Simon (and Martin, I discovered) off, they must be close to a skeleton crew.
Before I elaborate on that, I’m going to rewind to something that I didn’t write a couple years ago.
About a year after I left Falstaff and we relocated to Estacado, my ex-boss Willard sent me an email informing me that Falstaff had a pretty big round of layoffs. That wasn’t particularly surprising because Falstaff is in a sector of the economy that’s been hurting for the last few years now. I had mixed feelings about that. I of course felt bad for Melvin and the others that were laid off, but a part of me felt relieved. Why? Because it was right about the point where I began really enjoying my job. With the exception of some of the friends I made up there (many of which at work), that job was the hardest thing to leave.
The good thing I could take out of the layoffs, though, was that the job I hated leaving was probably no longer there. I don’t know if Willard would have cut me loose like he did with a lot of others or not, but it’s almost certain that I would have been back to the monotonous, hands-on work that I started at. Whether that would have been better or worse than the monotonous work I was doing in Estacado I do not know, but it was at least a closer call and because I was making so much more money in Estacado, probably an improvement where I was.
Whether I had survived that first cut or not, I definitely would not have survived the most recent one. Deseret is not an easy place to find work in, even in a relatively good economy. Both Simon and Martin ended up working at Kimball Group, which is the place that they left to start working at Deseret. Ironically, leaving Kimball for the better paying work (with better advancement opportunities) at Falstaff ended up hurting them.
After getting the original email, I emailed Willard to find out how bad the damage was. He played a rather cruel trick on me by pretending that the email had been delayed or bounced back before responding. They really have become a skeleton crew that’s mostly a knowledge base for the company’s eventual resurgence. I’ve had malicious fantasies that Wildcat closed down and its owner Calvin went bankrupt, but now that one of the places I’ve worked for has all but disappeared (at least for the time being) it really has a spooky sort of feeling. And a sad one.