This has been a weird week. I received my 90-day layoff notice on Monday. My last day at MPOW will be August 1. It sucks, but it’s just a sign of larger problems. The institute I work for is crumbling since most of the research funding and contracts have been pulled. I, and my colleague from the library, am just one in a line of several layoffs. Research groups are folding, students are scrambling to find new research topics, everybody is on the line. As I alluded to in my last post, the 35% cut was optimistic. Reality is closer to 50%. Pretty dire, eh?
The most overwhelming thing for me is not the prospect of finding a new job, looking at my options, or asking “what next”. Instead, it’s been the warmth and support of my fellow transportation librarians. Seriously, this is one of the greatest groups of people to work with – a real sense of family and community. Within hours of word getting out about my layoff, I received emails offering condolences, support, and help. This is why I will do everything I can to stay withing the family. I really love being a transportation librarian, and while that might not always be my official title, it’s the niche for me. I can’t leave you, folks!
So what is next? Well, it’s time to branch out and make positions. Subcontract for people? Indexing? Getting serious about data management? Almost everything is fair game (except moving). I’ll take this week to figure these things out and continue playing with python.
It’s a sad time, but more for the transportation research community than anything else. I know my story’s not unique, which is what makes it even worse.