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We live in scary times. Every day there are thousands of people laid off, from law firms and banks and every company imaginable. The Wall Street Journal tells us that young women are more vulnerable to layoffs. If you’re slightly lucky, your company is ‘fessing up to the fact that the layoffs are economy based, and not performance-based firings. If you’re VERY lucky (or perhaps indispensable to your company) you’ve survived the layoffs and cuts — for now, at least. Our question today is one we’ve never even had to consider before — what is the appropriate way to deal with the colleagues who didn’t survive this round of cuts? (And by colleagues, we mean someone who never rose to the level of “friend” with you — you never hung out with them on a one-on-one basis, but you were friendly with them in the office and would acknowledge them with a happy wave if you saw them across the room at a public event, but not necessarily go over to say hi.) They may be the “walking dead” — allowed to keep their jobs for 3 months, ostensibly, to look for another job — or they may already be out the door but still coming to social events with other co-workers, like baby showers — but in both cases you’re still seeing these people. How do you handle? What do you say?
Photo credit above: My old office, all packed up, originally uploaded to Flickr by yksin. Note: The editors of Corporette have no idea why the photographer packed their office up, and do not intend to imply that the person was fired, laid off, or otherwise terminated from their position.