Meandering Monday about My Survivor’s Guilt

Back in February, my employer decided (despite an improving economy) to continue with their plans to reduce payroll, and they let a large number of experienced, knowledgeable, and talented people go. We’d been hearing rumors for months that this was coming, and various scenarios about who would be laid off. I fit into a number of these scenarios, and coupled with my own confidence issues, fully expected to be one of the departed.

The day came. People were called in for meetings, packed their things and left, and when the dust cleared I still had a job, but several people I’ve known for years didn’t.

There didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to whom was chosen, and one particular friend who performed the same role as I do (and whom I consider to be far better at it than I) was shown the door. He wasn’t the only friend to go, but he did the same job as me, and I figured he was not prepared to be out of work any more than I was.

I’ve been living with survivor’s guilt. You know – something bad happens, some people are gone (sometimes dead), and if you’re one of those who remain you have conflicting feelings of relief that it wasn’t you, and guilt at being relieved. There’s a revisiting of the event, and you spend a lot of time playing it over in your mind. Why was it them? Why not me?

I’ve been keeping in touch with him over these months, and pulling for him to find a position somewhere. I hadn’t realized how it had been hanging over my head until he texted to let me know that he had a job, and it sounds like it may be a better position than the one he lost. I was happy for him, but I was also relieved that I could stop worrying about him – it was almost like the layoff never happened.

I didn’t realize how self-involved that worry I had was until now. I had been terrified that I would be part of the layoff, and when he was having trouble finding a new position, well, sure, I was worried for him, but I was also worried for me. What if it HAD been me? If he couldn’t find a job, what chance di I have? So when he told me he’d been hired, I was relieved for him, but I was also relieved for me, because it meant that if I found myself on the street, at least there was a chance I wouldn’t be jobless forever.

A very self-centered view, and yes, something else to feel guilty about. Just saying…


TheresNoPresent1NewCoverMy next eBook release will be “There’s No Present Like the Time”:

What constitutes a true waste of time?

Peter and Vanessa have different ideas. While on a rare vacation, Peter chances to meet a mysterious woman who brings these differences to a head.

“There’s No Present Like the Time” is a speculative fiction short story. The release date is July 13th (that’s this Friday), but the story is available now on preorder at many online retailers, including (but not limited to):




I am participating in “Smashword’s Summer/Winter Sale.” All my story collections (including Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire and Detective Jimmy Delaney) are available with a 50%-off coupon on the Smashwords site. You can find them all here:


CollectionTheLast3CoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent collection The Last Three ‘Things I Could Get Out of My Mind’  – can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):
• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s