My friend suggested I use "laid off," but "fired" has a nice ring to it. More dramatic. So, going with "fired."
29th March 2023, I made my way to Connaught Place to work. The sun was shining bright, and I regretted not bringing my sunglasses. Working from home had grown tiresome, so I decided to head to Blue Tokai for a change of pace. I had been there once before, and I remembered the fast internet, delicious coffee, and filling paneer tikka sandwich. As we worked, I told my girlfriend that we should work from the cafe more often. It was all going well. Save for the seat adjacent to us with a pretentious holier-than-thou jhola boy with one equally obnoxious cult-fit clad pseudo fitness enthusiast chirping off the most cringe-worthy gibberish I have had the misfortune to hear.
I had less work to do in the last week, mostly making small UI improvements. Not many substantial changes, which made me a little worried, to be honest. Rumors of layoffs were circulating. One of the more prominent ones was a mysterious WhatsApp forward that claimed Unacademy leadership had prepared a list of people to lay off. Add to that my manager's cryptic advice to work on my problem-solving skills in the last 1-on-1. My suspicion had grown because of this but I still had a flicker of hope that it won't come to. But I knew - we all knew that it will happen someday. With no VC funding and razor-sharp focus on profitability - it was inevitable. We were all deadmen waiting for our turn to take the rope.
Anyway, on the day I was working on the "end class" confirmation modal among other things. I completed the UI and started testing. When I finished testing and I clicked on the "end class" - it felt like an omen. I kid you not. I distinctly remember that moment - even now after two months.
Nothing happened immediately but as the day went by - I received a message on Slack. The VP of engineering informed the channel to stop all deployments to production. It all but cemented my doubts. The metaphorical nail in the coffin. To top it off - it started raining. God has a sense of humor. It was the first of many unusual showers to bless/curse Delhi.
On my way back home, I listened to old Hindi songs, and the lyrics made more sense for some reason. The shuffle was getting the right songs. The situation was dramatic, and I was blabbering corny shit, adding fuel to the fire. My poor girlfriend tried to console me.
Now, I was just waiting for the formal communication, and it felt long. The next morning, all of us teammates got on a call. Everyone was a little shaken. There were moments of silence between the talking and half-joking. We ended the call, and I had lunch. Then, I got a message from HR asking if we could get on a call. There it was, my moment of doom. My heart skipped a beat, immediately followed by resignation to fate. She droned on and said how sorry she was. I told her it wasn't her fault, and it was done.
Gone. UN5259 signed off.