My (old) company went public and my shares did a reverse split, did I get screwed over?

I was offered shares in my company after I became a fully vested employee, I purchased 18,000 shares for just under $5K. I haven't worked for this company for the past several years and received notification that they were going public, which became official recently. I just checked my portfolio and saw my current shares at just over 3,000.

I had talked with someone in financing when they first made the decision to go public as we (those of us who had shares) had to sign a bunch of paperwork. The office manager said something about doing a reverse split but she said that it was a good thing as it would increase the values of our shares. I don't see how going from 18,000 shares down to 3,000 is a good thing when I paid (rounding up) $5K for 18,000 and it's not like they refunded me my $5k or the difference. Is this right? If I sell my shares (once the waiting period is over) I'll actually lose money from the original cost of the investment.


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