Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tough economic times

Friday morning during a super-A$$ economy with annual shareholder meeting taking place in the coming week you wake up as normal to get ready for work. The phone rings. It's a co-worker who is actually off today because of the required 10 days off per fiscal quarter due to the economic downturn. They ask you if you are already at work and you say that you are on your way. They claim that they just read their emails and the head of the department just called a meeting with 5 minutes notice. You think, "WTF, that would mean 8:45am...most of the department, like ME, gets in between then and 9am." Then you start doing that layoff calculus in your head: Friday + Payday + Annual shareholder meeting next week + Early morning short notice meeting = HOLY SHITE!

So now you start contingency planning with regards to personal files you have stored on your company provided laptop most especially the ones for the $3400 class you are taking where you have all your homework including the case study due on Monday. "Shite, when was the last time I backed up to my USB disk?" "Double shite, fireburn school files what about my tuition reimbursement?" "Triple shite, I just booked that 7-day-Caribbean cruise?" "Sweet, my lease ends this month and I haven't renewed yet."

Then you get to work late missing the meeting and find out the meeting was just to give everyone in the department a heads up that layoffs are taking place throughout the company and for right now our department is safe. Meanwhile you are thinking if I was 10 years older and in worse health I may have had a heart attack to find out I am safe...for NOW.

Back at your desk, you don't even feel good about having survived another day since you are learning of folks you know in other departments that didn't make the cut. And let's face it, all the slack has long been gone. These are good-to-great workers who just find themselves on a project or in a business unit that either requires too much capital, not generating enough profits in the short term or both. Your sorrow for them fades when you start thinking that this is what it is going to be like every so often until the economy picks up. You tell yourself that it is best to move on from this paralyzing thought process since all it does is make you sit in fear. But while trying to move on and stay positive you can't help but wondering, "Am I currently in the on deck circle?"