Friday, May 02, 2008

good news, bad news

The good news is that I am keeping my job.

The bad news is that they are cutting over half the IT people and their function will be outsourced to India.

I was the only manager who told their direct reports that their job had been eliminated. The other managers left it to the director and CIO. I couldn't understand it. I had no input into who stayed or went, but these were my people and I felt a responsibility to be there when they were told.

The blow was lessened somewhat by them not having to leave immediately. The company we are outsourcing to is bringing in people to learn the jobs of those who are leaving. Some key people were given an incentive to stay until the knowledge transfer is complete. The others still have a few months before they have to leave. They say it is easier to find a job if you have one, so I really hope that they do.

I feel like absolute crap. Some of these people have been with this company 30+ years. One woman is the sole support for several of her kids and grandkids. Another's wife just lost her job too. We live in small town and there aren't that many IT jobs here, and hardly any that pay what these people earn here.

The transition plan in its current state will give those who were asked to stay their job until mid-December. But it might change. maybe shorter, but probably longer. Still - I told my people not to turn down any decent job offers. If they stay until told to go, they will get the severance benefit (one week pay per year of service (but this company in its current incarnation has only been in existance for not quite 3 years), compensation for any untaken vacation and COBRA coverage. The incentive to stay until told to go adds to this: a small bonus (about a month's pay, some more a few a bit less).

The company has applied for TAA coverage (jobs eliminated due to NAFTA) and if it is granted there will be some benefits (a tax deduction for part of their COBRA insurance dues, unemployment insurance for longer, potential tech school training and if their new jobs pay less than their current, additional compensation for some period of time.

But they only earn these benefits if they stay until the company tells them to leave. If they quit, then they quit and no benefits whatsoever.

my job sucks sometimes. I wonder who is better off - them or me.

14 deeply creased, dogeared comment(s):

MitMoi said...

I am so sorry for them - and you too. :(

meno said...

This must be that giant sucking sound that H. Ross warned about. Because it does suck.

Bob said...

mitmoi - I feel for them too.

meno - this company has closed 8 plants in this town alone. @400 employees per plant. that is a HUGELY giant sucking sound.

JCK said...

That must be terribly hard. I feel for you.

Tink said...

Hoop's job frequently requires him to be the bad guy. One time he had to repo the car of a single Mom with three kids. I wasn't sure he'd be able to go back in the next day, he was so torn up. But what can you do?

liv said...

at the risk of seeming cut throat, there are some times when one must look out for number one.

Maggie said...

Bob I so feel for you, but I am extremely proud of you for choosing to be the guy to tell them. When I got downsized, I was informed with four other people in a meeting with a bigwig who never had any (and I mean any) interaction with any of us before. It so sucked. I think it would be so much better to be told by someone you trust.

Bob said...

jck - thanks.

tink - what can I do - I guess suck it up and keep on working.

liv - I am. but that doesn't mean that I have to like what is happening here.

Bob said...

maggie - that was sweet of you to say.

Glamourpuss said...

As a manager, I think you did the right thing - I'd do the same. But why is your comapny outsourcing? Is it in financial difficulty, or is it just trying to make more money?

Puss

Bob said...

Puss - outsourcing: code for exporting jobs overseas.

Daisy said...

8 plants in one town = 400 employees.

For some reason I am reminded of elm blight -- too much of one kind of tree in one place

what a terrible shame

JCK said...

That's a horrible position to be in.

Kat said...

My company is doing the same with accounting functions, outsourcing to the Phillipines. It is ALWAYS about money, they can pay an accountant in Manila far less than one in the U.S.

So sorry you're going through this, it's very difficult. Good that you told your people yourself, I can't imagine not doing that either.