Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Then and Now


Spring in Paris.


deburred shoulder.

Monday, May 05, 2008

my job

I know that I was lucky to keep my job. One of the options was to outsource all of the IT department. I know that I am better off than those who were told their jobs were eliminated - at least I am right now. I know that I have bills to pay and a family that depends on me to earn a living that keeps us fed and a roof over our heads.

But that doesn't mean that I have to like the changes taking place. Where else can I bitch about it if I can't do it in my own blog?

I think it sucks that people who have worked here a long time, some over 30 years, others who were hired at the same time I was, have been told their jobs are being given to someone overseas. I think it sucks that every time I fly overseas I am making it easier for this company to shut down another domestic plant and between 300 and 400 of my friends and neighbors lose their jobs. I think it sucks that, having seen the costs associated with outsourcing production, this company could've been more competitive and kept on manufacturing domestically - to a certain degree. Outsourcing isn't inevitable.

I see those around me who are going to be leaving send out resumes and know that a difficult time in their lives have just begun, but I also wonder if the jobs they will be getting are more secure than the one I have now. Who's to say that, having made the decision to outsource part of IT, management won't decide next year to outsource the rest of it? How secure is my job?

Yes, there are things I can do about that. I could elect to job hunt myself, look for another, more secure job. I might. But I'm not right now, I'm not ready. I still feel a vestige of responsibility to the people who rely on me and the knowledge I've accumulated over the last 18 years. I'm not ready to fix my house up to sell. I'm not ready to consider a commute knowing the cost of gas and time it would incur. I'm not ready to sell myself to someone else. I'm not ready.

I can elect to have a better attitude about the whole thing. I will have a better attitude about the whole thing. Given some time to accept the change.

But in the mean time, If I've appeared bitchy & whiney in my last few posts, well, dammit, I am for the moment. I'm allowed. its my party and I'll whine if I want to.

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.