Thursday, September 23, 2004

Mission Keeping my Job: Total Failure

Well, they say that the more times you say a thing's gonna go a certain way, the more likely that it's gonna come true. Well, on September 14th the unemployment-equivalent of the Sword of Damocles came crashing down on me. For the first time in my life, I've been laid off.

I suppose in some ways I've been very lucky to have lasted this long. It was over a year ago when I was first told that my dismissal was imminent. But somehow, I kept dodging the bullet. I had so much luck at finding last minute contracts and assignments that I began to think I was bulletproof. Lots of more experienced, harder-working people had been shown the door long before it happened to me, and really, that's a small accomplishment in itself. But the bullets'll catch you eventually if you don't dive for cover, and this company's been hunting with a chain-gun for a year straight now.

And the optimist in me is doing its damnedest to see the lighter side of the situation. Yeah, I still have some debts from this past summer and a new apartment to finance, but it's no secret that I hated my job. I hated the insecurity (especially after the first threats of being laid off surfaced), I hated the way that management treated the company's employees - with no regard for skill, talent, or need, and I hated the fact that no matter what I did at that company, I never felt that I was given the opportunity to learn and grow and become more than I was before I was hired.

No matter how I look at it, I was a round peg in a square business environment: a writer, designer, and business analyst in a company that only cares about its technical resources and the "bottom line" (read: meeting its profit-sharing targets). And the bottom line was that my time had come, not because I was unmarketable or I wasn't benefiting the company in so many different ways. It was because they were told to slash the payroll and when they looked at me and they looked at their technical analysts, the marketability of their techs over-ruled.

Do I agree with it? Of course not, but I suppose in an IT consulting company, that's just reality. And yet with my dismissal, they have turfed one of only two people in the whole business unit who has any skills as a graphic designer, the only one, to my knowledge, who was qualified to work as a communications officer on client projects, and once again, the only person I have ever come across who can facilitate and conduct business process analysis interviews while drafting charts in Visio on a laptop while the meeting is actually going on.

Of course, I'm not sure the person who made the decision to lay me off had any understanding of any of this or of how it might be translated into profits. In the end, I was a number on a page, and at the time, I didn't have a billable contract, so I was gone, just like that.

And that is why the company will fail in the long term. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but sooner than they realize. Because every time they do this to someone, the first place they'll go to is the competition. They had good people, and they're letting them all slip through their fingers. And afterwards, these people are feeling angry, betrayed, and totally committed to taking every last bit of business away from their former employers that they can.

So, all of this being said, the layoff can only be a good thing right? Sure, but I have to eat! So I'm putting myself out there to the greater world and all of your connected and knowledgeable colleagues and employers. If anyone knows of any opportunities coming up soon that might work out for a guy like me, please get in touch somehow. I would certainly appreciate the help.

5 Comments:

At 1:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang in there and best of luck

 
At 3:31 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

Thanks, appreciate it. Right now I'm not too worried. If I haven't found something by november I might start getting stressed, though.

 
At 12:13 AM, Blogger Sara said...

Don't worry Drew, they're foolish and you'll move on to bigger and better things.
I have faith.

 
At 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“They had good people, and they're letting them all slip through their fingers…And afterwards, these people are feeling angry, betrayed, and totally committed to taking every last bit of business away from their former employers that they can.”

Here Here!!
All ye laid off consultants, let's join in the fight!
Mission: Taking business away from my former employer.
Accomplished!

 
At 12:23 AM, Blogger Andrew said...

Testify!

 

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