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OTHER THINGS IN THE WORLD THAN MUSIC => Everything and Nothing => Topic started by: mgriffin on November 11, 2008, 05:42:11 PM

Title: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: mgriffin on November 11, 2008, 05:42:11 PM
It seems like the economy is in rapid-shrink mode, and huge layoffs are being announced every day.

I'm not too interested in a political blame-assignment discussion about the economy, but I'm curious how many people reading this forum have been touched, or spared, by layoffs.

At my "day job" the discussion came up.  So far we've been able to avoid letting anyone go, and have managed to reduce the workforce almost 25% by attrition.  But now nobody wants to quit, with the holidays coming up, and other jobs harder to come by, so we're having to discuss the possibility of letting some people go soon.  Lots of the other businesses we work with have done huge layoffs, like 25-40% of their work force. 

So, thoughts?
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Mark Mushet on November 11, 2008, 06:02:16 PM
It seems like the economy is in rapid-shrink mode, and huge layoffs are being announced every day.
I'm not too interested in a political blame-assignment discussion about the economy, but I'm curious how many people reading this forum have been touched, or spared, by layoffs.

No effect whatsoever...so far. Most of the "problems" are long overdue for correction though. I mean, it is sick to measure an economy's health by factors such as car sales.

I can't believe unions and entire families jumped into that business in the last few decades and expected to see "business as usual" continue as it was.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: SunDummy on November 11, 2008, 06:58:40 PM
The credit crunch has hit our company.  Last spring, we realized we would need a bridge loan to get us through from Nov. '08 to March '09, after which we would be flush.  Thriving, in fact.  So, this summer, we applied for a loan at our bank; they just turned us down this week, saying that they were overextended because of the housing market collapse, and that they were freezing all loan activity. 

Now we're scrambling to find an alternative source of funding.  We may have to lay people off until next March, but we really, really need the staff right now to get the work done until then.  This is gonna be interesting; we may go to half-salary, half-time, or something equally unappealing.   :(

No matter what happens, at least I'm fairly confident that we'll be in great shape next spring, so this is just temporary for me.  Knock on wood.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: avec on November 11, 2008, 08:02:33 PM
I'm very worried right now.  I have saved up just enough money for a healthy down payment (20%) on a condo and am ready to close the deal on Monday.  So I'm preparing to be out a lot of money soon to begin with.  Additionally, just last night USPS has announced possible 40,000 jobs may be cut.  They are offering early retirement for people without incentives.  Not many are foolish enough to bite in a recession such as this.  So the only way for the post office to recoup their losses is to take out the workers at the bottom.  I am the lowest in seniority in my office so I would be the one to go if my office was targeted.

I like my job, work very hard and could see myself making a lifetime out of it.  Needless to say it would break my heart were I to become a victim of economic circumstance. 

Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Joe R on November 11, 2008, 08:20:02 PM
It seems like the economy is in rapid-shrink mode, and huge layoffs are being announced every day.
I'm not too interested in a political blame-assignment discussion about the economy, but I'm curious how many people reading this forum have been touched, or spared, by layoffs.

No effect whatsoever...so far. Most of the "problems" are long overdue for correction though. I mean, it is sick to measure an economy's health by factors such as car sales.


Mark, how is it "sick" to measure an economy's health by car sales? If you said "short sighted" I'd agree, although it's served my state well for a hundred years or so. Granted, by it's very nature, an automobile is a dirty product, but in this society it's also a necessity. Do you drive a car, or ride a bus?

Here in mid-Michigan, my brother is supporting a wife and 3 kids with a white-collar job at a GM plant in Saginaw. He's very afraid for his job right now, what with the dire situation GM is under, especially in the last few weeks. If GM goes into bankruptcy it'll most likely pull Ford and Chrysler under as well, because GM will be selling their vehicles dirt cheap to pay off their creditors. If that happens, the whole world economy will go into the tank much farther than it is now. It won't be just a local thing.

By the way, GM is planning to unveil an electric car in the next few years, if it is still a functioning company.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Dave Michuda on November 11, 2008, 10:20:27 PM
We've been doing the reduction through attrition thing too(just lost 55 years worth of experience in one week).  I work in local TV news & it's starting to get ridiculous.  We've had a ton of people leave but we aren't allowed to replace them.  So then we end up with photographers & editors wandering around with nothing to do because we don't have enough reporters to fill the shows.  I'm beginning to wonder when we will start to kill newscasts because we don't have enough people to do the job.

If we do get permission to hire someone, we have to do it using corporate's latest trick...hire the person as a "freelancer".  That way we don't have to pay benefits.  We offer the carrot of full time employment some time in the future.

You know you're in trouble when management starts talking about the "exciting challenges" that lie ahead and how we will be "creative" with our budgets and how we have to "do more with less".  Yippee!
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: jkn on November 12, 2008, 09:54:31 AM
Been scary... Getting a lot scarier.  Hiring freeze except for a very few key positions for quite awhile now.  I'm getting to the point where I need a couple weeks off from bad news, but that isn't looking likely.

The media unfortunately feeds into the fears people have - but also - that's the news people want to know about. 

So yeah - I'm to the point where this is getting really bad - and only seems to be getting worse.   As the problems trickle down through everyone - wow. 

And could someone please get the AIG management fired, please?   If I see another story about management and sales retreats after the bailout - I think I'll through stuffed animals at my tv...  (Don't want to actually hurt the tv!)

Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Bill Binkelman on November 12, 2008, 10:10:26 AM
So far, everything at the small private university where I work is status quo. But, since I am in teacher education, if schools start closing or laying off, and the word gets out that there are no teaching jobs, then our enrollment goes down and you can do the math from there. However, I am arguably one of the most entrenched folks here (most admin/support personnel only stay for a few years then leave, as they use this place to get their graduate degrees then leave for greener pastures). I've been here since 1999 and no one knows 1/10th what I do about licensing teachers, so hopefully I would be one of the last to be cut should they start lopping heads.

That said, as a 55 year old white male without a bachelor degree (but with arguably a shitload of business experience and a plenty of office/computer skills), I worry that if it does happen to me, the best I can hope for is going back to temping, which I abhor the thought of. I'm nowhere near ready to retire... probably won't be until I'm 70. So, even though I feel somewhat secure, I still worry about it. Am about to start looking for a second job to pay down some debt.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: hjalmer on November 12, 2008, 11:07:13 AM
As VP of Creative Services at a large environmental photo studio in North Carolina, I am worried the housing market will drag down our business further. Advertising budgets are the first to be slashed. Who needs a sofa when food and shelter become paramount. I have had to let go 11 people so far, some with a lot of talent. Looks pretty bleak ahead. Save mode in our house.     H.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: mgriffin on November 12, 2008, 11:11:37 AM
What hjalmer says about "save mode" is another side effect of what's happening, which is that even those of us who are fully employed, and financially just as well-off as ever, start to spend less at times like this.  That "hunkering down" that happens stunts the economy still further, as people who don't have money can't spend, and people who DO have money hold on to what they have.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: SunDummy on November 12, 2008, 11:40:23 AM
Another aspect that's hurting me is that the credit freeze is killing the housing market.  My house in WI has been on the market for 14 months, with no end in sight.   And I'm priced well below appraised value.  We have had viewings, but in the last 2 months, absolutely no activity.  There is one couple who really want the house, but when the housing market collapsed, they lost everything (he was a builder), so they can't get a mortgage in this tight credit market. 

My realtor just told me that she hasn't had any activity at all, not one phone call, in four weeks.  And she works in one of the busiest offices in western WI.  In her words, the "market is dead, completely frozen." 

Having two mortgages really, really sucks.   :'(
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: mgriffin on November 12, 2008, 11:50:42 AM
I'm seeing more houses for rent now, presumably people who couldn't sell at all and didn't need their second house.  Or maybe people who just couldn't stomach selling in such a down market and decided to rent as a way of getting through to a market recovery, and selling then.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Mark Mushet on November 12, 2008, 01:51:36 PM
It seems like the economy is in rapid-shrink mode, and huge layoffs are being announced every day. I'm not too interested in a political blame-assignment discussion about the economy, but I'm curious how many people reading this forum have been touched, or spared, by layoffs.

No effect whatsoever...so far. Most of the "problems" are long overdue for correction though. I mean, it is sick to measure an economy's health by factors such as car sales.

Mark, how is it "sick" to measure an economy's health by car sales? If you said "short sighted" I'd agree, although it's served my state well for a hundred years or so. Granted, by it's very nature, an automobile is a dirty product, but in this society it's also a necessity. Do you drive a car, or ride a bus? By the way, GM is planning to unveil an electric car in the next few years, if it is still a functioning company.

It is "sick" in that we've all known for a long time (though not acknowledged or acted upon) the fact that poor quality, design and massive output of vehicles have a negative impact on the health of the world and that we've failed to prepare for it. Yet we've still seen a "business as usual" approach as "healthy". Oil and car companies have, for more than half a century stymied all attempts at increasing efficiency and the development of vehicles that would negatively affect their short term profits. GM should get no "Brownie points" for only talking about developing electric cars in the year 2008. Too little too late. It still amazes me that SUVs were a product introduced in the 1990s. I think "sick" and "short sighted" are both perfecty apt.

What promises will the auto industry make towards sustainability before being bailed out by government? What promises will unions and workers make to themselves to see the bigger picture and act on moving forward on making the industry more responsible before expecting generation after generation to grow up in auto plants?

BTW I drive a '91 Honda Civic. I wouldn't buy a Ford or GM, though I'd theoretically much prefer it.

Vancouver also has a "sick" reliance on property speculation and real estate development that I hope is soon corrected. It may be rough for those playing the game and some may be unfairly hurt, but that's how we've "engineered" our economies.

I wish it were all otherwise believe me!
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: LNerell on November 12, 2008, 02:19:17 PM
In a strange way I feel personally that I have been through the ruff times and am about to come out on the other side. I use to teach part-time at two community colleges and worked at a music store also part-time. About two years ago in one two week period I lost all three jobs. I ended up doing mostly temp work, and had eight different jobs and was on unemployment for four months during 2007. Near the beginning of this year I got my current job, a part-time position at a local university working as a recording technician in the music school.  And now it looks like within the next few months I will be going full-time. Itís been a hard road but I think I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

As far as how the bad economy has affected us here, we have felt it a bit but it has mostly to do with the state budget problems then anything else. Scheduled pay increases are on hold until further notice. We had to lay off one person in our department, their should be five of us but at this time their are only three, and with the up coming retirement of one individual we will be down to two, although this is only until we can hire two more people so it should only be for a short time period.

By the way, GM is planning to unveil an electric car in the next few years, if it is still a functioning company.

GM did that back in the 1990s here in California. They had a lot of interest, with long lines of people ready to take delivery of a Saturn EV. In response GM refused to sell anyone a car and would only lease them. They then bitched and moaned about the state mandate that required electric cars, and once the lease was up they then took every car back and destroyed them instead of selling them to their lease holders. They even pretty much gave up on hybrid technology when they were the world leaders. Because of this I have very little sympathy to GM and the other big three, they only thought about the short term and have pretty much driven themselves into a ditch.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: mgriffin on November 12, 2008, 02:29:28 PM
It seems that the car industry and the financial services industry are two areas where people have less than the usual sympathy for those who are in trouble and possibly losing their jobs.  The problem is that each failure of a GM or an AIG doesn't just affect the greedy, short-sighted executives of those companies who caused the problem, but also affects many rank and file employees of the company, as well as employees of companies that do business with those giant corporations.

There's a part of me that feels it would be a kind of justice to see GM go bankrupt, but then I remember that it wouldn't just punish those at fault.  It would punish many, many others and would probably also cost our society more than if we could find some way of helping them through this situation.

The best win-win deal would be if some of these companies could be assisted through short-term difficulties in a way that allows them to survive, doesn't unfairly waste taxpayer funds, and also strong-arms the companies (I'm talking about both auto and financial industries) into behaving in a more enlightened way.

My "day job" is in the steel industry, and much of the steel industry went through a major collapse a few years ago, which resulted in a healthier and more sustainable steel industry that can afford to compete.  But the change did not, could not, occur without some bloodletting.  Many jobs were lost, unions broken, and oppressive pension and retirement health care obligations were cut loose.  It seems likely the auto industry, at least, will need a similarly difficult solution in the end.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Wayne Higgins on November 12, 2008, 02:41:57 PM
My wife works for the State of Florida.  They have been frightened for years.  No put downs intended, but Democrats give them raises, Republicans cut the funds.  She has a job that is secure, as in the feds fund her department (as safe as it can be).  Laws are inplace that mandate Nursing Homes are monitored.  But it's no picnic. 

My job. :D I actually hate this work.  Half of our money comes via contracts with AIG, so any day :o.  The other half (what I do) is always going to be there.  People do need clean drinking water, you know.  Most of my work comes from monitoring waste water treatment plants.  The point about my job is that it is somewhat secure, but I'm unhappy.  The dismal part is that I look at the Sunday want ads... have a page in the paper.  If worse comes to worse, I will start selling firewood on a street corner.  I've got plenty of it.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: SunDummy on November 12, 2008, 02:49:01 PM
I'm unclear on exactly how giving GM money will in any way improve the situation.  Seems like throwing good money after bad.  Sure, it'll allow them to continue operations, but only short-term.  The long-term outlook for them is bleak at best, unless there is a major shift in how they do business.  Toyota (as an example) makes cars that people want; they're thriving.  True, they don't have the expensive pensions and unions that GM has, but they have such huge market share in the US because they anticipate trends, and provide what the public wants quickly.  The Yaris, the Prius, etc. - they get it.  I don't see GM (or any of the big three) doing this.  They talk about hybrids and fuel economy, but they are still stuck in a bigger-is-better mindset.

There's a commercial for one of the big three's hybrid SUVs (I forget which), in which they brag about the great mileage (30-ish), while asserting that you get this great mileage while still getting a huge SUV.  What the hell?  Are they completely missing the point?  Just last night, I saw a commercial for a four-door pickup truck, in which some drivers put the vehicles through a "punishing obstacle course", like a scene from American Gladiators, or Wrestling, but with trucks.  HUGE trucks.  The viewer is then invited to see more of the course, by going to a website.  WTF?  THIS is supposed to boost their sales?  Sure, there are some chain-driven motorheads who find this stuff compelling, and will probably buy one of these behemoths to impress their mud-rally buddies.  But is this really where the automaker should be putting advertising dollars?  Really?  THIS is gonna help turn things around in Detroit?  You don't see many Toyota ads for their big Sequoia; they focus on smaller, more efficient cars in their marketing.  And it works.

It all just seems like business as usual.  Which might be ok, if not for the fact that it's not working.  The Big Three are all in trouble; it seems obvious to me that if you keep doing the same thing, and getting the same bad result, maybe you should try something new.  Or at least watch what your successful competitor is doing, and try to follow their lead.

And I agree, Loren, it's hard to have sympathy for these companies, but I sure do feel for the people farther down the food chain.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: mgriffin on November 12, 2008, 03:20:12 PM

By the way, GM is planning to unveil an electric car in the next few years, if it is still a functioning company.

GM did that back in the 1990s here in California. They had a lot of interest, with long lines of people ready to take delivery of a Saturn EV. In response GM refused to sell anyone a car and would only lease them. They then bitched and moaned about the state mandate that required electric cars, and once the lease was up they then took every car back and destroyed them instead of selling them to their lease holders. They even pretty much gave up on hybrid technology when they were the world leaders. Because of this I have very little sympathy to GM and the other big three, they only thought about the short term and have pretty much driven themselves into a ditch.

I'd recommend the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? for anyone curious about the events around the EV1, which was GM's aborted attempt at an electric car. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Killed_the_Electric_Car (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Killed_the_Electric_Car)

Once you see this, though, you're likely to be so angry at GM that you'll want to see the company go bankrupt.  GM certainly had a chance to get a head-start on the rest of the world, but they decided not to pursue it, for whatever reason.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Joe R on November 12, 2008, 03:43:19 PM
Just to make myself clear:

In no way am I making excuses for GM. I agree that they've dug their own hole through shortsightedness and greed. In fact, only 3 years ago their big push was to sell those humongous Hummers. However, I DID want to know what Mark meant by "sick", since it seemed like an extraordinarily inappropriate word. But after reading his explanation, I find that I have to agree with him.

However, I have great sympathy for my brother, and other people I know who work at various auto plants, who put in an honest day's work (they're not all lazy deadbeats like you might have heard), and just want to keep their American dream. I don't want to see them uprooted, and then have to scratch for another job, ANY job, in this economy.

And I'm very, very afraid of the impact on our economy -AND the global economy- if the Big 3 are allowed to fail. There are so many jobs at stake in so many sectors of the economy... I don't know if many people can fully appreciate how far-reaching the effects of a Big 3 failure would be. Folks, we'll be looking at another Great Depression.

Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: mgriffin on November 12, 2008, 03:47:15 PM
Not to turn this topic into "All about GM" but here's a recent, relevant article about discussions of an auto-industry bailout:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/12/opinion/12friedman.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/12/opinion/12friedman.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin)

The thing to remember, though, is that it might well cost US taxpayers more to deal with the aftermath of one or more enormous corporate bankruptcies, and the cascade effect of smaller bankruptcies, than to put together some kind of sensible assistance package.  Another way of looking at it is that such an assistance package or "bailout" might be more about the taxpayers' self-interest, than helping greedy corporate executives who made stupid decisions.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: jim brenholts on November 12, 2008, 04:03:07 PM
there is always a demand for the services that i offer. unfortunately, we are subject to the whims of the government and our allotment has been cut by our governor, ed rendell - prick! fortunately we have other funding streams so we will not be feeling any 'crunches.'
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Seren on November 12, 2008, 04:07:52 PM
Not sure how it is biting here, I don't want to spend money, but have to just to keep things going. Odd expenses like car repair bills hitting harder than before. We took out a loan just before the credit crunch, mailnly to consolidate credit card bills arisen out of 3 years of living on one wage and to some extent my music equipment (though almost everything is second hand) - would hate to try and get one now - and the £900 pounds a month mortgage someone offered us about two years ago would have killed us at that level, let alone now they are bouncing up quickly. Lenders want even 30% deposit !!!!!

I work in a hospital as a social worker - trying to ensure people are safe to go home and don't clog up the beds by staying too long - two other people joined since I started so not too worried about last in first out - but even with a couple of people less as experienced recently with illness makes the job very hard work, so would not enjoy any lay offs here.

Lots of service and manufacturing industries suffering, though in entertainment it seems to be hit or miss - cinemas still going strong. We are seeing an increase of £1 shops - selling I suspect, stock from bankrupt businesses.

Wood burning stoves are doing well, as are the logs for them as the increase in gas and electric bills scare people.

I saw recently on the BBC website a list of businesses doing badly or well in the new environment - made for interesting reading.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: einstein36 on November 12, 2008, 05:20:41 PM
is anyone in our goverment thinking about the long road ahead...like it's our 'tax payer' money that is being used to help bail out the economy.....
maybe it's time to start thinking 'outside' of the box....like for example, oh, I don't know..maybe become a true 24/7 society and let the people that our loosing their jobs maybe actually work a different shift and hey who knows..maybe greedy corp america will wake up and realize the more people are working and making money around the clock, etc and buy around the clock..maybe our profits will go up....
just little things like that..

and for peep sake....come on already..get rid of this BULLSHIT!!!! daylight savings time change..it's not helping us at all...
little things like this I think will in the long run may help our economy...
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Wayne Higgins on November 12, 2008, 05:44:35 PM
I'll admit, I don't know crap.  But.....

If the American government has to bail them out again(the auto industry), it should have a few conditions attached.  1:  Start making fuel efficient cars  2:  bring the factories back to the US  3:  stop giving the CEO's multi million dollar bonus's for putting people out of work.

Actually, that would be a good principle for this country to adapt.  End giving a CEO a huge bonus if increasing profits means cutting jobs in America and moving the jobs overseas.  For one thing, it's not good for the over all economy and for another, doing it in the past hasn't worked

Things are bad and they will probably get worse.  The people who are going to bear the heaviest burden are the people over 70.  It's a damn shame that the most technological advanced civilization in history (not the USA but the modern world) is collapsing because a few thousand people weren't happy with being rich, they wanted to be filthy rich.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: ffcal on November 12, 2008, 07:20:41 PM
I've been a freelancer for the past few months, and it's been fairly brutal.  The slowdown in legal work was rather sudden, though there has been a slow motion collapse of the Bay Area housing market over the past year or two.  Though I think I'm positioned to weather this, the current tailspin of the market is very disconcerting.  While I guess I should be thankful that Paulson is capable of changing his mind about things such as the purchase of toxic subprime assets, I wish he had gotten it right the first time.

Forrest 
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Antdude on November 13, 2008, 10:17:41 AM
Quote

I'd recommend the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? for anyone curious about the events around the EV1, which was GM's aborted attempt at an electric car. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Killed_the_Electric_Car (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Killed_the_Electric_Car)

Once you see this, though, you're likely to be so angry at GM that you'll want to see the company go bankrupt.  GM certainly had a chance to get a head-start on the rest of the world, but they decided not to pursue it, for whatever reason.

Here's my thought about bailing out the Big 3: I'm against it. Yes, Mike, you're right, there will be bloodletting,  and many people will be hurt by it. But at this point, I don't see how you can make GM/Ford/Chrysler change their ways. Just giving them 25 Billion dollars when they're already burning through 1 billion a month will not change anything. Give the Big 3 that money now, I guarantee they'll be back in a year, asking for another bailout.

Someone has to be allowed to fail. The industry will fight change until there is a catastrophic loss that makes them realize the old way of doing things is done. Declare bankruptcy, restructure, reorganize, and streamline your operations. There has to be outside oversight. There are still gas-guzzlers on the drawing boards there. Didn't GM just introduce a new Hummer? That kind of thinking needs to stop Today.

It takes years to get a car from the drawing board to the showroom, that's just the nature of automotive design. Once GM makes the choice and says, 'Yeah, this is our next car for the new year,' a plant somewhere has to begin the massive retooling effort to start manufacturing those cars. None of this happens quickly.

If our money is to be used to bail these companies out, it is perfectly reasonable for us to demand that those resources and money be directed into forward-thinking, efficient cars that will eventually replace the cars of today with cars that take the company, as well as the country, into the future. Left on their own, the executives will try to continue business as usual. They are already fighting the suggestion that they be told how to spend the bailout money.

The union stranglehold on the companies will have to be loosened as well. They will have to make concessions on their end. The joke in the auto industry is that Ford, GM and Chrysler are these huge medical care providers that also happen to make cars on the side. The operating costs for retirees alone are staggering.

None of this could be done without shedding thousands of people and jobs. The companies, unions, contractors, line workers and support companies, etc, would all be profoundly affected by this. Not to mention the cities and states that would be devastated by the effects of a vastly reduced auto industry.

But the alternative is to watch at least one of these companies suddenly stagger and collapse under its own inertia, as Lehman Bros. did. Watching one of its own die will be the catalyst that makes the other car companies finally see the light, and start working together. 

Adapt or Die.

And no one wants to buy these cars anymore anyway. They want to pay less for gas, people want cars and vans that allow them to get around, and for soccer moms to get their kids around. And we know there are cars out there that will deliver, but they're not coming out of Ford, GM, Chrysler. They can offer incentives to buy these cars, but you can't take a young family with 1, 2 kids and shoehorn them into a new 8-cylinder Ford Mustang Bullitt.

The mindset in Detroit still seems to be muscle cars and Hummers. People would like to drive more fuel-efficient hybrids, if they could plug them in at night. I see very little effort at the state level to offer support for hybrids. A couple token spots to refuel your electric car....

Change comes from within. Let's see what GM's current 5-year plan is, and then decide whether it's worth rescuing. If there's no real fundamental shift to newer technology that puts hybrids on the streets in massive numbers within, say, two years, then clearly the company isn't planning ahead, and our money shouldn't be used to prop up an outdated business model.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: ffcal on November 13, 2008, 10:27:44 AM
While I don't feel I have enough information to fully weigh in on this, I read recently that the current federal intervention in the markets is in part an attempt to avoid the sort of "let weak businesses fail" approach that was prevalent in the years leading to the Great Depression.

Forrest
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: mgriffin on November 13, 2008, 10:42:51 AM
I agree that "let weak businesses fail" has a certain common-sense appeal.  But if we look at the issue a different way, maybe some people will come up with a different answer.

For example, which of these two hypothetical outcomes seems preferable?

A) Offer $50 billion in assistance to auto companies in the form of low-interest loans (which mean that money will be returned, with interest) and preferred stock (which means that money will be exchanged for something that will have value in the future), with the assistance offered subject to the kind of terms that would force the recipients to move toward more modern ways of doing business in the future -- more efficient vehicles better suited to today's realities, for starters.  In this scenario, GM releases the Volt, Chrysler and Ford follow suit, and the big 3 auto makers finally stumble their way painfully into the 21st century and figure out how to do better.

B) Let the auto companies go down, resulting in a catastrophic ripple effect driving hundreds of smaller businesses into bankruptcy as well -- resulting in an eventual public cost in the area of $100 billion.  The bankruptcy means that the stock value of the three companies (and remember, many smaller related businesses who were too closely tied to the big 3) decreases to zero, the auto worker unions disappear and all current and former employees see their retirements and their health care plans vanish.  Foreign companies buy up some of the assets of the failed companies and there are still cars being made with Ford and Chevy and Dodge on them, but no more Saturn or Pontiac or Chrysler or Jeep. The majority of the work goes overseas, and even if the three companies enjoy some kind of resurgence in the future it will benefit the GNP of Germany or Sweden, and not the United States.

I repeat that these terms are hypothetical... but given the choice between A and B, which one seems preferable? 
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: SunDummy on November 13, 2008, 11:08:54 AM
Obviously A; but that assumes that: A. the companies will remain viable entities, so that the loan (plus interest) will be paid back, and B. the preferred stock will be worth something.  If they're burning through 1 billion dollars a month (is that figure really correct?  wow...), it would take a major shift in their business models to make either of these things true.  And if they're not true, then a HUGE amount of money has been wasted.

In scenario A, it costs the taxpayers $50 million, in direct payments to the automakers.  But there are other coasts as well.  If they retool, and restructure themselves to be competitive, won't that also mean layoffs, changes in what they buy from suppliers (resulting in job losses, potentially, in that sector), reduced pensions (meaning more costs to taxpayers to pick up this slack), etc.  Won't these other costs push the total cost to taxpayers near (or over) the $100 million in scenario B?  I realize these are all hypothetical numbers, but the principle is the same no matter what the total figures. 
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: mgriffin on November 13, 2008, 11:16:19 AM
Right, but everybody knows the arguments for NOT doing any kind of bailout of assistance.  If you think it's absolutely inevitable that GM, Ford and Chrysler will all fail regardless of any reasonable intervention then it's better to just let them die off right away. 

But if that's true, then we're almost certainly headed for a worldwide economic depression of enormous proportions, so maybe it's worth trying to figure out ways to prevent that.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: SunDummy on November 13, 2008, 11:20:43 AM
Both scenarios suck, but I agree, doing something is better than doing nothing.  Quite the house of cards our modern society has become, eh?  :-\
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Brian Bieniowski on November 13, 2008, 12:38:12 PM
New York has been hit particularly hard, for obvious reasons, and it was interesting to see the attrition on mass transit in and out of New Jersey.  I feel for those peopleónot the top executives, but just regular middle class people with families/mortgages/SUVs who lost a lot of money and/or their jobs.  In my experience the top executives never suffer at all, no matter what happens.  And now we find out that portions of the bailout money are to be used to maintain executive bonuses, etc?  Madness.

My wife and I both work in publishing; she's in book sales for Random House, and I edit a "literary" magazine.  Things have been kind of tough for the publishing industry for the past several years, so we've already weathered mergers, layoffs, what have you, and there aren't clear signs of future abatement.  What we do most often is place more responsibility on fewer employees.  There was a time when I had an assistant and people in other departments doing things that I now do alone.  And the company hasn't replaced any people who've left over the last year or two.  As the big booksellers teeter (Borders, as an example), and the continuing questions about the future of reading and the medium by which people will read linger, the only certainty is uncertainty.  Job security is a daydream, job listings in my field are a rare as hen's teeth.  So, yeah, we're in "save mode," just in case.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Antdude on November 13, 2008, 12:44:31 PM
Actually, it looks like the Big 3 are each burning through 2.5 billion a month, according to FBN.  So, it's even worse than we thought.

I think the A) scenario is feasible, as there is already precedent, since Chrysler got a 1.5 billion dollar loan in the '80's, and most importantly, paid it back in full. So it's not like this money went down a rathole. I believe the loan option is the way to go, provided there is strict oversight on business operations, and the companies involved show good-faith efforts to change their practices. Just making it a 50 billion dollar cash give-away will only make it possible for them to come back in a year and say, 'We need more money.' The bailout just puts off the inevitable.

Having said that, I don't think this can go forward without a sacrifice. One of the big 3 may have to fall on its sword in order for the industry as a whole to survive and move forward.  It's horrible to consider, but the auto industry needs to understand there is no going back.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Joe R on November 13, 2008, 04:36:41 PM
I don't think a 50 billion bailout loan for the Big 3 would be wasted money. If I recall correctly, all 3 were doing reasonably well before this latest economic downturn. And my brother informed me that GM has already won substantial wage and benefit concessions from the union that will kick in in 2010. Once the economy starts to turn around, I think you'll see consumers return to GM, Ford, Chrysler. This is just a stop-gap loan to see them through.

Certainly they'll have to become leaner and more efficient, and that is already taking place. Plus, GM FINALLY seems to be serious about changing with the times.

And a bailout loan is far, far better than the alternative -another great depression.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: mgriffin on November 13, 2008, 05:27:10 PM
With regard to helping/rescuing US auto makers, it's my hope that we can find a way to accomplish two goals at once.  First, we give the automakers a boost to help them forward, and second, the nature of the help offered comes in the form of an arrangement to help reduce our country's fuel consumption.

Maybe there's a way to make the big 3 auto makers into partners in a major project to help re-direct our oil-obsessed economy.  Maybe it was necessary for GM, Ford and Chrysler to find themselves backed right up to the edge of the cliff before they see the wisdom in becoming part of a 21st century solution to a 20th century problem.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: SunDummy on November 14, 2008, 02:48:12 PM
I just got some good news today, and after re-doing our company's financial projections for the next year, it looks like we'll weather the storm without layoffs, or even the need of a loan.  I had no idea how stressed-out I was until I finished the projections, saw the bottom line, and got up to do a happy-dance.  My dogs looked at me like I had gone insane.   ;D

But on a sadder note, my brother called me last night to tell me that his company had canceled all appearances at trade shows for the next 6 months, as a way to save money.  Of course, this means fewer orders and new customers, too, so it looks like his company is in for rough times.  He's really worried.   :(
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: mgriffin on November 14, 2008, 02:53:24 PM
My company (the day job, not Hypnos) decided this week that we will not have any layoffs this year, and that we would tell our employees (especially the hourly guys on the factory floor, who are most worried about the economic slowness and possibly layoffs) that everybody is safe until the new year at least.

Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: avec on November 15, 2008, 07:54:18 PM
At the P.O. that I work at, my Postmaster has told us he will be cutting 4,000 hours next year.

One route (the shared/auxilliary one) will be dismantled and dissolved into the carriers routes.  That means more work in less time for people, and very little of the overtime people depend on. 

I don't have a route yet and am at the bottom of seniority so I am terribly worried about my security.  They love me there, but when push comes to shove companies will turn their back on you.  I'll just have to take it one day at time. 
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Seren on November 16, 2008, 06:39:58 AM
At the P.O. that I work at, my Postmaster has told us he will be cutting 4,000 hours next year.

One route (the shared/auxilliary one) will be dismantled and dissolved into the carriers routes.  That means more work in less time for people, and very little of the overtime people depend on. 

I don't have a route yet and am at the bottom of seniority so I am terribly worried about my security.  They love me there, but when push comes to shove companies will turn their back on you.  I'll just have to take it one day at time. 

Hope things go better than you fear avec, not a good place to be in with all the worry etc.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: avec on November 16, 2008, 08:14:32 AM
Thank you, I'm going to try my best to not think about it because it is largely out of my control.  There are people much worse off than me.     
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Seren on December 04, 2008, 09:04:30 AM
housing, mortgages, finances, many businesses - lots of struggle for people happening here now.

A friend works for Honda and despite BBC saying no lay offs for Honda, the company he works for is a subsidiary and they are having a lot of redundancies.

Some companies are doing well, the cheaper supermarkets and the £1 shops doing very well.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Mark Mushet on December 04, 2008, 12:05:32 PM
My wife and I both work in publishing; she's in book sales for Random House, and I edit a "literary" magazine. Things have been kind of tough for the publishing industry for the past several years. As the big booksellers teeter (Borders, as an example), and the continuing questions about the future of reading and the medium by which people will read linger, the only certainty is uncertainty. 

Actually, hard copy reading materials are certain to continue. Here, all the online "magazine" people simultaneously say the web is the future...while secretly wishing to be in print. Bet hedging like that doesn't help.

And the major bookstores are like the auto sector; re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, removing local decision-making power that would help sales and generally transforming themselves into tacky gift stores. Chapters/Indigo is a good example. When times were good they initiated supplier payment strategies that were punishing of many small publishers.

Here, those of us into serious literary publishing have seen no difference. As one of Canada's best writers recently said: "I never saw the boom in this field so I'm sure to be untroubled by a bust". The Oprah-inspired crowd may see thing differently as their reading habits are less deeply ingrained.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Brian Bieniowski on December 04, 2008, 01:22:10 PM
I think where you're seated in publishing makes a difference.  I suppose my own magazine could be classified as literary publishing, in the sense that relatively few people buy it, so we are, in some respect, insulated from economic crises by the hardcore following.  Yet our company still had layoffs this year.

I didn't mean to imply that electronic publishing is going to take over or anything like thatóI've never seen convincing numbers to even suggest that'll be happening any time soon, and I'm not convinced by any of its proponents rhetoric.  But the real numbers are shrinking, and, I suspect, what we're seeing is the inevitable correction where you've got the actual number of readers represented.  That's the big elephant in the room, it seems to me: people read less, and what are we supposed to do about it. 

This week they were calling it black wednesday: layoffs at Simon & Shuster, Houghton Mifflin, Random House, (possibly at Macmillan, FSG, and St. Martins soon).  Ballantine and Bantam doing major restructuring.  Raise freezes at Pearson (includes Penguin group) and Harpercollins.

Me?  I'm troubled by a bust.  ;)
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: mgriffin on December 04, 2008, 01:46:58 PM
At my "day job," still no layoffs planned, but today we decided that production personnel would go to mandatory 6 hour days for the next 2 weeks.  It would probably be mandatory short work days for the next 4 weeks, except almost everyone will be on vacation the last half of December, anyway.

Layoffs still might happen in the new year, again limited to production personnel, not office staff.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Mark Mushet on December 04, 2008, 01:56:45 PM
I think where you're seated in publishing makes a difference.  I suppose my own magazine could be classified as literary publishing, in the sense that relatively few people buy it, so we are, in some respect, insulated from economic crises by the hardcore following. 

This week they were calling it black wednesday: layoffs at Simon & Shuster, Houghton Mifflin, Random House, (possibly at Macmillan, FSG, and St. Martins soon).  Ballantine and Bantam doing major restructuring.  Raise freezes at Pearson (includes Penguin group) and Harpercollins.

Here's our story:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20081117.LTAYLOR17/EmailTPStory/Life

Yet the larger local publishers refuse to support us through advertising while we do features on their books. They're happy to quote from our reviews in their press packages and on book jackets and they complain about a lack of venues that review their books yet...nothing. So I have no sympathy. None. They can swing.

OTOH there are small, independent presses who find ad revenue in their tiny budgets and they are both rewarded and continue to exist, downturn or not. So the excuse of "hard times" from the majors fall on deaf ears here.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: hdibrell on December 04, 2008, 02:08:34 PM
There haven't been any layoffs at my company yet, nor have I heard any rumors of any. That doesn't mean there won't be. I work for a veterinary lab and this is the slow time of year anyway. It has been slower than usual, though. I worry that some of the vet clinics in rural and in poorer sections will not make it through the winter. In the more affluent areas there hasn't been as big of a drop, naturally. These are uncertain times. I feel for anyone who has lost their job.   :(    Harry
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Mark Mushet on December 04, 2008, 03:02:50 PM
In my experience the top executives never suffer at all, no matter what happens.  And now we find out that portions of the bailout money are to be used to maintain executive bonuses, etc?  Madness.
What we do most often is place more responsibility on fewer employees.  There was a time when I had an assistant and people in other departments doing things that I now do alone.  And the company hasn't replaced any people who've left over the last year or two.

Both of these things are syptomatic of what a well known economics prof here calls "The North American 'Fuck You' School of Management". It operates by perpetuating and maximizing fear and insecurity in the workforce for short term gain. If the economy recovers, odds are that your company will have 'normalized' the new workloads for people and not rehire. That seems to be the model. Western continental Europe largely avoids this mindset but tends to go too far in the other direction.

That people working in such environments lard their lifestyles with SUVs and debt is just amazing to me. I wonder if "conservativism" will ever regain its true meaning and political application in the  future.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: darkenedsoul on January 29, 2009, 02:51:19 PM
Well I just joined the ranks of the unemployed as of Tuesday (and there was MUCH drinking tuesday evening ;-) ). It sucks, but I'll get by hopefully. I didn't call unemployment yesterday as I wasn't in the spirit of things. I'll call next wednesday. I have to sign and return a document to the company in order to get 5 wks severance (which they didn't have to give me since they are a startup). So it's job searching, networking, guild wars playing time again!

Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Wayne Higgins on January 29, 2009, 03:59:20 PM
Good luck and enjoy the time off.  I'll drink one for you tonight 8).
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: caul on January 30, 2009, 03:20:10 PM
Sorry to hear that some of you have lost your jobs. Hang in there, you never know what good things lie ahead for you.


The company I work for has been downsizing for several years now. Our insurance isn't what it used to be but costs more, we haven't  gotten a match on our 401k for a few years now. Starting the beginning of this year, we all had to take a pay cut and a cut in hours. I've managed to be valuable enough to keep so far and now we're really down to a small group of employees. I think the company can stay in business but most of the employees are pretty worried about their jobs. I'm not too worried, there's nothing I can do about it. I'll worry about getting a new job if and when I need one, in the meantime I'm thankful that I do have one and that I have my health. The only debt we have is a mortgage (pretty low in the amount and the percentage rate on the loan) and some school loans from my wife. The last few years we've trying to get rid of debt and generally lower our need for money. I'd like to be in the position that if I had to work at McDonald's, we could still pay our bills. I'm not quite there yet, but I'm getting closer. Who knows, I could be applying there before too long!

Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Wayne Higgins on January 30, 2009, 03:24:53 PM
It's getting to be a hardcore dog eat dog world.  We got a new analytical instrument at work.  My boss asked me if I have writen down any notes about it.  I show him one post it note.  It said "run low range".  Job security. ;)
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: mgriffin on January 30, 2009, 03:36:23 PM
When I started this topic, my company's activities (talking about the day job, not Hypnos) had slowed a little but we'd gotten by without layoffs yet.

Since then, business has slowed more, we've lost a few more employees through attrition (or in two cases, being fired to attendance problems that probably wouldn't have gotten them fired in a better economy) and still had to lay off four people.  We had tried reducing the work schedule to 30 hours per week, from 40, and that worked for a while but eventually some of the longer-term employees said "If we're really not that busy, we ought to lay off some newer guys, rather than make everyone suffer," so that's what we did, and now we have 26 full-time production guys, compared to the 30 we had a month ago, down from 40 a year ago.

Also my boss took the unexpected step of offering unpaid time off to salaried employees, something a few of us had suggested (since we wanted an opportunity for more days off, even if it meant not getting paid) and he had always said no dice.  So, from mid-January to mid-February some of us have been taking unpaid leave, a day or two at a time.  The boss himself took a full week unpaid.  It sounds like the boss will extend the option to the rest of us for another month at least, and might even apply a little pressure to everyone to take some time unpaid, not just those of us who can afford it (and who value time more than money).

Interesting times.

Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: darkenedsoul on January 31, 2009, 06:31:53 AM
Good luck and enjoy the time off.  I'll drink one for you tonight 8).

Thanks! I did plenty of that Tuesday night....but the kicker is I knew something eventually would happen for various reasons, like train the 2 newest guys in the group on the stuff I'd been responsible for doing all the testing on to get them up to speed to "lighten my load" so I could do other stuff. Yeah, like nows a good reason to lay him off for other reasons not documented (out a few times...).

Oh well, I'm hopefull I'll find something reasonably quick, like a month or two. Things are tight, there are some jobs I've got qualifications for but I know they are looking for the things in the requirements I don't have so I usually don't put in for them. Seeing how bad things are I will still submit for them. Just to show unemployment I'm submitting for jobs weekly so I can stay collecting till I land something or hit the lottery.

Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Wayne Higgins on February 01, 2009, 08:58:00 AM
I am begining to believe that this whole economic crunch could be used to our advantage.  Humor me, read on, then reply.  I don't know how many times I have had to conform to the whims of the company I am working for.  I now work in a place where I can play music all day long, my hair is longer than it has ever been, and I don't catch hell if I am late.  Flip side is that my boss knows that I will stay as long as it takes to get the job done, and that I will work on the weekends if necessary.  I got to thinking this week one day on the way to work, a few lines from Thoreau's "Walden":  "For more than five years, I maintained myself that soley by the labor of my hands, and found that, by working six weeks a year, I could meet all the expenses of living." "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."  "Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only indespensable, but positive hinderences to the elevation of mankind".  (and here's my favorite part) "In large towns and cities, where civilisation prevails, the number of those who own a shelter is a very small fraction of the whole."  Now, I am not suggesting that I wish to go live under an overpass, but the idea of the people actually owning anything being a ridiculous notion dates back centuries.  What I am trying to get at is that if we don't really own anything, why are we stressing ourselves out to keep up the credit rating on banks that are failing themselves.  My wife and I are having a continuing argument over a $26 bill.  I refuse to pay it, she says "they'll ruin our credit."  I respond that if we haven't done anything bad in 15 years, a $26 bil to a bunch of thieves in India isn't going to scare me.  We put up with a lot of shit, and it's time to say enough is enough.  I read Friday that Exxon has posted another year of record high profits, and today a story that banks are outsourcing to foreign counties.  They are all out to keep the American people in a sate of fear, working our little asses off so our credit score doesn't drop below 600, while the banks themselves have scores <100. 

So, where am I going with this?  I'm really not sure.  All I know is I don't train anyone anything unless it is to my advantage.   That no one knows what I really do, but they all know I get alot of work done.  One old story always comes to mind.  A company in Dallas was being taken over by a company in Conneticut.  The major item was controlled by a computer program writen in assembly code that was writen by two men that were about to loose their jobs.  They went in one night, and the program of 8500 lines of assembly code that controlled a big industrial machine, they erased all the documentation.  On line 4500, they wrote "Now here's the tricky part".
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: darkenedsoul on March 01, 2009, 06:14:26 PM
No luck so far still. Went to another local job fair = waste of my time. Raytheon has the *go to website* for jobs (same as lincoln labs at previous fair). This seemed geared to other fields that my background but I went anyways.

Had a call from a person whom I assume is a recruiter for a job at IBM. I'll be calling him tomorrow to check in on this situation. I suspect it will be a contract job. Thing is, I don't know if unemployment would/could hold that against me if I decided to not take it, if it was available for me after interviews. I want a permanent job w/benefits/medical insurance so I am hesitant on this one. I'll know more tomorrow.

One place responded to my submission with a couple questions (SDLC and C++) which I have experience obviously with SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) but no C++. She got back to me with *not a fit* which is what I expected. I'm finding a LOT of the jobs I am looking at have requirements that I don't have, i.e. java/C++/C# development experience. I am looking at taking an online class or two for C# and C++ as well as Java to get my feet wet but they won't count towards a degree. At least I'll get some exposure to the languages. I do want to get into that area, i.e. development in a QA role or even development itself but need to get experience with the languages in question. I'm also seeing a lot more SQL requirements, I'm not *quite* there with regards to what they are looking for in a QA role (schema development, etc...) but have exposure to SQL command line queries, just not as in-depth as they are looking for = frustration. It's not that I can't do it, I just need the exposure to the schema, etc...so I know what I am querying for!

So, job hunt goes on. Nothing breaking so far. I knew it wouldn't be a quick time-off at this point due to the economy, meaning LOTS more people via-ing for small amount of jobs = tougher competition/skillsets.

Anyways, not too depressed yet. I just want to see some unemployment money start coming in soon so I don't worry about what I have left in my savings/checking. It's been a month so I expect checks to start showing up soon...I hope. I may call them about that this week....

Mike
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: APK on March 01, 2009, 06:51:48 PM
I am begining to believe that this whole economic crunch could be used to our advantage.  Humor me, read on, then reply.  I don't know how many times I have had to conform to the whims of the company I am working for.  I now work in a place where I can play music all day long, my hair is longer than it has ever been, and I don't catch hell if I am late.  Flip side is that my boss knows that I will stay as long as it takes to get the job done, and that I will work on the weekends if necessary.  I got to thinking this week one day on the way to work, a few lines from Thoreau's "Walden":  "For more than five years, I maintained myself that soley by the labor of my hands, and found that, by working six weeks a year, I could meet all the expenses of living." "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."  "Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only indespensable, but positive hinderences to the elevation of mankind".  (and here's my favorite part) "In large towns and cities, where civilisation prevails, the number of those who own a shelter is a very small fraction of the whole."  Now, I am not suggesting that I wish to go live under an overpass, but the idea of the people actually owning anything being a ridiculous notion dates back centuries.  What I am trying to get at is that if we don't really own anything, why are we stressing ourselves out to keep up the credit rating on banks that are failing themselves.  My wife and I are having a continuing argument over a $26 bill.  I refuse to pay it, she says "they'll ruin our credit."  I respond that if we haven't done anything bad in 15 years, a $26 bil to a bunch of thieves in India isn't going to scare me.  We put up with a lot of shit, and it's time to say enough is enough.  I read Friday that Exxon has posted another year of record high profits, and today a story that banks are outsourcing to foreign counties.  They are all out to keep the American people in a sate of fear, working our little asses off so our credit score doesn't drop below 600, while the banks themselves have scores <100. 

So, where am I going with this?  I'm really not sure.  All I know is I don't train anyone anything unless it is to my advantage.   That no one knows what I really do, but they all know I get alot of work done.  One old story always comes to mind.  A company in Dallas was being taken over by a company in Conneticut.  The major item was controlled by a computer program writen in assembly code that was writen by two men that were about to loose their jobs.  They went in one night, and the program of 8500 lines of assembly code that controlled a big industrial machine, they erased all the documentation.  On line 4500, they wrote "Now here's the tricky part".

Good stuff, Wayne.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Wayne Higgins on March 02, 2009, 10:40:33 AM
Thanks, APK.

To continue the "proclamation/rant".  We paid the $26 anyway, and they still threatened to turn it over to a collection agency.  My wife blew her stack and called them.  They apologized and told us it was taken care of.  I'll bet we still get a notice from a collection agency.  BTW, the company is AOL. So today I read that AIG Life is asking for another bailout.  I guess they're gearing up for a spring trip to Lake Tahoe.  I had an interesting question this weekend sitting at a McDonalds (what a meal: Big Mac, fries, Coke, chocolate sundae and a cappucino!), anyway, the question was "Do you ever notice that the people who make the lowest wages have to wear uniforms?"  Is it because we are pushing conformity, or are living in a society where we just don't want to accept that the people who are making our lunch may not be able to afford new clothes?  I mean, it's not like I was well dressed for Mickey D's.

So, I've been questioning alot of things lately.  All along the recession, economic downturn subject.  Why does the government of the State of Florida pay Bobby Bowden $1,000,000 a year?  Why don't they make pot legal and tax the sales?  Why don't the tax the high profit mega-churches?  I saw Arlo Guthrie Friday night in Gainesville and he made a great statement:  "Every time we put a new person in the government, they come up with a new law.  Why doesn't someone get in the government and start removing the old unnecessary laws?"  Great concert, BTW, Arlo is always entertaining.

On a personal note, Oenyaw no longer exists.  The albatros is flown.  I figured if Miley Cirus can ditch the Hannah Montana character, Wayne Higgins can kill Oenyaw.  As a friend and old band mate said, "good to see you're out of the closet.  I don't know why you picked an alias, anyway."  Hell, I dunno either.  I'm just glad I never paid to print any discs with the Oenyaw name. 
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: darkenedsoul on March 25, 2009, 06:08:18 PM
Still looking. resubmitted to 2 places after not hearing anything and seeing the jobs posted again. Talked to a new recruiter at a place I was going through (one of a handful) as the guy I dealt with left. So now getting recommendations via linkedin site from more current co-workers to add to the package she'd send to prospects. I also told her no boston/cambridge/128 area if at all possible, focus on 495 area and southern NH preferably. We'll see. At least UI money has been coming in, nice to get 5 wks in one day. I had to send my separation letter to UEmployment so she could process my claim, next day 5 checks deposited = made me feel better after no money for ~5+ wks.

Mike
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: ffcal on March 25, 2009, 11:08:45 PM
Hang in there, Mike.  I've been looking for more steady legal work recently, and the market for it in the Bay Area has been downright ugly.  I was very close to being offered a full-time position, but the position was pulled at the last minute when they crunched the numbers and decided to pull the position.

Forrest
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: hdibrell on March 26, 2009, 01:37:06 PM
Good luck to both of you (Mike and Forrest), and to anyone else looking. I know how discouraging looking for a job can be. It can happen to any of us at any time. We were just informed that there would be no raises this year. At least we still have our jobs, for now.    Harry
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: darkenedsoul on January 08, 2010, 05:13:32 PM
Well, had my 2nd interview (walk-in) since being laid off almost a year now and didn't get it. The recruiter said something along the lines of the job changed. Well, 1 person is in the running, another in the pipe for interviewing but I was no longer under consideration for it for whatever reason. I just hate that. Especially being out of the interview loop as much as I am..... But I move on/push on. I put in for about 7 jobs this week of which one a friend is also submitting me for employee referral for the same place I've been trying for MONTHS to get into (close to home, easy commute, etc...). But they are slower than snail tracks it seems or they are inundated with resumes/referrals.

Either way, I'm depressed/mad/angry/pissed off about this whole thing. The employers are being super picky on what they want which is what is killing me at this time. I don't have Java/C++ coding background, nor do I have test suites (Winrunner, Loadrunner, Silktest, Selenium, QTP, etc...) since we developed the stuff in-house at all the places I have worked at.

But I will get something at some point, else I'll put my place on the market and move to florida and become a cabana-boy!  ;D

Mike
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Wayne Higgins on January 09, 2010, 06:18:11 AM
Florida is warm, houses down south are cheap.  The pay sucks, but it's all relative.  I mean, if you make $100k in California, you aren't doing well.  If you make $30k in St. Pete, you're doing ok.  Nobody is rich anymore.  At least, no one I know.  No earth quakes, not nearly as many wild fires, no snow, no salt on the raod to ruin your car, cost of setting up an LLC is low (if you want to be your own boss), and as I keep telling my cousin in DC "Hurricanes aren't really that bad, just don't try to ride a motorcycle in one."
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Alan Imberg on January 09, 2010, 04:44:22 PM
I'm sorry to hear of your plight, Mike. The economic good times is seeming more and more like a distance memory.
The job market in Cincinnati stinks as well. I've had to be the inflictor of grief as part of the managment team for our facilty. I've had a hand in laying off 13 people in the last year and it sucks more than anything I've experienced in my working life. And as the saying goes: "There, but by the grace of God, go I". I know it could be my turn at any time.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: cromag on January 09, 2010, 04:58:24 PM
Keep plugging away at it, and Good luck!

I anticipate attempting to return to the ranks of the gainfully employed in a year or two, and it looks pretty grim here in NJ.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: darkenedsoul on February 23, 2010, 04:59:49 PM
Well I've had some other stuff come up but nothing has panned out yet. I had a phone screener today which I hope leads to a walk-in. Not thrilled for the commute *but* they subsidize the parking at at least one of their buildings = cheaper/monthly. Busy company, making money, actually giving raises and bonuses (latter on par with prior to the downturn!) and sounds like it'd be a definite challenge and a lot to learn. All running on linux (Debian) and get a linux desktop and laptop (mac/windows) for email/browsing. I am hoping I get a walk-in. I was a bit rusty but think I did well enough talking to the hiring manager for one of the 2 positions. We shall see hopefully this week. Also put in for several jobs at Dell (Equallogic in Nashua, NH) but nothing has come of them yet (they are f-n slow....) and have referrals for them as well internally. But we'll see, they are still being really picky on skillsets, i.e. you don't have stuff on preferred/desired you probably won't get contacted is what I am seeing/experiencing (I have most of the rest of the job description stuff).

Mike
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: 1000snakes on February 23, 2010, 05:37:27 PM
Positive thoughts coming your way for a fulfilling outcome to this endeavor, Mike!
Peace, Kirk
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Seren on February 24, 2010, 01:32:25 AM
Good Luck Mike,

In the UK public services taking a pounding - councils considering huge levels of job cuts - less services (but as ever more and more people needing them)....

I think I am in a reasonably safe job, but in the last 6 months it has become more and more pressured as we are expected to do more and more in the same amount of time.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: michael sandler on February 24, 2010, 08:02:07 AM
"Do you ever notice that the people who make the lowest wages have to wear uniforms?"

Yes, I have noticed that, with notable exceptions like Generals and big name Motown acts. A uniform can be a source of pride or a source of humiliation. Cops are in the middle, as they take pride in their uniforms even though they don't make tons of money.

I wonder why you have to wear a uniform if you work at Taco Bell. My guess is it's branding. They want everything in the store, including the appearance of their employees, to promote the brand. A uniform is like a little advertisement (even though you're already there; marketers and brand managers never let up).

Just guessing. I have no fast food experience.

MikeS
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: mgriffin on February 24, 2010, 09:08:22 AM
I don't think uniforms for low-wage jobs are meant to cause humiliation, at all.  Well, maybe at Hot Dog on a Stick.  Uniforms are a way of getting the company's public "face" to bear the brand imprint, the colors.  It's a way of having a sort of dress code, and ensuring a certain sort of presentation up front.  What do you think people at Taco Bell would wear if they were allowed to wear anything they wanted?
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: jkn on February 24, 2010, 09:27:52 AM
Hypnos t-shirts, of course.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: mgriffin on February 24, 2010, 09:53:23 AM
Speaking of which, we're going to make new Hypnos t-shirts soon.  But that's for another thread!
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Wayne Higgins on February 24, 2010, 10:07:44 AM
You know, I'm the one who said that and I wear a company t-shirt to work.  Actually, it beats spilling acids and reagents on my own clothes.  I started buying the Faded Glory jeans at Walmart for  $8 a pair because it doesn't bother me when I put holes in them after a couple of months.  Ironically, they are the only jeans I buy anymore.

When I worked for Dominos Pizza (5 years?!?!), everyone had to wear blue pants.  It was the main requirement for being hired.  We had such a hard time getting drivers that one of the stores that I worked at (Garland, TX) was across the street from a Goodwill.  He would give a new driver $4, tell them to go get a pair of blue pants and that they could pay him back at the end of the night out of their tips.  It was actually a fun job: robberies, muggings, drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, ect.  The hours were long, though.  Put my ass back into college, that's for sure.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: michael sandler on February 24, 2010, 10:27:00 AM
I don't think uniforms for low-wage jobs are meant to cause humiliation, at all.  Well, maybe at Hot Dog on a Stick.  Uniforms are a way of getting the company's public "face" to bear the brand imprint, the colors.  It's a way of having a sort of dress code, and ensuring a certain sort of presentation up front.  What do you think people at Taco Bell would wear if they were allowed to wear anything they wanted?

Jeans and a T-shirt. I agree that the uniforms are not intended to cause himiliation, but to the person with a Ph.D who can't get a job in his field and has to make a living asking rude customers, "hot sauce or mild?", the uniform can be a tangible symbol of their professional humiliation. Which is, of course, subjective. If you are happy just to have a job, you won't feel humiliated.

MikeS
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: mgriffin on February 24, 2010, 10:50:38 AM
If you think people at Taco Bell or Burger King would dress acceptably if allowed to wear their own clothes, then you haven't worked in retail or food service.  Most people in those jobs view it as extremely short-term, don't have the slightest respect for the company or the manager, and they'll get away with as much as they can.

I worked at Blockbuster Video right after college and the dress code was as specific as it can be without being a provided uniform.  You had to wear a light blue dress shirt with long sleeves and khaki dockers or equivalent "casual dress" tan/khaki pants, but you had to get your own.  This was too hard for some people, even with a very specific code.  They'd show up in a shirt that was dark blue, or short sleeved, or had a white collar, or no collar, or holes in it.  They'd show up in brown pants, or white pants, or tan stretch pants (just the girls in this case), or khaki shorts.

If you told Taco Bell employees to wear jeans and a t-shirt to work, you'd have to send a bunch of them home every day when they showed up in jeans full of holes, or covered with graffiti, or in a tank top or halter top or a t-shirt that said "fuck the cops" on it.  It'd be half anarchy, half orgy... sort of like public high school!   ;)

 
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Wayne Higgins on February 24, 2010, 11:35:14 AM
Here's a good uniform story for you.  The absolutely wonderful human being Wayne Huizenga bought Turtles Records.  A cd/video store.  He mandated that all employees get their hair cut if they wanted to keep their jobs.  After everyone got their hair cut, he closed all the stores.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: mystified on February 24, 2010, 11:40:19 AM
At the library, we can wear jeans if they are "nice". That results in a lot of amusing interpretations.

Also, we have to wear "nice" shirts. Some people choose their very best T-shirts. Others wear nice button-down shirts with collars.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: mgriffin on February 24, 2010, 11:42:14 AM
Library ain't Taco Bell!   ;)
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Wayne Higgins on February 24, 2010, 12:39:31 PM
nor do they serve food.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: 1000snakes on February 24, 2010, 12:54:53 PM
I witnessed all kinds of workplace fashion statements while managing a couple of Tower Records/Video stores in Sacramento during the 80s and 90s!!! Hair came in all of the colors of the rainbow and the clothes were pretty outrageous. One of my employees delighted in flashing her nipple piercings! Yikes!!!!
Peace, Kirk
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: LNerell on February 24, 2010, 03:07:22 PM
Back in the 1990s I worked at Philips Media, it was a pretty relaxed atmosphere, like you could set your own work hours and even including what you could wear to work. That changed a bit when one of our temp employees decided he wanted to wear his favorite pair of jeans to work everyday, the ones that he had worn so much that they didn't have any bottoms. All I can say is at least he wore clean underwear.  ;D  After a couple weeks of him showing off his skinny ass the company put a stop to it and other similar attire. Including what my girlfriend at the time, who use to parade around the office in nothing but a body stocking.  :o
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Seren on February 25, 2010, 05:47:29 AM
"..halter top or a t-shirt that said "fuck the cops" on it.  It'd be half anarchy, half orgy... "

HeyMike, that sounds like fun  ;D :o ;D

maybe I'm in the wrong job!!
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: darkenedsoul on June 23, 2010, 06:43:27 PM
Good news, I got a job finally and start next monday. Had a 3rd interview this week (was pretty much a done deal. Less money and contractor BUT ~5 miles from my place = gas up once ever 2 wks roughly vs twice a week and it will be a challenge, fun as well (Fantasy Entertainment - they make the photobooth kiosks u see in malls, etc) as a QA engineer to help standardize things (basically set up processes/documentation, scripting for automation, etc). So I am happy!

Mike
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: 1000snakes on June 24, 2010, 12:55:10 AM
Good on ya, Mike!!!!
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: cromag on June 24, 2010, 12:55:42 AM
 ;D

Alright!
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: jkn on June 24, 2010, 11:44:05 AM
That's fantastic to hear - I'm glad you landed something!

We just went through our 2nd round of downsizing this year.   They announced it a few months ago - and round one was the next week.  At least they kind of warned everyone that "we're not done yet" and that it would be within a month or two.   It's right before our fiscal year end so everyone knew it was very, very soon. 

I'm still here (knock on wood - that's about 6 times I've made it through in the last 18 months).   Two people in my dept aren't here any longer though.

Supposedly - we're "done" with downsizing for now.  Unless the market crashes again.  Let's hope it all picks up steam.  It's starting to look like it.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: mgriffin on June 24, 2010, 12:31:26 PM
Congrats, Mike.  It must be a huge relief, especially after such a long time off, in such a bad job market.  Good luck with the new job.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: darkenedsoul on July 15, 2010, 04:47:37 AM
Thanks Mike, on 3rd week. Things are going fine there. Hoping it's at least 6 months contract to possible conversion, depends how much I can show QA is needed to them with putting processes in place for testing, and finding bugs before it gets out the door.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Seren on July 15, 2010, 05:29:24 AM
all public services in UK expected to endure minimum of 25% cuts......
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: darkenedsoul on October 08, 2010, 10:30:38 PM
Well my contract came to an end last friday but they'd love to bring me back if/when they have funding for it. I am searching again for contract/full-time and have had some interest already but am waiting to see if I get a) phone screener or b) walk-in. I will take contract but prefer perm due to benefits. Things aren't dire just yet but could be in the next couple of months as I have ~6wks of lvl 4/tier 4 fed. benefits then State but that runs out I think mid/late december and no clue what will happen after that. On top of this I had to file out of state since I worked in NH (I live in MA) so have to wait ~2 wks before a determination is made if I can collect from NH or back to MA (they will back-date me as I talked with them already this week, just have to fax paperwork from NH to them and that's done).

So, pins and needles- somewhat, sweating bullets - not quite yet. I am hoping something will come of the recent interest of my submittals. That'd make me VERY HAPPY.

Other than that, I'm just peachy LMAO.

Mike
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: jkn on October 11, 2010, 05:37:37 AM
I hope something turns up quickly, Mike!  And at the very least that the NH/MA thing gets sorted soon.

Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: drone on on November 21, 2010, 02:04:22 PM
I work for County government in the law enforcement field and our department is $5 million in the red.  Really sad when public service agencies don't even have a budget to operate with.  Sadder still is how corruption at the top and greed amongst management is contributing to the problem.  I see senior management continually padding their nest eggs with cushy salaries and retirement/health benefits while the people below them doing all the grunt work are being forced out onto the street.  And they're doing this by creating new positions for their buddies at the top, hiring more managers (when there are already far too many), and spending astronomical amounts of money on "consultants" to help them make cost-cutting decisions instead of utilizing their own employees.  Thank God Meg Whitman was not elected governor of CA, this state would have imploded on itself.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Seren on November 22, 2010, 02:07:34 AM
Our council recently advertised the whole of adult services for sale on a government website. :o

The future - who knows.

I notice the bankers/financial sectors are still making lots of money though.....especially by playing hardball with whole countries (ie Ireland at present), whose problems were caused by the banks in the first place.

In the UK those previously known as 'being unemployed' are now 'The Unemployed' and the concept of 'the deserving poor' (and the consequent 'undeserving') is being used again....cuts are such that children in the UK will actually pay more (through loss of benefits etc) than the banks towards balancing the books.

I wonder how long it will be before we find children going up the chimneys......
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: petekelly on November 22, 2010, 03:02:19 AM
The 'Impartial' BBC:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rU8YU3loeQ

The bit at 0:48 in particular.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: darkenedsoul on November 22, 2010, 11:57:01 AM
I hope something turns up quickly, Mike!  And at the very least that the NH/MA thing gets sorted soon.



MA/NH went as I suspected/had expected, denied in NH (didn't make enough) and back onto Fed. Extension which ended last weekend and this past weekend I filed and need to get onto state extension which runs out on 12/25, how nice eh? No word if this damn lame duck congress is going to pony up some more dough to keep us afloat a bit longer so I can land a job. Got some screeners in the mix (one shortly) and working on a couple of others so I got irons in the fire. Just hoping one of these pops asap.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: darkenedsoul on February 23, 2011, 08:03:19 PM
Still looking/submitting (on 2nd layoff from contract job back in beginning of October) and waiting STILL for round 2 at place I interviewed (and did better than I thought) before xmas. Waiting on new req to be posted (per their recruiter) so I can submit and be brought back in for 2nd round of interviews. 2 months + is sucking badly but getting bites more lately. Some from out of state (cali for instance x 3 jobs) which I tell em no relocation for this one, if you have something in my specific area, let's talk. So still hunting, not losing condo yet so basically still floating at this point. Come on people it is almost 3rd month of the new year OPEN THE DAMN PURSE STRINGS and QUIT BEING SO DAMN PICKY STILL! Argh, I HATE this crap....it hopefully will get better soon so they can't be as picky....we shall see.

Keeping stiff upper lip still but depressed somewhat still. No urge to make music, I should be doing that to occupy my mind maybe!

Mike
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: darkenedsoul on September 21, 2011, 07:31:18 PM
Well had 2 interviews yesterday w/2 companies (one walk-in, other phone (contract job)) and walk-in called today for 2nd interview. Then got call with offer. In meantime contract called and wanted 2nd interview (had 3rd interview w/diff company tom. morning) and had to push it out (before news from first company) to do 2 tomorrow. Then the call came and I accepted offer of first interview/company. So hopefully in the next couple of weeks I'll be in a new office/company WORKING after ~a year out since last job. I am very much looking forward to this position and manager liked me a lot for what we talked about/my ideas and QA lead liked my background/interview as well. Sooooooooooo here I come to go back to work (sung underdog style)! As long as all goes well with background check and employment history check I'll be HAPPY as a pig in shit!

Mike
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: mystified on September 21, 2011, 07:54:12 PM
Sweet!
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: hdibrell on September 21, 2011, 08:57:42 PM
And a pig in shit is one happy pig! :D As a fellow pig , I am happy for you.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Seren on September 22, 2011, 05:05:31 AM
good news
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: phobos on September 22, 2011, 05:30:46 AM
Thats excellent :)
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: jkn on September 22, 2011, 06:05:07 AM
extremely good news!
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Scott M2 on September 22, 2011, 07:37:33 AM
Excellent news!
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Bill Binkelman on September 22, 2011, 09:13:32 AM
I'm happy for you and I hope the job works out well for you. Must be quite a relief  - and kudos to you for hanging in there until your luck changed.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: darkenedsoul on October 09, 2011, 04:43:09 PM
Thanks folks. Tomorrow is Day #1 for me at the new job. I am a bit nervous and excited at the same time! As long as my ezpass xponder works as I fly thru the tolls I'll be happy! Need to check traffic in the morning to make sure nothing bad on first day for orientation! Don't want to be late!

Mike
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: 1000snakes on October 09, 2011, 10:11:02 PM
Good for you Mike!
 
Best wishes, Kirk
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Seren on October 09, 2011, 11:46:45 PM
Hope it goes well :)
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: cromag on October 10, 2011, 02:34:21 AM
Best of luck on your first day!

WRT traffic:  I don't know what things are like where you are, but around my neck of the woods many major roads have webcams you can check.  Things can change fast, but I've found them useful.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: mgriffin on October 10, 2011, 10:18:50 AM
Congrats on the new job, and good luck on your transition!
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: darkenedsoul on June 05, 2013, 07:55:50 PM
Laid off 3 weeks ago....again. But had 2 interviews (walk-ins) last week but they passed on me....buggers! But I had 2 phone interviews this week as well and am waiting to hear back from them. Now I have to collect NH unemployment which BLOWS since I am losing ~$201 a week since they pay that much less than MA unemployment. That means I need to find a job fairly quickly since I will be hitting my bank account to pay bills and eat (not too much but still have to vs with MA I wouldn't have to touch my bank account, just reckon with the tax man end of the year since I don't take taxes out as I'd be eating more of my bank account while not working otherwise....).

What bugs the shit out of me is a lot of the jobs are in Boston/Cambridge and it isn't worth the frickin hassle of a 2 hr commute each way to drive 30 frickin miles at this point. I'm looking outside the city and having some luck. I am hoping CSR or Hitachi interview me and pick me up in the near future as I don't care about driving to Burlington MA (2x miles but not near the headache of doing Boston or Cambridge) and I'm not a city person, i.e. public transportation or just going to Boston for doing something, too many idiots/parking/etc...

Wish me luck on landing something soon. Being out 3 wks and having 2 walk-ins and 2 phone screeners is a hell of a lot better than the last time I was laid off...still  not feeling warm and fuzzy and hope to god I don't have to put my place on market and sell it and move to an apartment/with the girlfriend as that'd really suck....I do want to sell at some point but when I am stable with work and have some money in the bank for a down payment on a house...

Mike
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: chris23 on June 05, 2013, 08:13:16 PM
Good luck!
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: phobos on June 10, 2013, 04:41:51 AM
Hope you find something soon
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: einstein36 on June 10, 2013, 07:53:01 AM
This is why I wish whomever within the government quit padding the numbers on unemployment, etc.....
They are telling us, the public that it is all peachy and rainbows, well, I call their bullshit.....
people are still looking for jobs. most have given up now and are economy is still pretty bad.....
whoever these government people are telling us that everything is looking up seriously need to take off their rose colored glasses and see the truth...
My girlfriend is still looking for a job here in Texas and supposedly they say Texas has the most job growth....
where oh where is the jobs then....:)

I wish you the best of luck man..
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: jkn on August 24, 2013, 04:43:27 AM
I don't know if I ever posted about it... but I lost my job in October last year - suddenly... and hired into a new place April 1 this year.  I was fortunate to only be out of work about 6 months.  It was a long 6 months and job hunting is hard work.  I was extremely lucky - frankly I say I won the job lottery as I always say I won the wife lottery... ;-)

Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: darkenedsoul on November 14, 2013, 11:14:10 AM
Well it's coming up on 6 months in 5 more weeks. I've had a LOT of phone interviews, a bunch of walk-ins and recently round 2 on the phone with one company. Hoping they bring me in for a walk-in. Have another phone interview this afternoon and one late monday afternoon with yet another different company. Also waiting on word of a phone or walk-in with Sandisk after speaking with the recruiter last night. Lots of activity but no setting the hook (which is stressing me out). Had one possible but they passed on me (probably due to no network switch configuration experience or deeper linux/SQL) but it would have been dream job, work at home, go to california for training, go to Belgium to meet development group....MAN I WANTED THAT ONE SOOOOOO BADLY.

Keeping the chin up though and taking the hits in stride....still.

Mike
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: darkenedsoul on January 07, 2014, 07:46:07 AM
Well here it is 2014 and still not back to work. Had 2nd interview yesterday for a job in state (they are based out of australia).  i am now working on getting a skype discussion about a job that came about since i posted in craigslist about looking for work. I also have a couple other things I am working on (one trying to get concrete info from recruiter about the position and possible interview with the CEO - that's the only interview for that job, me want to speak with hiim!). Hopefully something will hit soon as unemployment ran out (buddy hooked me up for a couple months or so so I didn't have to hit the 401k just yet).

Our leaders in Senate/House/Congress are assholes, they take 3 frickin weeks vacation and leave those of us in need in the lurch. They should be FIRED IMMEDIATELY or replaced in the next election, every damn one of those (dems/repubs) who screwed us. And they really need to come off the dole off our backs  when they retire and get to keep their existing medical coverage FOR LIFE and their kids going to school should NOT even be covered by us just because they are in politics. Wish I went into that shit instead of working joe....lol (sarcasm).

Mike
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: hdibrell on January 07, 2014, 09:57:34 PM
[quoteOur leaders in Senate/House/Congress are assholes, they take 3 frickin weeks vacation and leave those of us in need in the lurch. They should be FIRED IMMEDIATELY or replaced in the next election, every damn one of those (dems/repubs) who screwed us.[/quote]  Ain't that the truth! >:(
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: drone on on January 08, 2014, 09:52:04 AM
The REAL people in power are not the politicians, and these people have been orchestrating the collapse of US economy for years now.  This is not just a conspiracy theory.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Castleview on January 08, 2014, 03:08:50 PM
Yeah, the economy is still horrible. Hope you find a job Mike. I'm going to have to get one myself after I get out of grad school in May, and I don't have that much experience. It's hard to start a career in an economy like this. That's for sure.
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: darkenedsoul on January 23, 2014, 09:52:33 PM
Thanks for the well-wishes. I had an interview yesterday (3-4 QA Engineers to be hired) so I am hoping I am one of them. I blew 2/3 SQL questions on a 7 page test (first hr of 2 hr interview), aced XML page, pretty much aced 3 pages of test cases. Waiting on word about interviews for at least 3-4 other jobs as well. But things picked up for me in the past 2 weeks so I am hoping something pops REAL SOON for me so I can relax a bit and feel a bit more secure on things. And I am also starting to try to get back into music stuff (Darkened Soul, but focusing on getting Mired In Twilight off the damn ground again after some years of nothing, got another musician friend who may sign up for things, we just have to decide where we are gonna go with the music/style).

Anyways, best to all and if in Guild Wars 2, see my thread on that to find me in game ;-)

Mike
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: darkenedsoul on May 07, 2014, 08:23:49 AM
well still pounding the pavement BUT things have gotten busier here for me over the 2 weeks. I have had one walk-in (waiting on decision supposedly this week on who they are going to make an offer to), 3 phone interviews in past 2 days of which 2 may go to a 2nd phone interview with managers, the 3rd was with the VP of QA which means I could be brought in for an on-site interview. Today I have 2nd interview from a call last week where I knew someone there who put in some good words to the QA manager (who I spoke with last week). So hopefully something of these 4 will come to fruition soon! Fingers crossed (and legs/fingers)....

Mike
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: darkenedsoul on July 14, 2014, 03:56:03 AM
I landed a job, official start date is TODAY! Small company, first they've hired for QA (the COO has been doing the testing) and they are looking to grow the business. I am looking forward to it as it's something new (mobile payment app for android/iOS) and exciting.

Mike
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Altus on July 14, 2014, 04:01:29 AM
Great news. Good luck.  :)
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: phobos on July 16, 2014, 12:45:41 AM
I landed a job, official start date is TODAY! Small company, first they've hired for QA (the COO has been doing the testing) and they are looking to grow the business. I am looking forward to it as it's something new (mobile payment app for android/iOS) and exciting.

Mike

Well done 8)
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: Seren on July 16, 2014, 01:30:36 AM
Congratulations
Title: Re: Layoffs, downsizing, retrenchment, whatever you call it
Post by: darkenedsoul on July 16, 2014, 03:55:12 AM
Thanks all!