In search of a Haruspex

One thing I am not very good at is reading between the lines - all I see is white space. Although, given sufficient information, I am perfectly capable of reaching logical conclusions - after all, all roads lead to Rome and facts lead to undeniable conclusions.

I suspect my work situation is not very good. Not because of anything I've done or failed to do. I think I am still in good standing. The problem is that the project I work on is running out of money - actually, the budget was extremely tight last year before I took my 6 month unpaid leave of absence (which I think was a welcome relief on the budget).

Coming back, they were optimistic about getting additional funding, but that has not materialized - maybe later this year. The industry I work in, we are contracted to do work, which means that funds are allocated to specific projects - diverting funds for other projects is a big no-no.

When I came back, I requested to work a compressed workweek (37-1/2 hours in 4 days). This went well for a month until funding didn't materialize and I was taken aside and told that upper management had decided that they did not want to set a precedent with me (ignoring that (1) the company has a quite extensive list of alternate work options - including compressed work week, and (2) that others in the past have worked compressed weeks). I saw it as a diplomatic way to get me to accede to a short workweek, since I believe their ulterior motives where to reduce capital burn.

A month ago, I was told that I would be temporarily loaned to another project (this one has recently acquired lots of funding - at least 2 years worth). The project manager named of a bunch of people who have in past been loaned over - most of them have been laid off over the years.

Last week, the fellow in charge of funding for the project I work on and asked if I had moved to the other project (he doesn't want me charging to the current project). I told him no. This is not likely to happen until this coming week, since decision makers on the other project were on holidays until the 9th.

Further, I was not invited to a project meeting last week. When I checked to see who was invited, I discovered that another fellow worker is no longer with the company (e-mail is gone). Silent departures are always a sign that the person has been dismissed rather than voluntarily left - since then we usually take them out ot lunch. I know he was there before Christmas.

I can't deny that being laid off has some appeal - certainly if I could be as lucky as a friend of mine. She had worked for IBM for more than 10 years and left them 11 years ago when IBM was trying to reduce its workforce through early severance packages. Later, at another job, she wanted to leave so she could spend more time with her kids (she has 3) and was prepared to quit when she was called in and laid off - with almost 1 years salary! Wow! That would be sweet! Personally, I think I would be lucky to get 6 weeks.

I'll see what happens next week.

In other news ...

1 - I discovered that comments were not being forwarded to my e-mail address. Somehow, blogger had blanked my e-mail address. So if I missed commenting on your comments, or missed reading them altogether, then I apologize.

2- Sofia will be going to Spain for two weeks at the end of this month. So we have to scramble to find someone to be with the kids. I am going to try and take two weeks unpaid - but generally, you need to give more notice (although, given the current environment, I doubt they will protest).

Image was grabbed from here.


Anonymous said…
Let's hope everything works well for you!
We do have similar situation here, mostly affected are larger companies. Recently I heard of rumours that most of our older employees will be laid off too (either this year or next); but they'll be more fortunate to be paid a month per year service (i.e. for 25years will be 25months salary). Most companies here are being encouraged to cut down permanent staff and outsource their jobs to agencies. By doing so, it cuts down costs such as staff's increment, bonuses and incentives; whereas agencies only pay-out basics to their so-called contracted employees without any emcumbrances.
Its a total disadvantage to the working community as there is no security in terms of job-stability or retirement benefits.
My daughter would love to babysit for u as she always love younger children and be a big sister, if only distance weren't a problem, ya! ;)
Richard said…
Job security was a pleasant myth that existed for only a very short time. Most people throughout history have worked at generally one trade and were self employed. The notion that someone else owes you a job is, in my opinion, a wrong.

But I do think that companies should have more regard for their workers. History is replete with examples of people being exploited - from landowners owning the people and their produce to companies treating workers as commodities.

It is fun to see how pleasant companies are to you when they are recruiting (especially back in the high tech heyday 5-6 years ago) and how quickly you are replacable when the bottom line needs to be saved.

I think companies should be more honest and upfront in letting workers know that they are commodities and that their value is not in the person itself, but in the skills and work the person brings.

Tania would probably love to be babysat by your daughter. She is always asking for a big sister - even taking the step of askin gus to adopt one!

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