This post was written a couple weeks ago, before my brief hiatus. The ensuing chaos threw everything, including this site, in to flux.
It came out of nowhere. One minute we were angling for expansion, the next there was blood on the streets. They rounded up the herd and culled their number. Despite having a substantial backlog, our group got hit the hardest. The company as a whole lost 15%, we lost 33%. We never got to say goodbye.
That all being said, my OSI team was extremely lucky. We lost Charlie and Edgar. The former needed to go, the latter will not be missed. In return, we get Angela from Legal Standards & Compliance. Angela was a programmer than a QA tester for the ANG team. She took the demotion back to Reports & Legal Contracts under the condition that she work under me and not Carol. The current debate within our group was whether or not Charlie and Edgar for Angela was a “fair trade” or a “damn good deal” with opinions leaning towards the latter.
ANG, on the other hand, was decimated. They lost 2/3 of their people, including Adam. One of the three people she has left has been there less than three weeks. She lost three of her top programmers. I think she is on the verge of a mental breakdown.
Bill Darden has assured us that they are going to tackle this on the request level, meaning that there will be less of us, but that they will slash our workload. The problem is that they don’t have a clear plan of where they’re going to cut. They’re just sure there’s fat in there somewhere. I don’t disagree, but it’s somewhat like accumulating consumer debt in college under the premise that it’s foolish to deny yourself in college when you’ll be making so much money when you get out. You may be right, but if you’re wrong it’s quite devestating.
The most surprising thing to me is how many Mormon male heads-of-households were axed. And how many sob stories. One guy from Software Quality Control has two kids with cystic fibrosis and he’s gone. A woman in Project Applications has a daughter with cancer. A guy from software development has eight kids. Charlie isn’t Mormon, but he has a sick wife, three kids, and a new mortgage. Edgar’s wife just gave birth to their third kid. Todd Cummings (married, two kids) lost his job, but his sister Sally (non-practicing, to say the least) did not. Stan Axley (married, three kids) was tossed, by (single adrenaline-junkie) Eric Carper wasn’t. The only two people in OSI to lose their jobs were the ones with kids to support.
The social promotions, Golden Boy and Andre, were kept around. All but one of the worthless callgirls was kept around. The only one tossed was the only one that actually did anything. Mostly because she was also a part-time receptionist and when the phone rang she did have to answer it.
I don’t pretend to know for sure whether the layoffs were the right business decision. One of the downsides of working for a company owned by a single person or family is that they can’t afford big hits for the sake of the longer picture. The money comes right out of their pocket. It’s easy for me to say that they should have weathered the storm. But it seems to me they might ought to have weathered the storm. At the very least, they should have waited more than a week after collecting the previous month’s data before moving so extensively on it.