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After almost 14 years


Indy
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I was walked out the door this morning.

Heard from my coworker that are manager got walked out, he's has a meeting scheduled later so he's thinking the same fate.  Always said upper management didn't know what we did or cared, they just saw us a line item on the budget, looks like I was right since they appear to be cutting the entire department which was a critical function in daily operations and no one else knows how to do the job.  Kind of wish I was a fly on the wall to see it when the shit hits the fan.

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7 minutes ago, Airehead said:

Oh dear Indy--- what an awful thing.  Bottom line over people is never a good thing.  Do you have marketable skills or are they very specific?  I wish I knew what to say.

I used to have very marketable skills, after 14 years there though, not so much anymore.  :(

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2 minutes ago, Square Wheels said:

That sucks.  I worry about it here every day.

I've been worrying about it for awhile as my job had become way to company specific.

 

Will be interesting though to see if I hear anything more as the action goes completely against corporate policies on how things are to be done.  Makes me mad that a previous upper level manager blocked an initiative that would've moved us from a divisional group that we were to a corporate level group because she didn't want to give up control and like having access to us as a resource.

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Very sorry to hear this, but at least this explanation (they shut down the department) is much better to explain to a potential employer than if just a few people were let go. I don't know what you do, but even if your skills are fairly company specific, there may be some discrete skills based classes that can help build on the experience you have to make it more marketable to other companies.

I hope things work out for you quickly, but don't get down if it takes some time to find the next right thing.

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I have faith you can weather this storm.  When my H lost his job, I was quite scared.  He had no marketable skills beyond electrical, and labor type jobs.  We were on the hook for basically 3 mortgages. We had just started to remodel a house and it was totally under construction at the time.  He felt dejected by his company, and we were just entering into the period of the housing crisis and recession.  A lightbulb went on over my head.  Go back to school. I went home and told him, "if you want to change your career, I can put you through school.  You just have to pick out a degree path."  He choose Nursing.  The rest is history.

I second what  others have said.  We are here for you.

:console:

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2 minutes ago, Road Runner said:

An excellent choice.  I suggested to my son that he look into the health care field.  Excellent opportunities and the demand is growing each and every day.  

We were slightly concerned about too many nurses getting churned out, but he has been fine.  It helped that he got the BSRN, and went to a top nursing school. He is in demand now.  

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2 minutes ago, Road Runner said:

They must have plans to distribute the work your department did to other departments.  Maybe they will call you and offer you a position in another department.  Is that possible?

They don't have another department that knows how to do what we did.  Add into the fact the only reason my department could handle the amount of work we did and do what we did is because I had automated pretty much everything.  No one outside of the people cut knows about that or has access to all of the files and programs I wrote.

Yeah, they are screwed.  Not like people who know how to automate SAP tasks using VBA, there's built in scripting ability, but it doesn't have the ability to read value from SAP and then lookup and populate values off of it.

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4 minutes ago, Road Runner said:

Then maybe the shit WILL hit the fan very soon, and they will ask you back.  I don't think I would go, though.  Sounds like a good place to be shed of.

Well, they would have to kiss my ass a bit, and I certainly would continue to look for another job, but a shitty job is better than no shitty job.

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Wow sorry to hear...  Having been layed off 3 times in my career the one thing I learned is don't take it personally.  They didn't look at you and say, Indy needs to go... It was a business decision they had to make as tough as it may be for their employees who left and for those who have to pick up the slack.

Try to look at it as a new opportunity, have a positive outlook when job searching "Yeah those rat Basturds let me go after 14 years of dedicated service" does you no good in an interview. You may feel that way but don't communicate that.  Also remember job searching is a full time job and try to enjoy some things during the lull that you normally couldn't.  I attended my kids practices, rode a lot, hung out at the beach.... it's nerve wracking I know but staying at home fretting does you no good.

Good luck, stay positive and when you are enjoying your new gig you will think back and say, well that wasn't so bad after all now was it!

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1 minute ago, ChrisL said:

Wow sorry to hear...  Having been layed off 3 times in my career the one thing I learned is don't take it personally.  They didn't look at you and say, Indy needs to go... It was a business decision they had to make as tough as it may be for their employees who left and for those who have to pick up the slack.

Try to look at it as a new opportunity, have a positive outlook when job searching "Yeah those rat Basturds let me go after 14 years of dedicated service" does you no good in an interview. You may feel that way but don't communicate that.  Also remember job searching is a full time job and try to enjoy some things during the lull that you normally couldn't.  I attended my kids practices, rode a lot, hung out at the beach.... it's nerve wracking I know but staying at home fretting does you no good.

Good luck, stay positive and when you are enjoying your new gig you will think back and say, well that wasn't so bad after all now was it!

This is my 4th time now, the other 3, they've tried to bring me back after a month or so as things started to fall apart.  What's most frustrating, I tried to explain it to management and tried to emphasis why not just anyone can do my job a couple months ago, guess I had a feeling this was coming and tried to head it off.  They didn't listen as just last week I was explaining to a manager briefly how things were automated after I had to cancel a meeting with him because of an emergency recode.  He was amazed that I had automated the process, that's frustrating since I had just explained all this to basically his manager who he was taking over responsibilities for.

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And the best part, the emergency recode was to support the top level managers pet project, the manager that actually cut us out.  So he's pet project, that I've jumped through hopes to figure out how to do is now going to be a disaster as it was as convoluted as all get out, no way would people keep everything straight doing it manually.

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Sounds like you need to go contract worker. Own your own company set your own hours. (LOL). Do this while looking for gainfull employment. Also negotiate hard if you come back as contract. Double sounds about right. You will have SE tax (15%) plus insurance and lawyer fees for LLC

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I've been on both sides of it and have had to lay off staff several times too.  It's really a complicated process and as clueless as management may seem often times we are mandated to cut X percent or we are looking at their P&L and going oh shit this isn't sustainable...  Revenue is down, expenses are up and where is my largest expense, payroll.... remember it's not just payroll but taxes, benefits, equipment to support the staff etc.  My payroll burden was 85% of my total costs.  

From an operational perspective companies are rarely if ever better or more efficient after laying off staff.  Just more profitable.

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16 minutes ago, ChrisL said:

I've been on both sides of it and have had to lay off staff several times too.  It's really a complicated process and as clueless as management may seem often times we are mandated to cut X percent or we are looking at their P&L and going oh shit this isn't sustainable...  Revenue is down, expenses are up and where is my largest expense, payroll.... remember it's not just payroll but taxes, benefits, equipment to support the staff etc.  My payroll burden was 85% of my total costs.  

From an operational perspective companies are rarely if ever better or more efficient after laying off staff.  Just more profitable.

Yeah, that's just it though.  This will hurt the profitability, to do my day to day job manually which they are now down to will take ten people, and no, I'm not exaggerating.  That's not taking into account things like a big initiative that just kicked off, it was going to take me a hour at most today, they are looking at a month of work doing it now.

When you are trying to continually do less with more, you don't cut the ones that know how to accomplish that.  No, management was actually clueless in this case as to what they were doing.

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Skip the "Oh, they got rid of me because I'm no good..." self pity stage and go right to the "THOSE UNGRATEFUL BASTARDS!!!..... ?" part. ?

It's a major adjustment, to be sure and I know it sounds like kumbaya bullshit, but it will work out in the end.

Took 'em 25 years to get rid of me and they had to make shit up to do it. Now I'm just pissed off they didn't do it sooner. 

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I've noticed that people who can reason, prioritize, and organize don't stay unemployed very long.  Critical thinking skills are becoming more and more a rare commodity.  Perhaps you have become more specialized than you'd like, but your type of job demanded that you not only resolve the initial task but also think ahead to anticipate unintended consequences.  I should think there are a fair number of employers who would be interested in a person who can look at a system, lay out a plan to automate it, implement the plan, and raise the efficiency of all the employees.

In short, the skills you developed and used at your last job have broader applications than the narrow position and the type of business that employed you; they are translate-able to other fields.  Your job now becomes finding a way to show perspective employers how you can adapt your critical thinking skills, organization, and energy into making their business more nimble, more efficient, and more profitable for them.

The whole idea of a business hiring an employee is (or should be) that the employee's actions will bring some benefit to the company - usually in the form of profits.  Demonstrate to companies that your skills will convert into profits for them and you'll land in a better job soon.

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3 minutes ago, ChrisL said:

Just remember the mantra at your next interview: it was a good run, we accomplished a lot, I understand they had to make tough choices and I look forward to new opportunities to apply my skills and experience.

Yeap.

 

And it's also good for your ego when you keep getting calls from people in other departments saying they are talking to their manager to see if they are any openings.  It's kind of a sad statement on the management of the department that I was in that I was thought far more highly of by other departments than the one I was in. 

 

Maybe I get lucky and this is a short vacation, though not holding my breath.

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9 minutes ago, Indy said:

When you are trying to continually do less with more, you don't cut the ones that know how to accomplish that.  No, management was actually clueless in this case as to what they were doing.

Thing is, they don't care. 

They made all sorts of shortsighted decisions that will come back to bite them in the ass, where I was, but all they care about is the next quarter....and the next quarter.

If they're incapable of making money by doing their jobs correctly the easiest way for them to make money is cut payroll.

 

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2 minutes ago, Thaddeus Kosciuszko said:

I should think there are a fair number of employers who would be interested in a person who can look at a system, lay out a plan to automate it, implement the plan, and raise the efficiency of all the employees.

As long as they're not over 40.

Age discrimination is alive and well.

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2 minutes ago, Road Runner said:

there is always the management idea that they can save money by getting rid of older employees that are making top pay and replacing them with younger employees who they can pay less.

"Somebody cheaper with no vacation time and no accumulated raises" was one of the unspoken reasons I got frog-marched out the door - the bullshit in the termination letter notwithstanding. 

Also, older people have been around the block a time or two and don't believe the bullshit as easily as naive youngsters.

(And they tend to be more likely to use the insurance...)

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It sounds to me like you're about to get blamed for screwing up everything that they won't be able to figure out.  Good luck in the job hunt. 

As a side note, we just had a SAP contractor doing a crystal migration for us.  So there are things out there for those kind of skills.

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Damn. Sorry to hear this, but you will find another job. I worked at a job for almost 15 years before they got eaten by a bigger fish and the operation got shut down. The last few years there were brutal because management kept eliminating whole departments at a time. I found another job. If I can, you can.

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