Thursday, October 23, 2008

Black Wednesday

No entry yesterday for several reasons.

1: I didn’t feel like it. I was in a black mood that I managed to snap myself out of near the end of the day. Will explain in a minute.

2: Work was insanely busy, so I had no time to slack off and write some drivel that barely 10 people read on a any given day. Yeah, I’m still trying to shake off those dark remnants.

3: Yesterday was Black Wednesday at work. By this I mean our company announced layoffs.

Four people from our local branch were cut, one of them being my prime source of gossip. I’m going to feel completely out of the loop for a while and not nearly be as entertained.

Here’s a way to know things are not going well in your office: The people getting laid off seem happier than the people remaining. Four people isn’t a lot for our office of around 110, but it still sucks. There was a palpable sense of doom hanging over everything. Office doors were closed, everyone was either hoping or dreading a call to the board room for a ‘meeting’, and productivity was cut by half with people packing and saying good bye to their work friends or whispering about what was going on.

I should also point out that we have already been told there will be no bonuses nor will there be raises for anyone in 2009. Fucking fantastic. So layoffs, no overtime is allowed under any reason, no raises and no bonuses.

I love my job!

On the bright side I managed to successfully login to my Monster account and update my resume. That was a big step for me since I haven’t used it in over five years. I’m proud of myself. I find it amusing how impressive my resume looks when I really don’t do all that much (other than posting shit up here, of course). It immediately makes me distrust every piece of paper in America.

My plan now is to slowly put some feelers out. My old boss is still in the area and he’s always wondering what I’m up to. If anything jumps out at me on Monster, I’ll give it a look-see and we’ll take it from there.

The problem, of course, is leaving a secure long time job for something different is no guarantee for job security. I could be the first one to go if the new company decides to lay people off or cut costs or goes bankrupt. Any one of those scenarios would be bad.

What I don’t understand is why this is happening. While the stocks keep tumbling, I’ve been reading that IBM, Apple and McDonalds all posted better than expected earnings. Shopping malls are packed. People are still eating out and going to the movies. Where is this recession? Am I missing something? Have we not reached the point where the economy is effecting people’s wallets?

I’m no economist, but there seems to be a large gap between what the experts are telling us and what is really going on. Again, maybe we’ll see things go south very soon, but there doesn’t seem to be much of a downturn in spending with middle America. As my coworker said ‘I went to the mall last night and couldn’t find a parking space. I thought we were in a recession! Why are all these people shopping?!’

I wonder what sort of historical relevance a new President has on the economy? Does business tend to hold off until they know who the next President will be? That might be something to keep an eye on. Will the economy pick up after the election?

Or more precisely, will it pick up after the new year? With the upcoming holidays November and December are typically slow business months, anyway. Figure middle of January will be the true indicator of how 2009 will look.

In the meantime, I’m hunkering down in my office and applying to any interesting jobs that pay me six figures, include a no firing clause and grant me full authority over what, when, how and how often I do my job.

That’s right, I’m playing the lottery again.

You’ll all be glad to know I managed to defunk myself (I like that word) when some douchebag in our group sent an email to our team asking ‘Just checking in to see who’s still working here’.

Now, nobody can stand this asswipe, so I hit reply, then copied and pasted an generic ‘Out of Office’ message into my email. I then edited it to say: ‘I am no longer employed at this company. If you need immediate assistance please call or email….’ and entered in my colleague’s phone number and email address. It looked pretty authentic if I do say so.

The beauty of this is I hit Send and immediately shut down my computer for the night and went home. Before I even hit the elevator my cell was ringing. It was my friend down in Florida (the one I just lost a bet to) who said ‘Is that for real?’ I told her no, of course not, just trying to bust this dude’s balls and she laughed for a solid two minutes before I finally hung up.

By the time I hit the lobby I had three other responses ranging from ‘WHAT???!!!’ to ‘Are you serious?’ to my favorite ‘THAT IS NOT FUNNY!’

Nothing like wreaking havoc to put a spring in your step.

Today’s distraction: A very cool idea to kill some time if you get laid off. This guy decorated his entire basement with Sharpies. Apparently $10 worth. Not bad for a simple black permanent pen.


Hammen said...

I liked the 'Out of Office' stunt. I was totally LOLing.

A Tribute: deer a train and basketball said...

They suspended trading at the CME group today, which is never a good thing. People are saying we haven't even hit our momentum low or price lows in both the s&p and dow, things are definitely looking shitty.
I wonder how high that guy got from the fumes of the sharpies?

Anonymous said...

I am also very apprehensive about this "recession" we've having. Not that I am complaining that it hasn't hit me in the face, but like you said, I haven't really noticed any change in mass society.