Saturday, April 5, 2008

Lay Offs

Cyclist called me yesterday on his way home from work to fill me in on all the latest office happenings.

I’m very sad to report that yesterday a lay off in the Preconstruction Department was announced. That department is in the process of being temporarily disbanded and everyone is going out on different jobsites, unfortunately, one of the estimators in the department wasn’t so lucky as to be reassigned to a jobsite and has been laid off effective yesterday morning. When Cyclist told me my heart went out to the guy. This guy, Grad, just graduated from the University of Cincinnati last May. Grad moved down to Atlanta and away from his extended family and friends in order to accept a job with our company. He often keeps to himself, I really hope he’s got some good friends in town who he can confide in for moral support. He must be devastated. I can’t even begin to imagine what I’d do if I were laid off – I guess sit and stare at the wall for a few days and try and come to terms with it. Grad is still so early in his career, I can’t image what kind of a set back this might be for him – its always easier to find a job when either have a job or are still in college.

Cyclist and I talked a while more about how we felt really bad for Grad. Then he and I started speculating if there might be more lay offs. We were trying to decide if this was because of a true lack or work or if it was a convenient excuse to get rid of this person. We both like Grad, he's a nice enough guy but not a hard worker at all or a very smart worker either.

Cyclist and I tended to agree that if there was still work then they would have kept him but since there wasn’t any work and rumor has it that none of the projects wanted him on their team because of his reputation of not being a great employee, Sr. Management probably found it was easier to just let this person go. I don’t know if we decided this because we wanted to make ourselves believe this would be the end of the lay offs or if its truly the real reason.

I’m hopeful that there won’t be any additional lay offs. I’m not so worried about myself, especially since if all else goes wrong I still have the Tampa offer, but I’d hate to see something like this happen to my co-workers – the core group of the department that have been there for years is a tight knit group and any more lay offs would be a huge moral deflater.

Cyclist also hopes there aren’t any more lay offs but after that he said something that surprised me – he said if there are going to be any more layoff’s he’s going to volunteer himself to be the next one let go.

I asked him why he would volunteer himself, his response was that it would be better for him to go than someone like Big Daddy who needs the money to live day to day. Cyclist said he’s not an independently wealthy man but he’s been smart about finances plus he thinks he could find a job pretty easily because of his contacts and experience. Even if he can’t find a job he said figures with his savings he could hold off at least 4 or 5 years before he needed a job and not effect his retirement which he is planning to start in about 10 years at age 62. He started to ponder out loud that even if he could just find some part time consulting work then he’d be set and not ever need to work full time again and still be able to fully retire at 62.

While my heart still goes out to Grad, I can’t help but be dang impressed with Cyclist. I really hope to be able to be in Cyclist’s shoes one day. Its amazing the comfort and freedom Financial Independence can provide.


Cinder said...

Found out the other day I might be losing one of my larger contracts with a Real Estate Developer in San Diego yesterday. Not a definite, but I'm suppose to have a 'confidential' meeting with the owner next week to figure out ongoing IT needs for the company next week. I've suspected the company would be biting the dust for awhile (the only way I'd lose the contract), but it still stinks as I've worked with them for over 6 years now and care about the success of the company (beyond a paycheck from them).

Maybe I'm overreacting though and he has a plan in place for the company to hibernate a bit and wait out the current market and has other things he wants to do and needs me to help plan the logistics out. Who knows, but losing that contract would stink, even though I've known the possibility of it happening seeing the direction everything was going there.

Plan for the worst and hope for the best.

"Future Millionaire" said...

@ Cinder - I hope your 'confidential' meeting goes well and its just a new strategy to keep the company afloat.

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