Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Topsy-turvy world

Freestanding Icicle
Freestanding Icicle

Ever have one of those days where everything seems upside down, inside out, or sideways? Today was that day for me. At about 3:30 I found out that the company I work for is hitting the wall 'o crisis related to the financial mess that the greedheads at the top of our corporations caused. So...there will be layoffs, low or no raises, no bonuses ever again for people at my level, unpaid days off, less-than-full-time work, and more. There is also an option to take a voluntary separation with a severance package. Since I have worked there for 19 years, the package is fairly generous for me.

So I have some thinking to do.

They have given me all the time they think I need to turn my world upside down. I have to have made my choice from among the bad options by Tuesday. How convenient.

Stay tuned...


  1. Damn. I'm very sorry to hear that the ripples have gotten to you now. I know about your long-term retirement plan - are you close enough to wing it?

    - Eric

  2. Not close at all. The greedy bastards running our financial institutions into the ground while looting and pillaging the middle class (torches and pitchforks, people) have seen to it that my 401(k) is down 56% from a year ago, and my outside investments are down 24%. Metaphorically, I'm half the man I was a year ago. So, survive? Sure, with no genuine worries regardless of which option(s) I choose from the stinky pile. Even a raging optamist like me is having a hard time seeing anything really *good* here. However, whatever choice I make, I will be absolutely convinced it is the best one!

    There are many things to ponder:
    - if I opt to stay, will I then fall as an "involuntary separation"? This seems unlikely, but I have no guarantee.
    - if I opt to stay and choose an 80% hours/pay option, what are the odds that I will REALLY work 80% hours? Slim to none, so I would simply be taking a 20% cut in pay.
    - if I opt to stay and things remain bad, will the same crisis occur again in July, only maybe not so sweet?
    - if I opt to voluntarily separate, will my severance last until I get another job in the current environment? Could be a BIG windfall, or a period of austerity followed by unemployment. (Yeah, that's the glass is half-empty version.)
    - if I opt to leave, can I veg for a while and enjoy clearing the cobwebs from my brain, then find something new and completely different to do that is exciting and rewarding? (That's the half-full version.)

    Lots to chew on, and risks to assess. Life is not dull!

  3. Sorry to hear this! Is it possible to get more info from your personnel people and so shine more light on your choices? This is tough... my thoughts are with you.


  4. Thanks, Laurie. Our HR people have actually done a pretty good job of putting info out there. They're efficient at letting people go. After all, they just had lots of experience when moving corporate jobs from Madison to the corporate parent's home city. 270 *jobs* moved, but only about 30 *people* moved.

  5. I'm sorry to hear about the big decision you have to make. If you want anyone to bounce ideas off of, I'm happy to listen.

  6. Thanks, Teach. We're having brunch Saturday with someone who took a severence package and milked it out to 2 years of not working. I want to see How She Did It, and what she would have done differently.

  7. Jeez Nataraj, I'm sorry - that really sucks.
    If FF is going to be shutting down in Madison in the near future anyway, maybe it's better to get out now and avoid the death of 1000 cuts?
    ...Hope you can find a bridge job to get you to retirement - if that's what you want.
    - Mick


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