Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Well, I'm still employed.  I was supposed to receive the official word last week, but since I was out, my manager put a mysterious fifteen minute meeting on my calendar on Monday.  I guess that was a good sign, because the less fortunate employees had longer meetings, which were sent not by their managers, but by HR directors.  So I'm still working, but the bad news is that my job, like just about everyone else's, will be changing.  And unfortunately, my responsibilities will now focus primarily on the monthly COGS estimate each month will be like it's own miniature version of Spring Plan.  You can guess how I feel about that...

This week at the office has been rampant with gossip and speculation as everyone tries to figure out who got the axe.  It's been very entertaining, really.  And I'm happy to report that the company has generally done a pretty good job in who it chose to lay off.  There were a number people who were either painful to work with or just downright incompetent, and a few of them did get the boot.  Of course, there were also some notable exceptions where smart, likable people were sent packing, which was sad to see.

The saddest part of all of this is that my immediate group--the all-star team, really--is getting dismantled.  Because of the reorganization, one of the guys I currently work with will be in a different group in the near future, while I wander the abyss of monthly estimates. And today marked the final day with the company for one of my coworkers, who will start business school this fall and is taking the summer off to enjoy sweet, sweet laziness in California.

In honor of his last day, he got to select the location of a team goodbye lunch.  This is one of the great things about working on a team with five guys--there were five emphatic votes cast for the same location:

What's better than all-you-can eat meat at Rodizio?  Having work pay for it.  Work-sponsored events are hard to come by these days, so this was a big win. I felt bad for my female manager, who filled up very quickly and had to watch the five guys on her team devour chunks of meat for the next hour.  I wouldn't say that I ate my fill today...I wasn't nearly as uncomfortable walking out as I was the last time I ate at Rodizio.  In fact, I wasn't uncomfortable at bottomless appetite is legendary at work, but the group was still shocked when I went back to the salad bar again after our table had started turning away the meat ninjas. 

Their quietly judgmental stares kept me from entering the land of discomfort...but maybe that's a good thing, since I'll be headed to the gym in a few hours, then playing tennis later tonight in the 95° heat and humidity.  I can say from experience that sweating bacon grease makes it tough to grip the racquet, especially on a humid day.

After a goodbye and a group hug in front of the restaurant--I told them not to squeeze too tightly given what I'd just consumed--I returned home to work from there the rest of the afternoon.  My departing coworker had to go back to the office for his annual performance appraisal, which we all had a good laugh about since he had about three hours left with the company and couldn't care less what was said in that meeting.

 The kind of goodbye that HR won't let you have back at the office.

Earlier this morning, because of all these changes, everyone in my department was required to attend a one hour course called "Excelling Through Organizational Change."  That was an hour of my life that I'll never get had everything I'd hoped it wouldn't, including small group discussions, writing ideas on giant sheets of paper, and talking about feelings.  The instructor actually discussed survivor's guilt for those who didn't get laid off.  Why should I feel guilty for not being laid off?  Like I said before, with a few unfortunate exceptions, HR seemed to pick the targets pretty wisely.

This was the kind of nonsensical crap that was covered in the meeting.  Here's a chart that explains how we react to a negatively perceived change:

I wasn't motivated--or awake--enough to try to explain my own personal version of the reaction chart, which includes a straight, horizontal line very close to the x-axis with periodic red dots, each labeled "Indifference."  The way I see it, not that much is really changing--I'll still be getting paid to be somewhere I'd rather not be.  I was due to rotate to a new job least when I transition into the new position in the next few months, I'll already know what I'm doing, even if I'm not crazy about doing it.  That beats that last four times I've started a new role, each of which began with blinding ignorance.

It's sad that the Dream Team is getting torn apart, but drowning our sorrows in meat was the finance send-off equivalent of winning the World Series and retiring.  Only one lucky team member is actually leaving, but it was a good ending nevertheless.  I guess now it's time to put the captain's hat on and get back to estimating the inestimable.

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