Sunday, April 11, 2010

Job, part 21

More layoffs last week.

That was the third round. Previous one was about a year ago. Since the company fiscal year ended the week before, it rhymes. I am beginning to think they will continue on a regular basis, even if business improves; probably because (a) it improves the 'revenue per employee' number (which is a farce statistic), and (b) outsourcing continues unabated.

The reason I believe the revenue per employee number means nothing is that with use of 'consultants' and with increased use of outsourcing, the use of manpower has not decreased, in fact it probably increased if the headcount of all the consultants and personnel at the outsourcing vendor is taken into account.

This time the word is that five people were let go, none at the local office.

Earlier in the day, P, now a VP, stopped by my office and let me know since T would be out of the office for more than a week on a business trip, they asked me to do a certain task which would occur probably later the following week or the Monday following. Later when I heard about the layoffs I understood that the layoffs would not include me, because if I was to be included, he wouldn't have asked me to plan to do a certain task a week or more later.

Last year the company imposed a wage freeze, because of the worsening economic situation. Salaries were frozen except for promotions. Well you can image what happened: a slew of promotions were immediately announced. And there were more immediate promotions within a very short time than had been announced over several years. That included P being promoted to a VP.

During this past year, P imposed the Agile methodology for software development. Much has been said and written about Agile, and I won't barf all over you about it here. This transition has not been simple, has not been very successful, and still not complete. Needless to say, since the change from my being a manager to something else, I am still under-utilized. I still have few things to do, and am asked to do things that previously I managed and supervised others who did these tasks.

This week the company president will give a talk. I do not expect much from the overall company meeting. The CEO, who constantly speaks about EBITDA and whose first name is David, for most of us is now named "David Ebitda." A few euphemisms and buzzwords will be said and heard. Talk about financial conditions will be made. Will raises be reinstated? Will 401K matching be reinstated? Will equity ever be made available to employees? All questions of which there are questionable possibilities they will be addressed.

Word is that the senior VP, S, might also call a Development meeting after the company meeting. The only thing that intrigues me about this possible meeting is the amount of time and subject matter that S might address compared to the amount that P might address. In last year's meeting, S expanded somewhat on the company financial picture that the CEO had just give in the company meeting earlier that morning. But he did not speak at all about the department, and left all departmental management and operations to P and P's talk. Since S has almost completely removed himself from running the department, P is left to do as he pleases. So will this continue? It all remains to be seen how this department meeting is run. If it happens at all.