On the Job

June 15, 2001

Sometimes, you gotta go with the flow

I work at a telecom company with a stock price in the cellar. In early March we had over 700 employees. Now we have just over 500. But I still have a job. They haven't issued pay cuts yet, so I'm still getting paychecks. They are slowly removing benefits and making others more expensive, but hey, I still have benefits. I still get vacation days. Morale is rather low, and it's not unusual to hear, "Good to see that you still work here" in the hall. I guess the annual trip to Six Flags has been ditched, so we try to boost our own morale with long lunches and lots of trips to Happy Hour. I'd keep an eye out for other job opportunties, but the fact is that I'm happy where I am in spite of everything.

A coworker sent me a flowchart for resolving user problems today. Without getting into the details, I'll just say that the middle box said "You're screwed!" The users I support have to wait a little longer these days for me to get to them sometimes, but I'll get there. I'll do as good a job as I always did. If it doesn't involve buying hardware or giving out my precious reserve of unused hardware, I'm very accomodating. We rant to each other a lot. For me and a lot of the other young people in the company, this is the first time we've worked through a recession. There's a different outlook from a year ago. You just try to get through the next few weeks cause you never know when things will start to look up. When they need to attract new employees, things will get better. But it could be a year away, too, and that's a possibility too depressing to think about much.

So I look for diversions. The flowchart was good. I'm going to see a movie tonight. I guess the summer is a good time for a recession since I can go swimming or ride a bicycle to try to ease the tension I feel inside myself. Just a matter of time before things look up, right?

Published: June 15, 2001
Editor: stacy

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