Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It could be a Dylan song

The times, they are a'changin.

J works in the title department of a large home building company. It's not something he particularly enjoys, but unlike his last job, which was very cool but paid horribly and had hours that were sadistic, he can now enjoy evenings and weekends. As an added bonus we can afford to pay our mortgage and eat dinner out from time to time. There is also no required beer drinking with this soul sucking corporate job, which may sound like a con instead of a pro, but try being required to not only drink but also drive from location to location four to six days a week, and add in very little sleep, and pretty soon cool job is no longer cool, local celebrity non-withstanding.

I am the champion of digression.

Anyway, the company J works for is in round four or five of layoffs, which is no surprise given the current state of the housing market. My father also works for this company, and he's not only been in the mortgage banking industry for a long time, he's also really good at his job. He said it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. (As an aside, my favorite quote is from Lily Tomlin - "It going to get much worse before it gets worse.") So we're in the same position as so many people right now...we're wondering if J is going to have a job much longer. If he loses his job it won't be because of his performance, or a mistake on his part. It will be because this company has to cut costs, and personnel are expensive. Yesterday the only competent person in a department J has to deal with often was laid off. People who are paid well, by and large, are paid well for a reason. But that also means that they are more expensive than the idiots, and tend to go first after all the really expendable people are cut.

J and I haven't really talked about what we'll do if he gets the axe. With the day care doing so well, and the fact that J loves kids and kids love him, we could change our licensing and have him join the business. It would mean some changes to our house, but we'd be together every day doing something we both love. Given the economy in general, this might be the most viable option. There's always the chance that J won't be the one to go this time.

I can't imagine working in that kind of atmosphere, however. Knowing someone has to go. And there are just enough people to do the work that needs done, so not only is someone you know fairly well going to lose their job, you're going to have to do their work, and you're already swamped.

I was in a similar position with my corporate job before I started my business, and I finally decided that the person who decided that you could operate a company with 1/6 of the original staff doing all the work, well, that person was an idiotic jackass. The human brain can only deal with so many tasks and so much information at one time. No matter what your spreadsheet and profit margin for the board says. So I left. I had a plan, I got some training, I did some research and took a huge chance, but I did it. I've never liked The Man.

But I've got to go... Perhaps I'll edit later?

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