250 pages of notes

My company had another round of retrenchments last week. It happens more often than not at this time of year. Management are charming like that. There were two of us left with similar skill sets – down from I think five. My colleague concentrated more on installations, and I focused on monitoring and supporting productive systems. My colleague was one of those let go.

If I heard right, and it would follow previous form, the local management was ordered by the international management to remove certain people so that the utilisation reports would look better for the shareholders.

It didn’t matter that my colleague was required for the company to put together demo systems for prospective clients, or setup the landscape for any new projects we might win. We must make the international CEO look – temporarily, better.

There was an article doing the newspaper rounds recently about the Japanese Billionaire Kazuo Inamori, who was quoted as saying focusing on shareholders was wrong. Management should ensure their staff were happy, and that would in turn lead to shareholder profits. If you want eggs, take care of the hen,” Inamori says. “If you bully or kill the hen, it’s not going to work.”

I’ve known for most of this year that there was no future at the company, and that staying was damaging my career. It was however convenient – and well, change is scary. I’ve decided however enough is enough, and I should be resigning tomorrow. I plan to take 3 months off, then decide what to do next. I might start my own business doing the same sort of role, or buy a business, or try to get one of the rare jobs advertised in my area of expertise, or even re-skill to do something completely different. I may be out of work for a while. If I had a different personality I would be excited by the possibilities.

Because I am feeling out of my comfort zone, I’ve been cleaning, sorting and ordering things, as it helps me mentally. One of those mini tasks was to clean up some of my Blogging notes, which hit 250 pages! I started at the bottom and managed to remove 30 pages of notes and half-finished posts, which were from early 2011.

It was interesting how many topics are still being bantered about – such as the relationship between CCP and the players, why nerfing Hi-Sec would not fix Null-Sec, why Hi-Sec should have development time spent on it. The list goes on. There was what appeared to be a completed post which I am not sure I ever uploaded. It outlined what ships my characters had and where they were located. I thought I would copy in what I had to say about my Main Character back in early 2011:

“My Main is in a player Corp. He is just about to hit 90M SP. He has assets in 9 systems. One is in low sec, and contains a Helios, Cyno Ship, and spare fuel for his carrier. One jump across into Empire is where he stores equipment to move into low sec when it is safe. He keeps a Falcon there. He has two PVE bases, although they have not seen much use for a while. He has a Tengu, Rattlesnake, Noctis and Iteron V at one, and a Nighthawk, Noctis and Badger Mk II at the second. Almost forgotten he has a collection of Cosmos items in a faraway corner of space. In his Corp’s Empire base, he has an Exequror, Occator, and an Orca for hauling. He has a Basilisk, Scimitar and Megathron set up for Incursions, and a Covetor, Mackinaw and Hulk for joining mining ops. There is also an Anathema, Noctis, Drake, Dramiel, Nighthawk and Retribution there in either PVE or PVP fit. At his Corp’s NPC 0.0 base is a mass of ships. A couple Cyno ships, a Viator for Hauling, and a Cyclone and Ishtar for PVE. For PVP there are 2 Battlecruisers, a Combat Recon, 2 Covert Ops, 5 cruisers, 2 destroyers, 7 Force Recon, 3 Interceptors, 4 Interdictors, 2 Logistics and 3 Stealth Bombers. He also keeps his Archon there. His final base is where he keeps a large collection of spares and odds and ends collected over years of playing. There is a Buzzard, Raptor and Badger Mk II there at the moment.”

15 thoughts on “250 pages of notes

  1. Good luck and let me know if you need any techs! I’d LOVE to live down under… well, except for the weird EVE TZ.

    I could NOT agree with Kazuo Inamori more! I have run into so many similar issues here in my corner of corporate US…
    At one of my contracts a few years ago, I was on an 8 man contract team working the transition from XP to Win7 for 16,000 systems. We were getting close to the end of the project and this particular company uses these projects as a proving ground for potential new hires so the team was, shall I say, hopeful?

    (Me a bit more than the others… You see this was the power company my dad worked for, for 40 years… they have the best benefits available and, well, my dad worked his way up from Engineer 1 to Senior VP, Eastern Division man! DAMN did I want that FT job!!)(anyhoo…)

    So here we were working our assess off in the hope… and then the boom fell. They cut 4 members of the team early… and I was pulled aside (by a manager who knew my dad back in the day) and was told confidentially that they were not going to hire anyone from our team and to start looking for work.

    You see the company had not made the ‘projected’ profit goals and the stock holders basically said “So? That’s your problem, not ours… pay up.” So the company had no choice but to cut jobs to come up with it (over 1 million US)(and I didn’t notice any Executives giving up bonuses either…). So to try and save a few FT employees they cut us and slid them into our contract jobs.

    I hope you will excuse this but… Fukkin’ greedy asshat stockholders. To paraphrase Inamori, what kind of idiot beats a golden goose? Almost makes one despair it does…

      • Yeah… I grew up with my mom at home, a housewife and mother in the 50’s and 60’s and my father a businessman on a solid career path working for only that one company his whole career… But then my mom had to go to work in the 70’s so they could afford private school for my younger brother and sister (the area we lived in had extremely high racial tensions in those years and the public schools had simply become too dangerous).

        I lost a contract after 911 and due to the business climate at the time we decided I would stay home and take care of my new born daughter until things improved. I ended up doing that for 2 years until job opportunities picked up and after Boo was accepted into an early program at a wonderful private school that went from Kindergarten to 6th.

        So she at least had me at home for those few formative years… Hardest and most wonderful thing I ever did. My youngest son (different mother) has never known a day without daycare, pre-school or school… and Boo barely remembers those 2 years now of course. As I see it, either they will have things worsening as they ‘appear’ to be now, or there will be some kind of a ‘break’… great depression, war, etc. as there usually is throughout history sorry to say, that breaks the current cycle.

        Why do I say ‘appear’? I and my wife make about what my dad did in adjusted dollars… and in some ways we have a materially ‘fuller’ life. Instead of a nice 3BR house in the suburbs, we have a small hobby farm with a largish 4BM main house and a 2BR guest cottage with about the same commute time as dad had. We don’t do much in the way of trips to Far Far Away, but we have the farm (passed down from my dad) on the Chesapeake Bay, same as we did when I was growing up, which can be IMHO better than visiting ‘other’ places than home.

        We, the wife and I are on the back side of the crest of middle years, 50 and 55… but we are both in basically good health for our ages and are gainfully employed in jobs we basically like. And all our kids are doing OK. Boo and Aidy (youngest at 12 & 13) are (at this time at least) healthy and happy kids overall, and are both straight A students and not getting into any ‘real’ trouble and our older kids (28 son, 30 dottir, 32 son) are healthy and gainfully employed in occupations they are basically happy with… All in all, who can really ask for more?

      • I don’t think enough people stop to really appreciate what they have – as you do. Having said that – a home in a lovely location like the Chesapeake Bay is easy to appreciate!

        My wife and I have both been very fortunate to have had careers that have given us a good lifestyle, and allowed us the flexibility to work part time and often from home once we had our kids. I don’t personally know many Dads who have had the opportunity to be as involved in raising their kids as I have.

        As I said though – I am not sure our kids will have the same opportunities we did. The world has fundamentally changed – especially since the GFC. I also wonder at times if the rate of change will continue, or something will happen to break it.

  2. The interesting point is observing how much is being off-shored into Asia or Asia-Minor. I have survived two rounds of retrenchment in the last 18 months. I await the day when the boardrooms discover that there is no more employed left in the country – thus no one left to actual afford their good or service.

      • I hope that becomes more common Sugar, but I have my doubts. I have worked with some great offshore resources (most of whom end up onshore). I have also seen some effective outsourcing. In each case there was tightly controlled recruiting and skilful management of the teams. Funny enough – the same sort of thing that is required for successful onshore teams. In my personal experience however that is not the norm.

    • The entire landscape for the area I work in (SAP Consulting) has changed here over the last decade. Little job security, the majority of advertised jobs are for contract or fixed term, lots of offshoring, lots of bringing in visa holders on substantially less salary, and grossly overworking the staff who remain. It does not paint a nice picture.

    • I don’t feel brave. My resignation email sat open for half the day before, with a somewhat queasy stomach, I was able to hit send. I have really allowed myself to get too comfortable in my hermit cave. It is the right thing to do – and in the long run will be for the best. I’ve got a month to document and hand everything over, then three months to relax and make a dent in my to-do list. Once the kids are settle back in the new school year I will have to sit down and logically and methodically work through the options.

      • It is brave. The terror of being jobless makes me shiver and we could swing it if it came up. Last time my husband got laid off he had a job within a week of looking. But, urgh, for me its incredibly frightening.

      • Financially we are all fine. I know however I am going to have to work very hard mentally to ensure I relax during my time off, and appreciate and make the most of it. More EVE time I suspect will help…

  3. Don’t quit your job…Employment gaps can be death. Yes, look for other work, even re-train yourself, but stay working as working as long as you can.

    • On the face of it, good advice. My job however was unlikely to last more than a couple of months, and I made the decision it was better leaving on good terms with my entitlements. Having said that – when you have been doing something like I have for 20 years, taking a few months off for the first time won’t be the death of your career. In some ways I am more likely to get one of the few jobs advertised because I can apply immediately and am available straight away. In the changed industry I work, as long as you have a suitable narrative around an employment gap, it shouldn’t have the impact it used to. I may well be wrong though!

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