So I'm Strolling Into My Job Today.....

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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Duane
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So I'm Strolling Into My Job Today.....

Postby Duane » Fri Sep 19, 2008 2:54 pm

.... whistling a happy tune. You know the one. It's what the poor helpless cartoon character whistles right before the anvil drops onto his head.

Anyway, I'm whistling. It's Friday, and I have about a half day's work ahead of me before I cut out early and enjoy my weekend.

I meet two of my coworkers coming out the door carrying boxes. "Glad that ain't me," I say to myself.

Twenty minutes later, it was.

I work in the financial sector, and I was gladdened by the news this morning that the government was going to perform what is in effect triage on a financial system battered by bad loans and short sighted lenders and their equally short sighted management. The stock market answered with a 400 point upswing, and I said to myself, Wheew!! I get to keep a relatively cushy and somewhat financially rewarding job as a Statistician and SAS programmer for the next, well, while.

Whistle.....

Long story short, I'll be fine. I'm meeting up with some former coworkers for lunch in a few weeks, and it will be a regular thing. Work with good people for ten years, and you want to keep them around, you know.

Chin up, chop-chop, the sun will rise, and so forth --

Sincerely, Duane, former Stat Analyst, SAS whiz and all around good guy.

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Steve Evil
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Postby Steve Evil » Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:04 pm

Duanne, are you saying what I think you're saying?

Damn! I am so sorry to hear that.

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Duane
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Postby Duane » Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:26 pm

Yep, that's what I'm saying.

Experian's been good to me, though, and I have no hard feelings. I even shook the hand of the guy who fired me. Some say you're not supposed to do that, but in a time where life feels like it's spinning out of control, it's best to seize control of what you CAN.

After I was told I was laid off, I even did about 15 minutes of work to finish up some projects I was working on. It felt really good to do that; it meant that I wasn't some ex-employee who had to behave like one of the mumbling, grumbling herd. It meant that I could go out with my self respect intact, working relationships strengthened, and my head held high.

Afterwards, I spent about an hour with the other dozen or so "exes" saying goodbye to people I might not see again; that was the roughest part. And the company was good about not having us escorted out the door by security (although I think they were prepared for that possibility.

I signed off with this final email to my team and others I've worked with (feel free to ignore the Experian terminology):

It has been a pleasure to work with the Archive/Analytics team; I don't think I would have made it past the first year working in Prescreen or Quest. Prescreen would have been a waaaay too time sensitive and hard boiled environment for me, and Quest, at least the way it was "back in the day" would have quickly become repetitive and boring. Analytics provided a chance to tackle something new and invigorating every day, and even though it, too, had its hard boiled or boring moments, it always provided an "interesting" angle to make coming in every day worthwhile.

The only truly difficult part of all this is leaving behind those decade long daily working relationships. I sent Erik my contact information, so feel free to get in contact with me via email, phone or snail mail.

Take care, and best of luck in the future!

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robochrist
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Postby robochrist » Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:00 pm

I've been quite silent about it, but this happened to me about 3 weeks ago.

I was laid off.

But, regrettably, I left with a bit more bitterness.

I'd been this Internet company for 3 years. I WAS grateful to the owner for being willing work around a complicated school schedule as I try to wrap it with Masters. (For some time NO one would help me with that)

However, after 2 years the owner refused to give me any kind of a raise, and no medical benefits whatsoever, even though I'd worked nearly 38 hours a week. I was praised to high hell for my work, my initiative, and my problem-solving, but, MAN, what I had to go thru just to get even the smallest raise.

Then, a couple of months ago, when we were having some glitches with a new computer program, I was suddenly "incompetent" and the owner yelled, "you are so fulla shit!" when some crucial email tests had never reached the guy who was supposed to see it (even though the results were shown received from MY end); thinking that I simply did NOT do the test at all, but claimed to do so, he wouldn't, at that moment, let me explain that I HAD. We got it straightened finally when I told him to check my computer and the record of the test confirms it was sent. I was ok after that, even though he never apologized for his rash conclusion.

Two months past, and he brought me into his office.

Now he has his sons doing most of the work, so that he doesn't have to pay as much.

I was nice when I left. I was cordial, simply because you don't want to blow 3 years as a job reference.

I didn't tell him what I was really thinking. This is a guy who keeps some staff members on poverty-level wages and has the gall to say, "this isn't a charity" when asked about medical benefits. After all, he once worked in the porno industry, so we know he's at ease with exploiting people; and, for that matter, his dad was a Jewish loan shark in New York a long time ago.

It's a scary time to lose a job. I'm already getting calls in response to my resume and portfolio, however, and my hope is that it won't be long before I grab work elsewhere. Hopefully, with people slightly more honorable (few American businessmen ARE).

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Postby Moderator » Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:57 pm

Hey guys.

As you know: Been there, done that.

It's nasty time as companies try to keep up with the daily dose of bad news. Wish I could offer you a safe harbor.

Te big thing is to remain convinced you're going to find something. There IS a lot out there, particularly in Los Angeles. In my new gig I will be able to keep my ear to the ground for you Duane (I'm less sure what Rob is looking for... shoot me an email).

Big suggestion: If you're not already on it, join LinkedIn.com. It's a technology-related internet community that might be able to help out in your job searches. I'm on it, as are Goldberg and several other Webderland regular.

*sigh*

And yet, conservatives would tell you this is somehow all good.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Jan
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Postby Jan » Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:32 pm

Good luck to you guys. In the sectors you work in one has to expect that every once in a while.

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remarck
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Postby remarck » Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:55 pm

Duane,

You'll land on your feet. If you don't find a job within 2 weeks, I'd be surprised. I can see credit reporting agencies having to let people go, but the financial sector at large, even when losing money, still needs to project what's going to happen.

Good luck man.

(BTW-enjoyed your other post about your multi-day hike up that mountain. Good pics, too. Made me want to go camping, and I haven't wanted to do that since I was a tenderfoot.)

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remarck
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Postby remarck » Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:00 pm

Rob,

Word of advice. I know you probably already know this, but don't go negative in the interview. And don't use a lot of exclaimation marks or ALL CAPS. Nobody wants to think a potential employee is one empty prescription bottle away from going postal.

-Keith

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robochrist
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Postby robochrist » Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:07 pm

"I know you probably already know this, but don't go negative in the interview."

Well...even though I considered issuing a few psychotic death threats pending the employer's decision to hire me...yes, I'm pretty well aware of that.

I only use THIS place to spit and scream, not in the daily arena where your future rests. I'm actually very polished in the interview process.

But thanks anyway.

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Duane
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Postby Duane » Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:28 am

Thanks Keith.

A few people I walked out with said they wanted to use the layoff as an opportunity for a six month vacation, with Unemployment picking up the tab. Although that ain't me, I do plan on taking a few weeks to consider which direction I want to go, and maybe a week (or two) to chill before hitting the interview circuit. Maybe even do a hike (or two).

But the last thing I want to do is just "hang out" for six months. Not much good ever comes of that. And eventually, the money does run out....

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Duane
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Postby Duane » Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:29 am

[quote]Thanks Keith. [/url]

.... and you too, Steve B., Steve E., Jan and Rob! (Anyone else in the magic mirror?)

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Duane
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Postby Duane » Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:33 am

quote? url? Don't worry Rob. Your job is safe from me.

Hey, it's 1:30 AM and I'm unemployed. Gimme a break!

cynic
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Postby cynic » Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:41 am

duane,

don't be as silly as i have been

you and your employer have paid into the system,avail yourself of the benefits. finding A job no less the right one could take some time.

it's YOUR money

best of luck,mike

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robochrist
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Postby robochrist » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:04 am

Duane,

At least it sounds like you can afford to wait that out.

I can't. I've too many ends to worry about, starting with the one I was born with. I could easily lose so much if I don't jump on it asap.

I've been living like a hermit for the last 3 weeks to avoid spending, putting off as many bills as I can.

That's the thin tightrope I still walk.

At least it sounds like you had a more fair-minded employer behind you. I've had to deal with people who would work your ass off for the smallest possible dollar. That line he dumped on me, "this is not a charity" when medical matters came up in the discussion really had me seething inside.

It's probably a good time for me to move on, assuming this process doesn't take too long before breaks me. I know what to look for; the industry is what would be to my better advantage if it's in publishing or computer imaging.

I've an important interview tomorrow an on Monday. I'll keep you posted on the drama (or tragi-comedy, depending on the outcome. Hey! I still remember in the early 1990's when I had an epileptic seizure right in the middle of a job interview! Let's see you top THAT! Fortunately, life has become SLIGHTLY more dignified since those days)

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markabaddon
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Postby markabaddon » Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:33 am

Duane, having gone through the same situation recently, you have my sympathies. Don't know if you have considered working on contract assignments, but I have enjoyed working contract the past several months. There is a definite risk, which I am experiencing now, that there might not be another contract once the assignment ends, but the pay is better and so are the hours (only working 40 hours a week)

LinkedIn is an excellent suggestion, feel free to link into me. Most of the recruiters I am connected to are HR related but some of them might work in broader functions and industries

All the best,

Mark
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class


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