LowComDom Performances Presents
The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You Know You're DOOMED When...
the regional Sales Manager for Kleenex® sends you personal "Get Well" cards.
You've stumbled onto another issue of The Crapolla, a journal written for software professionals. No not the managers; I mean the people who do the work.
This Crapolla is sponsored by...
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In This Issue...
What to do with old china.
The general mood in The Valley has been gloomy as of late. Every week we're hearing of more layoffs and Pink Slip Parties. I remember when Pink Slip Party meant something entirely different. But I digress.
With more dot coms dieing off and the big cap companies needing to cut back because of declining sales the chances are you will either know someone who is laid off, or you may be the unfortunate person. In Volume 1998 Issue 09 of The Crapolla I wrote about how layoffs were so different from when my father worked at Lockheed. I said that whether layoffs were good or bad was a matter of perspective, and chronicled a friend's departure from SGI.
What's happening now is different. In 1998 one company was laying off. There were plenty of other companies to hire the work force. In 2001 so many companies are laying off, people are needing those multi-month severances to find other work.
If you are laid off, I want you to remember a few things as you go through this. First, the hit on your ego is normal. I've been laid off three times. Every single time, in the long run, I came out making more money and doing more exciting things than before. But every time, I've had to deal with depression. Why me? Why not the knuckle-dragger two cubes over? What did I do wrong? The truth is I did nothing wrong. I was in a company that had a lay off, someone had to go, I was chosen. People who are perfectly good at what they do, get laid off. As they said in The Godfather, it's not personal, it's business.
Second, the reason they are giving you the severance is not because they are nice, it's so you won't sue them. Grin, take your stuff and their money and go peacefully. If you liked this company, you might want to get hired back. If you didn't like the company, don't give them the satisfaction of letting them see that they've hurt you. Besides, holding your head up high will help out the others who get laid off. There's plenty of time for the anger and rage when you get home.
Third, once home have the anger and rage. If you're pissed off, be good at it. Go down to the Goodwill and buy some old china. Take it home and break it. Don't scare your kids, spouse, or the dog. They don't deserve it. Just take the china out to the garage, and smash it. If you feel like crying, go for it. While doing either of these I don't recommend alcohol or other drugs. You might have been able to control your in-take before, but a lot of people get dragged down by booze and pills in bad times. They aren't going to help.
Fourth, it's now time for you to decide what you want to do with your life. This is where the bad things that have happened to me have eventually paid off. My first lay off came when I was working at a TV station. I went on vacation, and when I came back, they had re-org'ed me right out of the place. The truth was I didn't like the TV station, but that's what I was trained in, and I needed five years of experience before I could go work for the big boys in town. I was marking time.
When I got kicked out of the TV station, I really didn't know where I was going. I didn't do anything for a long time. Eventually, I was hired to run a floppy disk duplication house, which lead me to the software industry. I would consider this a poor example of what to do. I should have immediately come up with a plan to get another job in TV or Radio, or I should have come up with a plan to get into software. I waited for someone else to choose for me. I'm lucky this worked out. Don't count on this happening for you.
In the 60's people used to say, "This is the first day of the rest of your life." They were right. So starting today, what do you want to do? Sometimes a lay off is the catalyst that gets us to accept change. Maybe it's time to jump ship and get into that other line of business you've secretly been thinking about. (Maybe go work at the local Diet Coke bottler.) The point is this is your life, it's short. If you don't like what you've been doing, you need to do something else.
Fifth, call your friends and see what they're doing. This has worked out for me a lot. Since my friends are interested in what I'm interested in, a lot of what they do, is what I would like to do. Friends can also evaluate the company for you, and can help you get in the door. Marketing people call this "Networking". This has also been called "The Old Boys Club". Whatever you want to call it, friends working together usually enjoy work more. Give this a whirl.
George Bush Changes Mind Again!
Now he wants a scoop of Fudge Ripple
Let's play, "Who said this?"
Heard in the halls of various software companies.
"Your thought process leaves much to be desired."
"(Sigh) Maybe I'll be in the next Crapolla."
"I'm not brown-nosing. Well, just a little bit ..."
"The next time you fill out a job application remember, stupidity IS a disability!"
"I really don't have a lot of pliers. I have teeth for that."
"How big is an eighth of an inch?"
"Hmmm, about half of a quarter of an inch."
"I've got to say that as idiots go, you are the most complete I have ever met."
"Fuck you, and the horse you rode into town on!"
"That was a good-looking horse!"
"You must be one with the bullet."
The other machine just started smoking.
(Inventor of Chocolate Cheesy Bunny - Morale Officer - The Last Honest Geek)
Remember: The Crapolla contains my personal opinions. That's right they're mine, so get your own! And you kids get off my lawn! This whole mess is copyright © 2001 by LowComDom Performances, all rights reserved. Wanna send this to your friends? Go ahead and pass out the URL.
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