Tuesday, June 03, 2008

In the before time

Remember last week when I was relaxed and having such a good time during my vacation? You probably don't, because I was having so much fun hanging out with batman and taking road trips that I didn't even bother to feel bad about not updating my blog. But life isn't all road trips, sunshine and unicorns. It is amazing to me how quickly work has the capacity to eradicate the good feelings. In the two days that I've been back, I have found out that we are restructuring again and that people are being laid off.

Because my job remains unaffected and we're "doing what's best for the company", I am apparently not supposed to care. After all, it's not a human thing but a business thing, right? What a crock! Even if my starry-eyed pseudo hippie mind gets that the purpose of business is for it to be profitable, that doesn't mean I can just forget that some of these people are my friends or that times are tough out there. Because I know that she actually is sensitive deep down, I think it's probably just my boss' way of coping, but she really does sometimes sound like she's been drinking the Kool-Aid. It's one thing to be pragmatic about the idea that a business will cut you loose as soon as your existence becomes unprofitable (and also keep your own options open for whatever will most benefit You, Inc.), but it's quite another to suggest that business decisions have no human impact.

And if that isn't enough, it turns out that my company has been sold yet again. In the six years I've been with them, we've had four owners - among them the Carlisle Group. If I had known who they were when I took the job, I would never have accepted it. Thankfully, I didn't help line their pockets for too long. I just hope this new parent company isn't evil, because if evil is X and Y is driving as far as I do to get to work, X+Y=Martina is looking for a brand new bag (and I'm not talking purses here!). Frankly, I have to wonder if it isn't time even if they aren't evil. It's a shame, because lately I actually have been liking my job for the first time in a couple years.

The thing is that gas has more than doubled since I started working for Instability, LLC. Even with my good gas mileage, it's costing me $200/month just to go to work. This makes the commute increasingly intolerable and this business of constantly selling/reorganizing does little to make a person feel secure in her job. There is always the sense of having dodged the bullet this time, and that carries a special stress all its own. So, I am waiting to see what happens, but priming my mind for the idea that it may just be time to move on. If I don't have to, it will be great! If do, however, at least I will be prepared.

So, if you know anyone who is looking for a new employee with an interest in the arts and the practicality to secure her future by getting an advanced degree in German Literature instead of studying something useful but does have a background in editing, translation, teaching, administration and operations, you know where to find me.

P.s. Go Obama!!! Who would have thought 20-30-40 years ago that a black man could end up the nominee of either of the major parties in this country? We as a nation have engaged in some major asshatery over the past decade or so, but today I'm kinda proud of how far we've come. Let's keep movin' on!

P.p.s More on my trip later!


Sonya said...

Oh dear, "restructuring"... that sux.

As much as I love my new boss and publisher, we are still a corporate-owned company here. And guess what we get to do now? We get to punch electronic timecards. After almost 10 years here, I get to punch a timecard. Can I tell you how much I hate that? Probably not. But at least I don't fear being "restructured" anytime soon.

I wish you worked here, I really do!!!! Aside from the corporate asshattery, it really doesn't suck here.

Jen said...

ugh! Sorry you're having to deal with the restructuring. Does it make you long for the days of Grapples in the apple capital?

Anne said...

I'm totally with you. We are going through an increasing amount of outsourcing and attempts at automatization of work. Of course, quality is suffering and the people in charge don't understand what the contractors have done, meaning problems will need to be addressed "in the second version." I don't want to mention morale since it is so low you'd need to look under a rock to find it. We all wonder when we will become replaceable. My sister just got laid off from her job, too. Be glad that you are stable in a position so you can make your next step with intention and thought. Can't we start a business somehow? I mean, brilliant people like us?

Martina said...

Thanks, mans! We had a two hour conference call about our "new direction" today, and maybe it's not going to be as bad as I'd feared.

Sonya: There are times when I wish I still worked there too! Who knew that the Great Dictator and Stinky the Snitch would fall so soon? If I had, I might have stuck it out!

Jen: I DO miss the days of grapples and roses! Thankfully my next vacation is in a week!

Anne: I know what you mean! There is so much about corporate environments that is just stinky. I've always thought working for myself would be great. A friend and I talked about starting a translation/editing service a while back, but it never really got off the ground. Maybe someday someone will give me a lot of money for doing something brilliant, and then I could afford to loaf around reading and writing things, and making impractical stuff and maybe fill my divine mission to attend more theater events. Instead, I'm stuck making money for the man. (Hee!) There are times when I almost miss academia...