Friday, February 20, 2009

Yet another realization

When recession hit our organization, four of our colleagues were pink-slipped. Rest of us who were just lucky or lucky for now, felt bad. The rumours of a "second list soon and salary cuts" echoed in our minds, which stole a good amount of sleep away from us.

We explored all possibilities in case if we lose our job. One of my senior colleagues said he will join a taxi association as driver. I too shared views of beginning a catering unit or a Kerala mess, to be more safe as I don't know anything other than aviyal, theeyal, thoran, sambar or any other vegetarian mallu dish. Space is again a matter. I cannot afford a house for rent in Bangalore if I don't have salary. I pleaded with some of my colleagues who have own house here to allot a room for my cooking too, all in a lighter vein.

At times they warn me not to say bad things repeatedly like this... I told them this is the least effort from my side to make myself prepared for any eventualities. I informed my parents too "expect me home any time". I shared this too with my colleagues that it would be good if they inform me about the job loss at least a month in advance so that I can manage to get a ticket to Kerala without much difficulty! Forget about postponing the trip as it will be practically impossible to stay in Bangalore without salary.

All these happened in the previous few weeks. Suddenly I noticed. Though all are worried about the further adversities of recession, nobody is bothered about what happened to our already laid off colleagues...! Here, business is as usual. It is just a day when a person’s absence is taken as his or her weekly off or is on leave for a couple of days. We, in our organization, constitute a backward minority population in the country which has just one weekly off that can fall on any day of the week. People hardly notice their absence or pretend to be unaware of it.

A thought that send a mild tremor through my world... nobody is indispensable. My absence in my office can be just ignored as my presence...


Ajith said...

Pls do not depress ppl during recession by posting sentimental stuff :)

Sudheesh Bhaskaran said...

Your post beautifully reflects the pain and fear of all about the worst of this recession period.

This period is giving us an golden oppertunity to have a relook at ourselves and where we are. This is time to test us for the fighting spirit and toughness we have.
We need to have hope and positive outlook and work toward to beat this problem.
Let us find alternate and better ways to do things.
Good post.Keep it up.

-Poison- said...

several of my peers have been pinkslipped thanks to the recession. and i am in trivandrum right now, cooling my heels thanks to an accident. maybe the job will still be there when i return!

everyone's replaceable and dispensable(in all offices)!

raindrops said...

@ Thanks Ajith, Sudheesh and Poison, for sharing my recession grief...

hari said...

very revealing. but one thing. What organisation are u working for?
and how many people work there? what kind of a job u do?
sorry a bit vague for me to compare this example with any other.

sOul1 said...

Sorry to hear of the layoffs. Yes it can be severely stressful if this is the first time you run into the concept of layoffs. My sympathies. I recall being with a company in late '98 and out on a project with 15 others at Enron and then being suddenly called in and told that we all need to get back to head office that afternoon. Once we reached the office and assembled in a room, they called out the names of a few to go into another room - mine included. And then they informed the remaining people in the first room that they were being laid off. I was thankful for escaping that cut, but was upset that my friends were let go and also at realizing how fickle employment contracts were in the US. It was the first in a series of around 6-7 successive layoffs over the next 18 months, each time it came around, it would result in remaining employees stressing out and losing morale and not caring for the company any more. After the first round of cuts, I recall going to a gym and running on the treadmill furiously for 30 minutes to get that sinking feeling out of my system(also had my visa tied to the company and a wife and two daughters to support and my stay dependent on keeping the job).

One of my managers actually gave me a book at that time about how to handle stress and layoffs - and one of the important concepts in it was that there are certain things in life that you as an individual have no control over - like what your company or boss is going to do about your position. The book suggests to let those uncertainties be and not to worry about those possibilities. If it happens, it happens and you move on. But you do have a lot of control over things that you as an individual can do - such as ensuring you are presenting the best foot forward, being uptodate on skills, being professional, taking care of your health etc etc. Those are the things that one needs to worry and can take care and not the things that are beyond our individual control. Hope this helps in some way.

vini99 said...

Your anxiety is understandable. When folks around you are fired and rumours in the air, one tends to be apprehensive. But still, that does not mean that
it is going to happen to you also, right? Just focus on your work and like K said these are things beyond our control.

I do not know much about the job scenario in media organizations but think it is similar to a software company or any other organization. When the company
wants to cut the cost, they fire employees. Most of the time, layoffs are not based on performance, it can happen to the best employee also. So, it's not the
end of the world, again like K said, we just need to move on, that's not going to be easy but somehow we need to be aggressive and look for another opportunity.

As for salary cuts, we need to reduce our expenses accordingly.

You are not married, right? Are you living alone in a rented place or as a paying guest or sharing with friends?

You were joking about catering business etc, right? But if you ask me, a small scale, part-time, home-based business is a wise and wonderful idea. You may not want
to start one, but let me share my thoughts anyway. This is not something one should start to think when he/she loses the job because initially the secondary income
might not be substantial and substitute for the salary. But if we dig the well before we are thirsty, that will be great. If I am in Bangalore near to where you stay, I
will be keen on buying some nice, home made Kerala dishes if you can give it to me. I know several ladies (both working and non-working) over here who sell lunch boxes
with Indian dishes, make chappatis etc etc. They take orders and then prepare. There are several options like that depending on our strengths. If one is good with eyebrow
threading, waxing etc, she can start a home beauty salon and charge less than professionals outside, thus attracting customers.

Now all these will not be easy when one is working full time. But it is not impossible either. If we can get ourselves organized and if there is willingness to work hard, a good secondary income
can be generated. Initially the profit won't be much, but hey wouldn't that be nice if we can pay a couple of bills through that? And remember the business ideas that I wrote above
does not require any big investment.

Times are hard Yamini, for you, me and everybody else. But let's not lose hope. I believe things are going to be fine.

vilakudy said...

It is the worst of Times.

sreejan999 said...

yes, u got it right.. nobody is indispensable. job loss is like a break from routine...try to save sme bucks whn u hav the salary so that u can spend it during hard repeat, tough times never last but tough guys/gals will.. that wil give u courage to get prepared for anything. i had tried to fetch jobs to some of my colleagues who were laid off when there was no recession. that itself was a herculian task. soo, u knw, during recession, it wl b almost impossible..

bpradeepnair said...

Times are hard as Vini said. There aren't many options. The only way is to take it as it comes. Bank on our skill sets and most importantly on the positives.

Debby said...

Good post.. straight and real.. scary too.. I guess the best thing now would be to join a loan recovery company! :P

AMAL BOSE B.S said...

i dont think you should worry abt these things and concentrate more on your work and make your boss feel that your presence is inevitable for the company.
it is a depressing fact that there will be more firings not being insensitive..but you should make sure that you are not in that 'second list'
good luck to you..

Pilo said...

In software industry the employees are just props which can be used as they want or discarded as unwanted or to make room for new. pilo