Friday, August 21, 2009

THE Post.

Where to start............

My bloggy friends have been asking where I've been, what I've been up to and I haven't had the heart to talk about it, but I think it might be cathartic if I do. So here goes.

When most of you think about India, you think Taj Mahal or even Slumdog Millionaire. I think something entirely different.

I think DAMN.

I work in an industry that is outsourcing. I also work for a company that is a small part of a much larger corporation.

When I started working for this company, I thought HOW COOL IS THIS! I work in an industry that I LOVE AND ADORE. I had finally landed the corporate job in a business that I followed so closely.

The people were so great! You walked into the building and there was almost a feeling of vitality and expectancy! We made a difference, in our community, in the nation and occasionally even on Fark. When we put our thoughts out there, we were respected and followed.

Then jut a few months later, 6 people were laid off, a few months after that 20 more. We went from a company of 200 local employees to a company of 60 in less than a year. Our entire corporation was shrinking. Not because we weren't making money, we just weren't making enough to keep going the way we were and still keep our heads above water in this shrinking economy.

Being ever the optimist, I kept my nose to the grindstone, did my job, and prayed for the people who I would not see every day again.

Then one morning, we were told to go into a teleconference. The hit was finally in my department. From five bookkeepers, we would now be two. The company had made the decision to outsource it's accounting reporting to India. The bookkeepers that were there would all stay through the transition or they would forfeit their severance. They couldn't tell us back in April who would be the ones to stay, we would be told in June, the whole change would be complete by September.

We were on pins and needles. Would I go since I was the most expensive out of the five? Would one go because she was the last hired, would the other go because she had almost 25 years? No one knew, and no one could tell us. They had to have meetings and they would get back to us.

I will say this, I have worked with some of the most professional women in the world. Knowing this, and fearing for ourselves and each other, we kept our morale up, never let our performance slip and plugged on. Our pride in what we did came first.

June came and went and no word. Many sleepless nights for all of us later, they finally told us. I would stay, the new hire would stay because we were the most adaptable. We were the two.

You would think I would have breathed a sigh of relief and for just 5 minutes, I did. After all, I was the supervisor with the largest skill set, they needed me!

Then, I took my head out of my smug butt and looked around at the women I had spent so much time with. We weren't social friends (in accounting you are rarely social with others in the company, it's ethically frowned upon), but we had shared laughs, irritations, sadness, stress.

We had suffered through the last months together, as a team. Each one worked at her strengths and we each helped with each others weaknesses.

The women who had been laid off, couldn't leave, they had to work thru the remaining time, with the two of us that were left and we ALL had to learn the new processes together and share our selective knowledge with each other. The stress level rose.

A few weeks later, we were told, company wide, that we would all take a 5% paycut AFTER being forced to take a week of furlough (vacation without pay and MANDATORY).

The company foisted the interlopers on us, and we had to remain professional and courteous.

I can't begin to tell you dear bloggy friends how hard that is.

How do you train someone overseas to do your job KNOWING they are putting you out of work.

I hear a lot of sighs, and I have found I sigh more than I ever have. I haven't slept between 2 AM and 5 AM (my thinking time) in so long!

You can't show pity, these are strong women and would resent it. You can just do one thing, plug on and move forward.

The latest blow? The ladies have been told they have to work thru the end of the year because the company poorly planned and they will not be ready to go live yet. More waiting, more stress.

We have endless meetings, e-mails and conference calls with people who we have a hard time understanding. The resentment is palpable and they (the Indians) just take it in stride.

And then.............

Our new President refuses to even aknowledge the many people who are out of work and the hundreds of thousands that are losing their jobs every single day. Passing his pet project is more important. It makes me so very ANGRY!

And that brings us to the point my friends. I haven't written or shared because I am PISSED OFF.

I am so tired of watching my friends and family suffer. I am so tired of worrying if I may be next. I am so WORRIED!

I am so tired of watching our jobs going overseas because our president REFUSES to not only fix the problem of American joblessness, he won't even discuss it.

I am a single mom, raising two children. I am one paycheck short of abject poverty. And HE thinks I should either pay taxes on the medical benefits I receive, or he wants to tax me some more to FORCE me to buy into this plan of his and MAKE me pay for it.

There is seriously a problem in this country and it isn't healthcare.

Fix it AFTER you put American people back to work!

Why am the only one who gets that?


hippo chick said...

Oh my dear Michelle,

I am so sorry. Your post comes on the heels of a phone call from my daughter, Gretchen, who was heartbroken because one of her colleagues was fired - not because of outsourcing, but for financial reasons nonetheless.

I have no words for you. I will continue to pray for you, and care about you. I know you are a strong woman, but this is such a hard time for everyone.

I look and look to buy things made in USA and just cannot find them. I am so disgusted everytime I need technical help and I can't understand the person on the other end of the line. And now, this. Where will it end? I sure don't know.

Thank you for sharing. You are a very special gal and I am glad to know what is going on in your life.

I'm sending you very special

~hippo hugs~

Michelle said...

Love and Hugs Pam!

You want to buy something made in the US? Read a newspaper! :) People are the first to criticize the editorial content of them, but they don't realize all the people they are putting out of work, just by not spending that .75 a day even it's just for the coupons.

Marty said...

I got laid off in February of this year and then didn't make the federal extension benefits because of the base time period. I had a back surgery.

The arrogance of leadership in both executive and legislative branches is what will be their undoing.
Voter remorse is high, but I have taken the time to write fiction, poetry and now nonfiction, all which can be found at my sight
I have put help from this gov't as though it is toxic. Friends and myself aren't accepting this ineptitude and have taken it upon ourselves to better our own condition. BTW I am very vocal in my critique of this government on the page.

You and yours will always be in my prayers and hopefully the pain of this nitwittery will all make us more aware of who we elect.

Hang tough and get through it like we all are.
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