Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Got Bangalore?

Much as I hate blog posts about why there aren't more blog posts on a blog, this will be one of those. I have recently learned that my job is one of many that my employer is planning to outsource to India.

A big part of the fun is in how I have no idea, and obviously no input on -- this is America! workers have no say, and we're damn proud of it! -- the final decisions. My job may go untouched, or it may not. I'll know when I am assigned a desk partner with an Indian name, and instructed to teach him or her how to do the work I do. Alternatively, I'll know when others around me are assigned their desk partners while I am not. It could go either way. We've been given very little to go on -- just "be afraid." By November I could be out on the street after 15 years with my employer. Or I could end up among the dubiously lucky few who survive -- this time.

The usual reasons are given -- we only increased sales by 15% last year, and in these economic times, I gather we would have seen an increase of 1015% if only the IT staff hadn't been so goddamnn shiftless and so annoyingly focused on work that doesn't contribute to sales-promoting capabilities. Or something. (I am not kidding about the 15% figure, though I am rounding it up from the 14.9% figure reported to shareholders; nor am I kidding when I say lack of sales growth was the chief business justification given.)

So what does this have to do with this blog? Not much, I agree. I have kept my work life and this blog very separate, and deliberately so. I don't want to break down that barrier, though I make no promises. Clearly, though, this has sent a shock through my world that I had not expected. It's difficult to think about anything else when the means by which my son gets health care insurance and dental care insurance is on the line. (Speaking for myself, I'd welcome an excuse never to "get to" go to the dentist again.)

Of course I can get another job. Of course. Jobs are as plentiful as the waving wheat in Kansas. It's a good thing the economy is zooming along so nicely, or this development would really fucking suck.

I'll do what I can.


Eli said...

Cripes. Good luck, Dale - I'll be pulling for you.

John Carter Wood said...

Same here, that's rough. Hope things work out...OK. Whatever that means for you.

Dale said...

Eli, John, thanks for the kind words. I am, as they say, "exploring options." It could be worse in many ways and I'll bounce up from it one way or another.

If I learned one thing from my mother -- and I'm not saying I did, I'm just saying this would be it if I had -- it's that life is one goddamn fight you didn't pick after another. You can either stand up and fight or lie down and die. In this one, I'm finding ways to fight. I'll leave it at that.

Paul Sunstone said...

Dale, I wish you the absolute best. Please don't allow yourself to despair. For instance: If worse comes to worse, do everything you can to avoid blaming yourself.

For whatever it might be worth, I lost my business, my home, and my wife some years ago in the space of six months -- yet, after the initial shock, depression, and adjustments, the years since then have seemed to me the happiest of my life.

Frankly, there were times immediately after losing everything that I went on only from inertia, but nowadays, I figure it's possible to bounce back from nearly every catastrophe imaginable except, perhaps, the closing of the local gentleman's dance club.

Looking back, Dale, all the fears that mounted in my mind during and right after losing everything were wasted energy.

I wish you the best.

Dale said...

Thank you, Paul. For now I'm too angry for much in the way of despair, so .... good?


I genuinely appreciate your hard-won insights.

Paul Sunstone said...

I'll certainly grant you have a right to be fighting mad, Dale. I'm a bit angry to hear of this myself, and I'm not even involved in it!

I was talking about it at lunch today: It is pure liquid injustice they would be outsourcing you after a 15% increase in sales, and they aren't even losing money.

Sheldon said...

From me also, good luck, and please keep your sense of wit and humor coming here.
And maybe the Repubs really do have an excellent job creation plan in the works?
That didn't help? sorry, but keep your chin up.

Rebecca said...

Well, crap. I'm sorry to hear that, and a little bit confused. The company has certainly changed a lot since I worked there, but it's hard to imagine outsourcing to India making things better (I haven't heard any stories of that type of project going smoothly).

On the bright side, the job market seems to be picking up, at least as far as I can see. We're hiring .Net developers right now, and 3 of the 6 viable candidates had taken other positions by the time we called (a week or so after they submitted resumes).

Anyhow, I wish you luck. It's quite possible that you will land somewhere better, and I hope that's exactly what happens.

Dale said...

Sheldon, thanks. I'm trying to get back to some balance. Rebecca, quite right, things 'round there have changed, but this change is new in kind and degree.

As for the plan itself, in pure business terms, yes, it's a shockingly stupid idea, and I say that solely on the evidence of three high-profile dealings with IBM we've seen in recent years without even bothering to consider masses of additional evidence that bear on the question.

Suffice to say I am amazed at the basic questions they can't answer about it -- questions that would embarrass a first-year community college "business basics" student.

I think we have a case of someone being martini-lunched into a destructive, idiotic business deal, knowing it will end in a big-dollar bonus no matter what. That and a narrow focus on particular metrics -- guess which ones -- that's tantamount to missing a huge forest for some meager trees.

Thanks for the encouragement. If I have my choice, I want to get out of the IT thing. To where I am not sure -- a hybrid IT-ish / something-else-ish would be the logical next step.