Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Recession, RIFs, and Wow

I’ve wanted a camper van for a long time. This one looks fun, but not for a long trip.

Photo source: BBC

This week was a difficult week on the job front. Yes, I still have a job, but my days are numbered. More on that later; I’m going to stay chronological in this post, even though I don’t really believe in linear time.

The first thing that happened was that I was invited to interview for a job. That’s never a bad thing, and I was excited. The interview went well, and we all had a good time. Anytime you spend most of the interview laughing with the interviewers, it’s a good thing, whether or not you get the job.

The next morning, I called the recruiter to touch base. She still hasn’t heard anything, and it’s a bit premature for that interview. But she did tell me that the fire has gone out around one of my other irons. That regulatory body decided to move someone they already employed into a contract position rather than reduce headcount in one place and bring me on in another. I have to admit it makes accounting sense, even if I don’t like it.

Then the department where I’m currently contracting at the Fruit Company was reorged. My boss is now filling the vacancy I originally interviewed for. Given the length of time it takes them to make a decision an the current economy, my contract will be long over—I may even be retired—before they free up the funding to add another instructional designer.

The state of the economy causes me to worry a bit, but I’m still confident and hopeful. I heard a promising bit on the news. It seems most companies are taking their RIFs upfront this year, front-loading the job cuts to save money the whole year. That means many economists are expecting job losses to slow as the year progresses. They’re now talking about peak unemployment of less than 20%.

I may not be able to find another contract soon, but at least the one I’m on can only expire once. That’s something to look forward to.


Tim Jones said...

Dear Lee,

I admire your positive attitude, and I hope things do work out well. One question from this Antipodean, though: what are RIFs?


Lee said...

It’s a euphemism we use in the States. It stands for reduction in force, getting rid of workers to reduce payroll costs.

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