Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Last One Out Turn Out the Lights

Last week a woman was laid off from my work. My organization now has 17 employees, and I have a few new responsibilities.

We also got rid of our storage area in the basement of our skyscraper. (Side note: How tall does a building have to be to be considered a skyscraper? Our building is 24 floors. I usually just call it an office building, but I'm not sure if that means something different to people who don't live in cities.)

Storage is now in the former mail room and the mail room has been moved to the main work area. I'm convinced we could also do away with the mail room storage, which still holds a lot of junk like dozens of old binders and publications we'll never need, but I don't know if there would be any financial benefit to that.

R. has said that he doesn't think I'll ever have to face the scary task of actually quitting my job because "in ten years it won't exist."In 10 years, I think my company will have more like 10 employees than 17. I can pinpoint the order in which I think they would be laid off, too, and I think I'd be pretty accurate, because for months I've guessed that Ms. X would probably be laid off in April.

There are several people in their late 50s/early 60s who might retire before they get laid off--I don't know if they would be replaced or if we'd just redistribute their responsibilities. My boss is, I think, the oldest person here, and I dread her retirement, since I think she handles the organization really well.

Layoffs in our org seem to happen based on role more than seniority or work performance. I think my position will last for a while--it has existed since the early 70s. Though if I'm still here in 10 years I may be doing more work myself rather than supervising.

Will the company fold altogether? I think it would take a lot--it's been around for more than a century. Eventually, if we're down to just a few employees, we might merge with a larger organization. I could see that happening 20-30 years from now. At which point I'll hopefully be long gone--even if I loved the place, I wouldn't want to stay here that long.

I have a certain fascination with things closing in. Recession economics equal simplification. I'm all right with that. That's the kind of challenge I find interesting and fun--doing more with less. What can I declutter today? What work are we doing that's redundant or that doesn't create much value for the organization? What can I not do?

No comments: