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Reduction in Force

I get up late today, because for some reason I couldn't fall asleep last night. I've been playing The Sims a lot lately, so maybe that was it. Anyway... I got up late and went to work late. As I'm arriving, I see Craig outside with Beth. Craig asks if I've been inside yet and I tell him no. He tells me that there are major layoffs going on and my stomach turns inside out. He doesn't know if I'm one of the deceased.

I look up at the windows and I see Danny looking down. So I motion to him trying to find out if he knows if I got laid off, but he thinks that I'm motioning that I DID get laid off. This is useless. I go inside.

Not a single soul in QA. All the machines are on, and half of them look like they were left rather abruptly, but there's nobody anywhere. I start freaking out. So I call boss #1. No answer. I call boss #2. No answer. Now I'm really freaking out. I briefly entertain the idea of just going home. If they can't find me, they can't lay me off, right? Right. I get my wits about me and sit down and check my mail. So, my account works, which is a good sign. And there's no mail from boss #1 saying to come see him or anything, so that's good too. I call boss #3 and he answers. I ask if I should start packing and he says no. I live to see another day.

Such is the exciting and scary fucking world of the startup software company. For the most part, it's a fun and interesting ride, but some days you have to watch your friends lose their jobs and that blows. I'm thankful that I still have my job, but it really sucked seeing friends, some of whom I believe to be more talented than I, sent away to never come back. All in all, more than half of QA is now gone. We are now five people, with one boss instead of three. Like I said, it's good to still be employed, but it's also going to suck to have to survive on half as many people.

According to the CEO, we have now slowed our cash burn enough to get us to the point where we'll become cashflow positive. This is a good thing if it actually comes to fruition. If not, we're fucked. It also all hinges on us getting a really major deal which is "110%" probable. Still kinda scary though.

I guess it's time to just put my helmet on and hold tight.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 25th, 2002 05:30 pm (UTC)
holy shit!!! I can't get on IM so call my cellie, kay?
Oct. 25th, 2002 09:13 pm (UTC)
How will you do it all?
As one of the dearly departed, I keep wondering that. All of us had plates full to overbrimming with deliverables out the ass.. now there's only half of you left. How will the 5 of you do all that work. We weren't getting it done as 12.. or we were but only just barely. I'm sad to be one of the ones to go, but I'm almost sadder for those of you that had to stay.
Oct. 26th, 2002 12:01 pm (UTC)
Re: How will you do it all?
Well... there was a big meeting after the bloodbath. They basically told us that it would be stupid and ridiculous to expect the same amount of work to get done. So we're switching to really small qfe-like releases. very few features, with like 6-10 week release cycles. I think it will still be hell on QA, since there won't be any way we can regression test.

It really sucks to see you guys go.
Oct. 26th, 2002 03:18 pm (UTC)
Re: How will you do it all?
Wow. That is a big change. Let me know if word of buy out is on the wind in the next 90days before my options expire. If AWS or one of the big european carriers decided to take ViAir into their organization vs. losing the service - It might then make sense to buy those shares, but I'm going to hold off for right now.

I've talked with Michael & traded email with Travis today already. We're going to pool our resources in the job hunt. I haven't heard from Chris or Scott and don't really expect to as neither of them like me very much these days. I wish them well tho.

It feels great to be out of it to tell you the truth.. the abruptness of it stings a little, but just having all that was on my plate off of it now is a huge relief. I'm still getting used to the idea of being unemployed, but oh well.

Lots of theorys floating about regarding why us 5 in my head.. we're the oldest I think, but that seems a wholey unlikely reason to whack us.. we might be the most overpaid on the curve I suppose - Like Bruce said something to the effect of: "Each of you department heads have to trim this much income from your budgets" and the dept heads turned about and whacked the fewest number of people to accomplish that based on highest salaries - so me, Scott, Mike & Travis get the axe.. and then there's still a small over amount, so they nuke Chris too. Then there's the "good ole boy club" theory I suppose.. wherein the three guys in management who were formerly coworkers at Microsoft and everybody they were tightest with got to stay and the outta cliq less cool got the boot. Sincerely hope that one isn't right. Or the worst one of all: no reason - just random selection - names outta a hat combined with cosmically bad luck :) no of these are too serious tho. I don't need a conspiracy, I'm fine with it however it occurred - really! Honestly, I'd been pounding the pavement looking for something for the past couple of weeks already.. cuz when Greg left I knew we were essentially fucked. If one of the founders (& especially that one) didn't believe anymore ViAir is in serious trouble.

I do hope this adjustment shores the leaks and gets ya'll back on course. I don't want ViAir to fail just cuz I'm no longer a part of it.
Oct. 30th, 2002 01:46 pm (UTC)
If you're going to have a layoff - at least have fun with it!

Nov. 4th, 2002 10:15 am (UTC)
you'll never get used to it
No matter how many times it happens, you'll never get used to it. It hurts to see your friends and coworkers suddenly be thrown away, like so much used flotsam and jetsam.

It's much worse when it's you that is called in that office and given your brown envelope containing THE PACKAGE.

Kiddo, I sympathize with you. But get used to it. Work isn't much fun anymore. It's, well ...., work.

Old Miami editor
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )