I need your advice

Message boards : Cafe SETI : I need your advice
Message board moderation

To post messages, you must log in.

AuthorMessage
Profile Bernie Vine
Volunteer moderator
Volunteer tester
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 26 May 99
Posts: 9867
Credit: 87,368,628
RAC: 88,332
United Kingdom
Message 1053079 - Posted: 4 Dec 2010, 23:41:18 UTC

My situation means I currently live alone with no close friends. Over the years I have come to regard the SETI&Home Cafe forum as a place to relax sometimes laugh and sometimes be sad with my fellow posters.

My problem is this: I have worked for my present employer for over 10 years. I have worked my way up to a fairly respected position. People trust me because they believe I am honest and fair. I also know my job. The company I work for has not had it easy and has only just managed to keep going. Recently new management has started to turn the company around. A new modern system was introduced that had the possibility of saving the company. I saw the potential in the system and when a job opportunity arose to join the team installing this system I applied and got the job. The job was almost made for me it was challenging and made me feel that I had earned my money each day.

However whilst the new management had halted the decline, new investment was need to roll out this new product. The new investment came at a price. This week the company announced it's new plan. When the new system is installed the site will become un-maned. Over the next 3 years the workforce will be cut by two thirds as I install this new system.

I have got to know these people well, they have trusted me to guide them through modern technology. Before this week I said the new system was the way forward and all sites should push for it. Now when I arrive at site to conduct my first survey, I am the grim reaper!! I know they will not blame me directly, but I am not sure I want the job that will put many trusted workmates out of work. Whilst I believe in the new system and know it is the way forward for the company, being one of the few people who's job is not suddenly at risk makes me question my humanity. Is a job worth it. Each site I have converted so far felt like an achievement, a "high five" moment, that feeling will be lost from now on. I am 59 years old and should not be considering changing jobs, but I am.

I just need an outsiders take on this as I am too close and too emotionally involved to see the situation clearly and actually have no one close to ask advice.

Bernie
ID: 1053079 · Report as offensive
Profile SciManStev Crowdfunding Project Donor*Special Project $75 donorSpecial Project $250 donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 20 Jun 99
Posts: 6508
Credit: 120,997,211
RAC: 176
United States
Message 1053084 - Posted: 5 Dec 2010, 0:04:43 UTC - in response to Message 1053079.  

I developed an automated system that was only agreed to by management because it would reduce labor. It didn't. It made the existing personel much more effectve at their jobs, so more could be done. It increased quality 10 fold, and was the right thing for the company to do. I have more plans to automate more processes. This will make our company stronger. Sometimes extreme effeciency can mean trimming jos, and I hope I am never a part of doig that although I see your dilema, but a company needs to operate with a profit margin to provide jobs for those who do work there. Also sometimes things are just liquidated to get the cash out. There is no easy answer. You kinda just have to evaluate each situaion as it is, and make the best choice you can.

Steve
Warning, addicted to SETI crunching!
Crunching as a member of GPU Users Group.
GPUUG Website
ID: 1053084 · Report as offensive
Profile Uli
Volunteer tester
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 6 Feb 00
Posts: 10893
Credit: 5,939,509
RAC: 884
Germany
Message 1053087 - Posted: 5 Dec 2010, 0:24:31 UTC

Bernie,
I would not give up my current job, until you have something else lined up.
You are too close to retirement to end it on a miserable note.
Good luck with what ever decision you make.










Pluto will always be a planet to me.

Seti Ambassador
Not to late to order an Anni Shirt
ID: 1053087 · Report as offensive
Profile Allie in Vancouver
Volunteer tester
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 16 Mar 07
Posts: 3949
Credit: 1,604,668
RAC: 0
Canada
Message 1053089 - Posted: 5 Dec 2010, 0:38:19 UTC

Probably better that your co-workers learn of the changes from you than some 'consultant' that the company would bring in to clean house.
Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.

Albert Einstein
ID: 1053089 · Report as offensive
Profile Daniel Michel
Volunteer tester
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 2 Feb 04
Posts: 14910
Credit: 1,372,883
RAC: 0
United States
Message 1053092 - Posted: 5 Dec 2010, 0:50:02 UTC

This change will come with or without you...Better it come with you and your humanity...Your compassion for others can make this difficult situation less cold.


PROUD TO BE TFFE!
ID: 1053092 · Report as offensive
Profile GalaxyIce
Volunteer tester
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 13 May 06
Posts: 8927
Credit: 1,361,057
RAC: 0
United Kingdom
Message 1053115 - Posted: 5 Dec 2010, 4:58:02 UTC
Last modified: 5 Dec 2010, 4:59:26 UTC

Bernie, when it comes down to it it, it's all about who cares for what. Management in a company don't always decide on a strategy to survive, as current economic climate requires, but also to continue make profit and to do well for individuals in a company, but not necessarilly all. Making people redundant at the expense of lining the pockets of management is mostly about caring about management's lucrative lifestyle and inflated salaries rather than caring about the lives that people have put into a company, so easily discarded with arguments and reasoning to try and justify throwing people on the scrap heap.

Take care of yourself, that's my advice. It's dog eat dog out there. People can and will lie to influence others not just to keep themselves safe. They will secure the best for themselves at the expense of disregarding care for those who didn't see the lack of care until too late. And even when they do, what can people do about any plan to throw them out of a job when there are no jobs out there?

flaming balloons
ID: 1053115 · Report as offensive
Profile Donald L. Johnson
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 5 Aug 02
Posts: 8237
Credit: 13,197,974
RAC: 11,056
United States
Message 1053124 - Posted: 5 Dec 2010, 6:10:46 UTC

This sounds like the proverbial "lesser of two evils" or "between a rock and a hard place" situation.

If the new system is installed, 2/3 of the employees will lose their jobs, but if the system is not implemented, the company may fail and ALL may lose their jobs, including you.

While it must hurt to know that many who you know and trust, and who trust you, will lose your jobs, you must also think of your own integrity and reputation. If this is the right thing to do, for the survival of the company, you cannot quit in the middle of the project. You must see it through.

So you do your job as best you are able, and provide the others as much support, help, and comfort as you are able. Maybe teach some of them enough about this system so they could go to work for another company that uses it. Remind yourself that you are helping to save some of these people's jobs, and take comfort in that knowledge.

Keep a positive attitude. It may help your co-workers maintain a positive attitude about themselves, and the situation.

And remember that you are not the cause of their job loss. Many, if not all, of the people laid off will find other work, but ultimately, their fate is in their own hands, not yours.


Donald
Infernal Optimist / Submariner, retired
ID: 1053124 · Report as offensive
Profile Carlos Project Donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 9 Jun 99
Posts: 23203
Credit: 51,102,983
RAC: 79,695
United States
Message 1053127 - Posted: 5 Dec 2010, 6:33:48 UTC

I was president of the company I worked for. I was the top rung of the management ladder. So I am not cynical about management lining their own pockets. I was paid well and made millions for my shareholders. Due to the present economy I had to trim and cut back, first salaries. I cut my own by 2/3rds then had to start closing divisions and letting others go.
I got the company running profitably on a shoe string. The bottom line is that a company must make a profit. If it does not then why does it exist. If you can kept the company going then you are saving some, but not all jobs. It's always hard letting people who trust you go. But that's what management is about. Making hard decisions. If you can save the company then you are saving jobs. If you cann't then who benefits?
ID: 1053127 · Report as offensive
Profile Mike Crowdfunding Project Donor*Special Project $75 donorSpecial Project $250 donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 17 Feb 01
Posts: 31911
Credit: 76,133,547
RAC: 25,788
Germany
Message 1053139 - Posted: 5 Dec 2010, 9:09:08 UTC
Last modified: 5 Dec 2010, 9:09:50 UTC

Its different in europe Carlos.
The company i work for makes a 6 digit profit every year.
But they continue reducing workers to reach 7 digits.

But i´m with Dan here.
With each crime and every kindness we birth our future.
ID: 1053139 · Report as offensive
Profile platium
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 5 Jul 10
Posts: 212
Credit: 262,426
RAC: 0
United Kingdom
Message 1053153 - Posted: 5 Dec 2010, 11:57:37 UTC - in response to Message 1053139.  

The bottom line is if you don't improve production it could result in no company to work for, So you have to keep working for the benifit of that company and as you do the job well your doing so will help your country to get more jobs for others.If you leave they may get some one that is not upto the job. As your company pay taxes and use materials other companies produce that can be a lot of help to everyone. you have no choice new tachnology is needed i use a tractor now not my hands, i drive to work, i don't walk which would take 3 hrs there 3hrs back but i can drive in 15 mins easy
ID: 1053153 · Report as offensive
Profile soft^spirit
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 18 May 99
Posts: 6496
Credit: 34,081,062
RAC: 0
United States
Message 1053156 - Posted: 5 Dec 2010, 12:20:29 UTC

Bernie, I spent over half of my 32 years in technology. It always moved forward. You can help roll it, you can roll with it, or you can get run over by it. The fact you are even asking yourself "what should I do" means you do not fit the "normal" role for upper management. It means you still care.
The difference between reduced labor and unmanned is huge. And usually such decisions are not the wisest, although they could make the most profit. It is unfortunate what you are seeing, but not new by any stretch.
With or without you, it sounds like the changes are on their way. If you remain sympathetic and honest about them, there is likely no one who will do it better.
If it was me in that position: I would do the best I could, be sympathetic to those around me, move along, look towards an early retirement, then take a loooong shower and not look back.

Oh.. I did retire early, and I would never go back. But I should be out of the shower soon. I got tired of trying to not get run over. It is not easy in the blue collar ranks either.
Janice
ID: 1053156 · Report as offensive
Profile John Clark
Volunteer tester
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 29 Sep 99
Posts: 16515
Credit: 4,418,829
RAC: 0
United Kingdom
Message 1053178 - Posted: 5 Dec 2010, 15:08:20 UTC
Last modified: 5 Dec 2010, 15:08:47 UTC

Bernie

WHY DO I COMMENT

I can talk from the point of "already retired", though still helping firms develop new technology, and being involved with technology and automation in the chemical industry for over 20 years (before moving here 26 years ago).

YOUR PROBLEM

This is clearly a difficult conundrum for you is revolves around the probable loss of many work colleagues as you roll out the system, and integrate it across company sites.

SOME BACKGROUND

You say you are involved in a team to implement the roll out site-by-site. So, it means the roll out will be done whether you are part of the team or not. The probable loss of people will happen without your resignation, and you may still feel bad, from the outside looking in when data comes back to you.

That means the new owners/senior management in their plans for deskilling, automating and losing people will happen with-or-without-you.

AN OPTION

I would recommend you remain with the technology and installation team and work through site-by-site, as you currently are scheduled to do.

But, as you are in a senior position, you should have access to the production, service and financial plans for the new future. This will include any domestic and export market assumption and business predictions.

This is important in developing my case for your consideration


THE MANAGEMANT REASON FOR THE TECHNOLOGY ROLL OUT

You state the ability of the new technology to do things faster/more efficiently/with less people will dramatically lower the unit cost of production. NB: I am assuming your company is in manufacturing, but the same principal of lowering unit cost applies to the insurance and banking sectors. Here the IT systems are designed for staff to supervise more-and-more accounts with the same head count.

WHAT YOU MIGHT CONSIDER - COMMERCIAL CONSIDERATIONS & DEVELOPMENT

If you obtain access to, and knowledge of the business, market and financial plans and returns, post the full company technology roll out and integration/automation.

You can consider the implications, with help from knowledgeable colleagues, of how orders and contracts might change after the unit costs are reduced as dramatically as you suggest.

This means you will need to consider your company's relative cost base compared to the competitors, and their response.

The competitor response should include how they might respond, what technology they can use to reduce their costs (and whether your firm's competitors are domestic (UK based) or international or both. This competitor response should include the time scales these other firms might take to respond - how many years of a lead your company may have earned.

From this knowledge the competitive advantage your firm will build up visa vie the competition, means your company WILL START TO TAKE SIGNIFICANT MARKET SHARE from your competition.

This then begs the question of how many people will your company need if the current market share/turn over rises by -

25%
50%
75%
100%
150%
200%

I suggest this approach, when presented to the new management may move their plans to retain people or temporarily lay them and then re-recruit them.

Best of luck with your resolving the conundrum.

John
It's good to be back amongst friends and colleagues



ID: 1053178 · Report as offensive
Profile Bernie Vine
Volunteer moderator
Volunteer tester
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 26 May 99
Posts: 9867
Credit: 87,368,628
RAC: 88,332
United Kingdom
Message 1053206 - Posted: 5 Dec 2010, 19:47:19 UTC

Thank you all for your advice. A lot of good points and much to think about.

I suspect I will stay and finish the job, I just hope I can find a new positive side to a job I once enjoyed.

Thank you again,I will let you know what happens.

Bernie
ID: 1053206 · Report as offensive
Profile John Clark
Volunteer tester
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 29 Sep 99
Posts: 16515
Credit: 4,418,829
RAC: 0
United Kingdom
Message 1053232 - Posted: 5 Dec 2010, 21:04:30 UTC

No worries, and you are welcome.
It's good to be back amongst friends and colleagues



ID: 1053232 · Report as offensive

Message boards : Cafe SETI : I need your advice


 
©2019 University of California
 
SETI@home and Astropulse are funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, and donations from SETI@home volunteers. AstroPulse is funded in part by the NSF through grant AST-0307956.