Thursday, June 11, 2009

Don't count your chickens...

There was a lot of talk about Nortel and what is happening with the company and its current/former employees.  Here comes a little bit of specific information about Esme:  I once worked for Nortel, when I was young and fresh out of school.  Ok so not too long ago.


Even then it was not the greatest atmosphere to work in.  I saw a few layoffs and sell offs.  I was part of the sell-off, which turned out to be a good thing I guess.  I remember a lot of our conversations at breaks and lunches revolved around layoffs.  My feel was that a lot of people hung on because of the expectation of a good layoff package.  For a lot of people, they were with Nortel the whole of their careers.  Just in the group of people I know the years of service varied from 7 – 25 years.


I think bankruptcy protection which did away with any layoff packages caught lots of people off guard.  On the news today, they featured two guys in exactly that situation.  Personally I know a couple of people in the same situation.


If I was not part of all those lunch time and break time conversations and been in that environment, I would be surprised at how people would count on something like a layoff package. But I was there.  And as someone who often say 'I'll believe it when it happens', I have to say I thought the same.


With so many layoffs before for years happening the same way, who would expect this time to be different?  I guess it is a little reminder, that it may happen a hundred times the same way before, and a hundred times the same after, but that makes no guarantees on what happens this time.