June 4, 2003
Last Wednesday I came in to work to discover that we had lost an entire account and one hundred people had been laid off, literally overnight. They had shown up for work and been sent home. The small account I work on is up for sale, and the company is currently negotiating with a buyer. Our other large account has chosen not to renew their contract, which will be up the end of July, putting two hundred more people out of work.
Isnít this where Wyndspirit Dreams started? Yes it is. Back in January of 2002 we had lost two major accounts, one after another, and I had no idea where things would be going. I expected to have some thoughts and experiences to share about all of that, and I believe I did touch on it once or twice. But most of it was just life, and didnít spark any dramatic revelations worth talking about.
I think that now I need to be fair and say that things only got better from there, and, at this point, I have never had it so good at a job.
When we lost the ISP account I was on, I was at long last permitted to join the computer hardware account I had wanted to work on in the first place. It was stressful, yet not as stressful as when I started with the company. I received minimal training before being thrown to the wolves, so to speak, but by then I was a seasoned professional and I knew how to find out or fake what I didnít know, and I made it through. I loved it. I learned way more in just a few months than two years of computer tech training in college had managed to teach me. The customers were seldom crabby, and usually pathetically grateful, because I could always fix their problem. I never got screamed at or cussed out. Instead I got called an angel, a lifesaver. It was very easy to get used to that!
Then my old ISP account sent their business account back to us, and the most experienced techs, including myself, were ordered back to the account. I did not want to go. Anybody who knows me, knows I hate change with a passion, and I was just getting comfortable on the hardware account. And it was a disaster at first. It was just enough different from the residential account that we had supported before that we had no clue what was going on, but because we had been ďtrainedĒ in the past, we received no further training.
Again, being a seasoned professional, I muddled through, and things began to improve. I found I liked working with the business customers much better than the residential customers, and the call volume was much lower. Some nights I didnít take any calls at all. Business picked up eventually, but I still only take maybe half a dozen calls a night. I have settled into a nearly perfect shift that suits both me and the company. I still canít stand the company, but I have to admit I wonít find another job where Iíll get paid for sitting around all night playing on the computer or even doing crafts.
And now itís all going to change again. I donít know whatís going to happen. Perhaps the new owners of my account will choose to keep their tech support with us and very little will change. Perhaps we will acquire another account and when this one goes, we will be retrained and transferred. Perhaps the company will decide to close down this site, especially since their six-year tax rebate is up this year, and I will be competing for jobs with my remaining hundred coworkers in an employersí market. I hate change. I hate upheaval. I hate job hunting. I hate starting over.
And yet, I am feeling a curious calm in the midst of all this. I guess I always knew the easy workload would not last. Most of us expect to work for a living, and why should I be any different? And I canít imagine that any job could be much worse for me than this one. I have scrubbed toilets for a living before, and I can do it again. I have hit rock bottom, and if I have to stay there, so be it, but maybe, just maybe, Iíll finally find a job more suited to my personality and abilities.
Hope springs eternal, as they say. Every change I have made within this company has been for the better. Who knows? If I end up leaving the company, perhaps the change will be better yet. You know what? Iím actually looking forward to finding out!