Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ask not for whom the ax falls

Jann pulled me aside this afternoon. "Look, we're working hard to get some new projects in the doors, so please be patient. However, we're having to lay a couple of people off today, and Arnie's one of them," she said. "Arnie and ____ are being laid off, and it's partly the fact that we don't have a lot of work and partly a case of performance." Now, longtime WAD readers know that I haven't been blown away by Arnie, and Jann's never been pleased with him. I felt bad for her because she had to tell Wayne, along with Gregg. First off, Wayne's been managing Arnie and his projects for a few months now. I'm always seeing Wayne and Arnie in a conference room, going over and over stuff, or whatever thehell they're doing in there. Partly, I presume Wayne's been trying to train Arnie better and improve his performance, but I don't know how the hell that's supposed to happen when Wayne's always dragging the boy into conference rooms for two hours at a time three or four times a week. Plus, I've noticed that Wayne and his boss (and Guy's former boss) Gregg tend to manage people, and I've always understood that you're supposed to lead people and manage processes. But I digress. The reason I felt bad for Jann is that I knew that telling Wayne this would not be a short conversation. Nothing with Wayne is a short conversation. When I left the office this afternoon, Wayne, Gregg, and Jann were still in a conference room, half an hour after they walked in there. I rolled my eyes inwardly.

One of the office interns, Brooke, and I were talking about DA just today and how DA rarely lays people off. And for the most part, we haven't. Until this week, we only laid off about five people in 2008, which has been a really down year. I discussed this a little with Norman as we were walking past the Wayne-chatter-filled conference room and out to the parking lot. "Norman, correct me if I'm wrong, but if DA lays off Elliot, or Derek, or Ingrid, or me, that would be a sign that DA would be in serious financial trouble, wouldn't it?" I asked.

"Yeah, it would," Norman replied. "I mean, we could all find jobs pretty easily, even in this economy, but..."

"Yeah, but," I said. "I wouldn't go changing jobs just 'cuz I felt like a change right now."

"Yeah, true." Norman looked towards the west at all the cars in the parking lot. Folks from DA were slowly filtering out of the office, tossing insulated lunch bags into their back seats, adjusting Bluetooth headsets and taking off jackets as they climbed into their summer-hot cars. He looked back at me. "Isn't it creepy when you know someone's getting laid off, and they don't know it yet?"

"Gives me the damn willies," I responded. "I know Jann's never been keen on Arnie, and that other guy really pissed Elliot off, but still...I just get the willies in general." I got in my car, unable to shake the feeling of general creepitude.


ms. kitty said...

That really must be a creepy feeling all right. Gee, you're a good writer, Pixie. I love reading you, even when I have no idea what you're talking about when you get deep into the archy-teck stuff.

Wilderness Gina said...

You obviously don't pay attention to Insurance Adds. The word you're looking for is "hee-bee-jee-bees" (Geico adds on the sub way.)
But I know what you mean. When Dennis S. was canned (aka FIRED with malice) I was really creeped out. I never liked him but still.....