Thursday, July 23, 2009

Am I in a war zone? Because I just dodged yet another bullet.

Design Associates had another round of layoffs today. We've gotten a few smallish and mediumish projects recently, but it wasn't enough to sustain us. And for the first time since we started letting people go last year, finally in this fourth or fifth round of layoffs, they finally let go of two senior staff members.

They laid off two interns, two architects, two landscape architects, an interior designer who was an associate, and an architect who was a senior associate. I was okay with the interior designer going--I did my best to get along with her, but she was a tough one, and many of our clients complained about her (and how she stayed so long is beyond me). The only person y'all would know is Dash, the landscape architect who worked on Wheatlands with me. He's a good dude, and I (and many others) hated to see him go.

We all breathed a little after the final email went out about who was let go. It's a bit of a guilty feeling for going "okay, thank God it wasn't me, I'm safe for a few more months", but it's natural, I suppose. Norman, Intern Krissy, and I then surmised who might be next. This layoff was truly a cash dump--half were staff members from Vincent's team (he's gone after a lot of work lately, but we keep just missing the cut), and the other half were older folks with lots of experience and a high salary to boot. Healthcare has been pulling in a few jobs over the past few months, but will it be enough to protect us for the rest of 2009? Would they dump some more senior folks? After all, if you dump any more at our levels, who will be left to do the drawings? And which senior staff members do you send home? The really old guys? The guy with terminal cancer? Would they dare?

The contractors have also started the bloodshed. I got a call from Billy Ray (my superintendent on MHRC) saying that he and about 40 others had been let go from his company. I gave him a few leads and asked him to stay in touch. This is the beginning for the contractors; they're about six to twelve months behind us. We design the project, then they build it, so while our work dries up they're still building stuff. Eventually, they get to where we are. That eventually appears to be now.

I got home tonight, ate dinner, and then walked over to the grocery store to pick up meds for my cat. Despite her dire diagnosis, she's still alive and doing okay. She felt poorly the last couple of days my Mom was here, but she perked up last night and asked, nay demanded that I give her mooshy treats NOW, and the vet reupped her meds for two more months. So as I paid for her meds for the tenth month in a row, I did breathe a prayer of thanks that she's still around and that I have the resources to buy cancer medication for an 11-year-old cat. And I still have those resources.


ms. kitty said...


Miz Scarlett said...

just. wow.

there's rumors floating around here about a retirement package. Hiring will end Sept 1 for us.

We're a monopoly with regulated returns, so if its hitting us FINALLY, then its not just a passing fancy.

hang in there, Pixie.

Miss Kitty said...


My word verification is COPIN. Sounds like that's what you're doing.