So in the work slack, the :quack: emoji is being used in some discussions1. It's shorthand for "Duck and roll", the advice from the old hands to the newbies.
This week, our CEO announced the layoffs through a mail to the billable engineers that their jobs were safe. What was left unsaid was that anyone else was in danger. We find out on Tuesday who the unlucky twelve are. They get Statutory redundancy terms.
Anyway, that leaves a whole chunk of the company practically shitting themselves with fear. It's understandable. I was there when I worked for Sun... multiple times. That's why I'm planning on dropping the duck roll. I've been a survivor of layoffs too often, and I know what it's going to look like.
I spent most of my time in the pub on Friday talking folks down. I'm battle-hardened at this, but I remember that in Sun, they at least had the fucking courtesy to tell everyone, "Be sensitive about this issue, it can affect other people a lot more than it affects you". Here, our CEO told us to talk to our managers, who have been told that they're not safe. There goes any sense of sensitivity. Oh, and did I mention that the managers didn't know that this mail had gone out to their direct reports? Yeah, real fucking sensitive.
Oh, leave that aside from the fact that all the "safe" people in our org were added to a mailing list, and we could all see the members. Then more than one set of people realised they could diff the members of that list, vs the lists they were already members of.
So, this is an utter, slow-moving, honking, clown-fuck of a situation.
And it was fucking heart-breaking talking to someone who'd been there for 5 years, when I asked her, "Is this your first rodeo?"2, and to see a sad, faint nod... and fuck. Thankfully, someone whose seen more rodeos than I have came in and told her this, "You'll almost definitely be OK this round. But when you survive a cut, something happens to you. You start to think that what you're doing isn't good enough to make the next round. And if you let that inside your head, it's incredibly damaging, because it hurts your confidence, and your ability, and then you fail interviews because you lack confidence, and then you just hit a spiral. Do whatever you need to not let it get to you."
And when it said that, it reminded me of how I was in Sun. How hard it was for me to get a job. And it explains why I just want to run now that I've heard the news.
And it makes sense.
I'm also sad and angry because I don't know if any of my reporting lines will survive. This doesn't affect most engineering staff because they're all in the same building, but I'm on a customer site, and I need that little line connecting me to the home office, and I think they'll all be gone soon.
I'm afraid of it all boiling down to just being the CEO's old mates again, making the same decisions they made year after year that got us to this place, and thinking that this is progress.
It. Fucking. Sucks.
I intend to polish up my CV tomorrow. I already have leads, and I plan to follow them while I still have time.
1 For once, that particular emoji-pun wasn't my doing.
2 I didn't know how to ask it more subtly.