I get up, get ready and go to work Friday. As I drive in to work, the weather is overcast and on the verge of rain. The weather and my job situation look pretty much the same. However, I have prepared for what I know is going to happen when I get into work. I get my car parked and I quickly walk into the building, collecting only a few small drops of rain on my way in.
Donna, the receptionist, is on the phone and she does not look happy.
I wave to Donna, as I walk past, and I get just the whisper of a smile back in return. I go back into my work area and I immediately begin to work on some documentation of my programming work.
A wet Wally then trudges up to my desk. He says, “Jim, you finished your customer acceptance test yesterday, Thursday. That leaves you with nothing to charge to. What are you going to do?”
“I have some documentation to finish up and then I’ll just have to see what happens.”
Wally seems to consider my answer for a time, then trudges off, to inflict himself on someone else.
(The fact that Wally is in at normal starting time is an indication that something unusual is about to happen. Wally normally comes in later, along with the management types. The only reason that I can come up with, off the top of my head, is that Wally wants to catch someone on the phone with a possible new employer.)
Several more employees straggle in, dressed as might be appropriate for a job interview.
Ronny, the project manager then confronts me and lectures, “Jim, you got the project finished and accepted. Unfortunately, there’s to be no follow-on contract. That leaves you with no work to do.”
(I finished my project, in good order, and I have a little temp work lined up, elsewhere. Gary finished his project, in good order, and he was looking for temp work. Antonia totally and completely failed to finish her project thus she may be looking, in vain, for the Ladies Legal Center to bail her out. I wonder if Ronny realizes that the end of the three projects leaves him with no work to manage.)
I ask Ronny, “What then?”
“Do you have any plans?”
(Ronny wants to know if I have some sort of employment lined up. No way will I tell him anything useful.) “I will wait for you to give me my next assignment.”
Ronny tries to come up with something clever, but all he can do is to tell me, “You’ll need to talk with Ricky, later.”
(Ricky, the Department Manager, has only a layoff notice for me.)
“Well then, I'll work on documentation, until Ricky sends for me.”
Ronny then wanders off.
(I see a slow parade of workers headed toward personnel. No one comes back.)
Gary then walks up to my desk. He says, “Okay Jim, I got in with the place where Bobby worked, before he left to rescue the family business.”
I say, “I hope to get some temp work, with my last delivery customer, temp work is the only thing around town, keep looking, things look shaky.”
Gary nods sadly and says, “Work hard and smart, for tomorrow, they lay you off.”
“If you or I fail to deliver, we get laid off. If the boss fails to deliver, everyone gets laid off.”
Gary leaves and Diego walks up. “Hey Jim, I got me a hardware job, they said that you recommended me.”
“I did indeed recommend you, because of the good work I saw you do here. If you see ol’ Jim interviewing at where you’re working, say something nice to the hiring manager.”
“Yeah, it’s here today and gone tomorrow, we workers got to stick together.”
“There are very few jobs, anywhere in town. A programmer looking for a job gotta go temp.”