Thursday, June 10, 2010

Stormy Weather

I haven't had much work to do at work, lately. I've been cleaning up things that have been allowed to languish in disrepair, and straightening up paperwork, and dusting off old projects -- but none of these are high-priority tasks. To be perfectly honest, for the last month or more, I could have handled all the really critical elements of my job (and I'll even include attending meetings in that lump) and still taken about half my time off, if I had that much vacation saved up.

And if there's not much work for me, there's not much work for my minions, either. (They're technically someone else's minions now, actually, because of stupid corporate paperwork nonsense, but I'm still doing everything but the timesheet paperwork.)

I know that at least two of our project managers are scraping for chargeable time, too. We had to furlough several engineers last month. (Furlough is basically forced unpaid leave -- it's only one step short of laying them off entirely, except that if we get work again, we don't have to go through the corporate paperwork hoops to re-hire them.)

Yesterday, my boss told me outright that we're going to have to lose one of them if we don't pick up, not just one, but several good-sized projects in the next couple of months, and he tacitly implied that the chances of that are... not the best.

My boss is Mr. Optimism -- when we first saw a reduction in work about six months ago, he was not very concerned about it. "This is a normal business downturn, it happens, we'll recover." So for him to say things are looking grim, is... pretty grim indeed.

Now, I'm fairly certain my job is secure, at least unless the entire office folds. QA and CM are required functions, and I'm the only one on the staff who's fully trained for both. Add in the fact that I'm also the lowest-paid manager in the office, and I'm probably one of the safest employees here. But I'm worried about my minions.

It could be a stormy summer.

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