don't fear the reaper

14 March 2003

Mmm. I love the smell of terror in the morning.

I may have mentioned this before, but layoffs are coming down at work. I work for a public university, the aforementioned Fine Institute of Higher Learning, which means I'm a classified state employee. Classified employees have certain rights under the state constitution. What this means is we'll have plenty of notice if we get laid off -- something like 45 days.

Contract admin employees, on the other hand, are treated just like private industry workers: they can be let go without notice. Yesterday around four in the afternoon, the Director of Technology Training and the Vice President of IT got laid off. The Vice fucking President. Yeah, baby! Naturally, they weren't given any notice and I imagine they got escorted from the building. You know, the old standard corporate layoff humiliation. Fun!

So this morning, the denizens of the jungle I work in are clustering in the hallways and not much is getting done. The monkeys are howling and chattering like mad. The mood is gloomy at best. It's Friday, and the rumor mill says we'll find out on Monday which of the classified people are going to get laid off. Personally, I doubt it. I don't think the President and her cabinet have finished deciding what percentage of staff have to get cut. They started with the contract admin people because they're easy to get rid of.

Ironically, most of contract admin people here are in middle-to-upper management. As the low woman on the food chain, I am fatalistic about my job right now. But now I have a small ray of light in which to warm myself: at least I'm not a manager.

Oh! I almost forgot. The (former) Director of Technology Training puts on a Lunch & Movie day every few months. You brown-bag it and watch a movie in the training room on the big projector screen. It doesn't count as training; it's just a fun thing to boost morale (and God knows morale around here needs all the boosting it can get). Yesterday was Lunch & Movie day. Guess what the movie was. No , really, guess.

Office Space. Yes, really. The irony is killing me.