Shutting Detroit Down

Normally, I don’t like country & western songs, but this one caught my ear as well as my interest.  Here’s some of the lyrics:

They’re out there losing millions and it’s up to me and you to come running to the rescue. Well pardon me if I don’t shed a tear/they’re selling make believe and we don’t buy that here/cause in the real world they’re shutting Detroit down, while the boss man takes his bonus pay and jets on out of town/DC’s paying out the bankers as the farmers auction ground/while they’re living it up on Wall Street in that New York City town, here in the real world they’re shutting Detroit down.

Here’s the video:

Perhaps if the Congress-critters and executives got a taste of some old-fashioned country whoop-a**, maybe they would change their ways.

Nah….

Freaky Friday

Well, management made a decision and announced the names of the people they were going to let go today.

I wasn’t on the list…

Management only wanted to let eight people go, and they had twelve applications for early retirement and buyouts.  I was one of the four that were far enough down the list not to be selected.  But my application isn’t rejected – it’s “Pending.”  What the h*** does that mean?

What it means is that if management finds a replacement through a transfer or by hiring (and who would want to be hired by Chrysler at this point in time?), then I would be let go, providing the two engineers above me get replacements too. Somehow, I don’t think that this is likely – the plants are short of engineers from last November’s exodus.

The application expires at the end of March, so if management changes their minds, then the buyout package is approved and I have money to live on. And if this goes past the end of March, and I get laid off, then I will really be upset (along with the other engineers).  I’ve got another two months of wondering if or when this would happen.

Stay tuned – life cannot get any more interesting, but then again…

Tolerable Tuesday

Today was the day we were to find out if management has approved the application for the buyout.  As of 3:00 this afternoon, management is still evaluating the number of applications vs. the needs of the department.

Oh joy…

There were more than enough applications for management to meet their goal, most of them in my classification.  That makes things interesting, because of the number of people applying for the buyout, I might not be approved.  So I might not get the buyout package after all the second guessing, fretting, and otherwise trying not to turn into a worry wart.

Where I’m at on the list is right on the edge, which is just perfect.  If it is not approved, then I’ll stay on at Chrysler until the next wave of buyout packages (if they’re offered) and layoffs (oh cr*p) hits the place.  If it does get approved, then I ride off into the snowy sunset & continue looking for a new job.

What bugs me about all of this is that we have gone through all of this process of trying to make a decision with very little information and lots of second guessing, and it’s still not a done deal.  Nothing like putting the life on hold for another few days or even a week…

stickman

A week!?!?

Yep, the decision may not be made until next week!!

Peachy…just peachy….  I think the graphic sort of explains some of the frustration that I’m feeling.

Nevertheless, no matter which way it goes, I will be at peace with what happens.  I’m just tired of waiting to move on in the direction I need to go.

Frantic Friday

Today was an interesting day.  This was the last day to turn in (or rescind) the application for the early buyout.

The mood in the department was, well, subdued.  Many of us feel that we are being forced into applying for a buyout.  If we don’t leave now, after the actions of certain Congressmen, government officials, and mismanaging managers, we don’t think there will be anything left of the company for a buyout later, nor anything beyond unemployment should a layoff occur.  Everyone was milling around, asking each other, “Did you take it?”  There were several people who expressed surprise when they found out that I applied for it, and at least one that was POed.

There are 90 UAW represented engineers in my department.  At the moment, the count is somewhere between 25 and 29 people applying for the buyout.  That’s a big hit.  Of course, that’s if management accepts all the applications.

As if denying anyone the offer is going to make one bit of difference in the fate of the company.  Hope?  Not likely.

The potential deal with Fiat is too little, too late.  Chrysler needs money and time.  Fiat isn’t offering money for their 35%, only technology, and that will take time to implement.  Chrysler is burning through money & is asking the government for an additional $3 Billion loan just to survive.  There is no time, and damn little money to spare.

No, the majority of us don’t like the situation, but this is probably the best time to man the lifeboats on the automotive version of the Titanic.  No, we don’t like it one damn bit…

Woeful Wednesday

Here it is, 3:30 in the morning, and today is the day that I’m planning on handing in my application for an early buyout.  I’ve been up since midnight…

There are so many things running through my mind as well as riding the emotional rollercoaster.  If I was to narrow it down to a couple of emotions it would be sadness and anger.

The sadness is that I’m leaving a job that I like.  All the other jobs that I have left before were also good positions (some better than others), but I always had the sense of moving on to a better place, a better position.  That isn’t the case here.  I feel that I’m being pushed out, and that is simply because I have no other reasonable course of action.

Besides all the other items that I have listed in previous postings, there are a couple of new ones that are on the list.  And they all came yesterday.

  • I found out that one of the groups in my department has been told that they were going to be eliminated, so if they didn’t retire or take the buyout, they would be laid off without any hope of returning.
  • The Union announced officially that the jobs bank has been eliminated, but the SUB pay is not at this point, but is on the negotiation table.
  • The "non-binding agreement" between Fiat and Chrysler will not save my department – it’s too little, too late, and would actually help eliminate my department as well as a couple of others.

Which all leads me to the next emotion on the list – anger.

My wife and I have done just about everything right.  The events of the past year were all completely out of our hands, and we are getting hosed.  Self-serving people in business and politics have all created the situation where millions of people are getting screwed over.  I may be in decent shape, but there are untold thousands that are worse off.

And that’s where the rage is starting to boil up from the anger.

I already know that the movers and shakers of the company will, through meeting their goals of cutting heads and making partnerships with other companies, come out ahead with millions in bonuses and accolades for a job well done.  And perhaps they deserve it, but not at the cost of screwing over the people that made the company a success in the first place.  I’m just a number with a price tag attached to it – no longer a person, but an asset to be disposed of, a financial liability.  Never mind what I can contribute to the success of the company.  "People are our most valuable asset." – my a** !

I see where the politicians pose and preen, stating that they are the solution to the problem at hand, never mind that they set up the governmental policies that created the problem in the first place.  Yes, they state that they care about you, the American people.  The hypocrites…of course they have their jobs, pensions, and health care separate from that of the common person, so they really don’t care as long as they keep getting elected.  They are in charge, and a fine job they are not doing.

I hear our new President promise hope and change, but it’s starting to sound like more of the same, especially since some of the names and faces are ghosts from the past.  And I’m not supposed to be surprised…

I still have to go to work today, feeling the way I do, and hand in a life-changing piece of paper that I don’t want to do but have to because it’s the only chance I feel that I have of making the best of a bad situation…

Yeah, it’s going to be a really crappy day…