Recession bites

My company is actually doing quite well during the recession. The sales guys still bleat on about pipeline, leads and not getting enough from marketing, but we know the drill with all sales people, don’t we??

“Pick up the phone? Who? Me? I don’t do follow ups.” (they’re all the same wherever you go).

Our half year results got the financial analysts excited – our share price has rocketed and the CFO is talking positive numbers all the time – externally. To the outside world, it’s  positive result for a British company during the “worst recession” in 60 years…inside the company however, it’s not all rosy.

170 people are at risk of redundancy (or have already gone depending on where in the world they are located). All social functions have been cancelled. And there’s a sense of unease across the entire company.

The decisions and selection criteria for those at risk are not yet final. Consultation is still in progress. I watch and wait as I see good people go through this process – hopeful they will get a stay of execution based on their performance and feedback from others. At the same time, I hope that the non-productive, obstructive, rude and aggressive people will go. Some of the selections to date make no sense.

One of the things it has highlighted is that no matter how senior you are, how hard you work, how much of your personal time you devote to work (that’s over and above your contracted time), when cuts are to be made, you’re just a number. And, it’s a numbers game.

So, tomorrow when you think to yourself ‘I’ll just finish this document/project/report’ and it means you don’t get out at a reasonable time – remember that’s time you can’t claim back and the more ‘overtime’ you put in (and don ‘t get paid for) the more you devalue your skills and abilities. You will never get that time back. So go home, see your kids, play golf, go to the gym or just relax with your loved ones.

It’s a numbers game, and you are a number. Sadly.

Nil by mouth

I am sitting in my hospital bed having had a minor operation late yesterday. I was ‘nil by mouth’ for most of yesterday. Apart from a rumbling tummy, it wasn’t so bad. I knew where and when I would next have a meal.

After the procedure I wasn’t hungry even though I was remarkably awake. I came around in recovery and didn’t fall asleep again. In fact I had a long conversation about nutrition and redundancies with the anaesthetist.

I have had an ok night, and just had porridge for breakfast, so I can’t complain. I only met my consultant three weeks ago. I didn’t have to wAit for surgery. I just called the insurance company and booked in. my mum has been waiting for surgery for 7 months now give or take a couple of months. Mum has always worked hard – paid her contributions, but she waits. It is not right that she has had to wait so long. My Christmas present to my parents, if it is possible, will be private health cover. Though I am sure my father will object, on principle.

Despite this, I would not have needed a private consulation had I been living in my home town in Scotland. The family doctor there would have taken the time to listen, examine me, do tests and then offer a diagnosis rather than
giving me drugs. The drugs, according to my consultant would have simply caused other issues.

Time to change GP?

Of my gran

My gran has played a big role in my life. She is a fantastic person, with so much to give, asking very little in return. While I don’t get to see her very much these days – I think of her often. My memories of childhood would be incomplete without her. The items below are from recollections of gran…

Fairy cakes and choclate dipped buns,
Camp coffee with whipped cream
Quality Streets
Scrabble
Cribbage
Queenie for pennies
Patience – so many varieties
Steak and kidney pie
Drinking gravy from a jug from Brid
Werthers
Licorice Allsorts
Pinnies
Yorkshire puddings by the truck load
Proper custard
Sherry trifle
Fish in milk

And so many more things. Today she isn’t well. I hate to say goodbye.

As usual, she manages to make me smile when I say “be good” she replies “and if I can’t, I will be careful”.