March 24, 2010

Being laid off sure feels a lot like being fired

Today I have a guest post from my husband, Justin.

Being laid off sure feels a lot like being fired.

On Friday I found out that the company I work for is being dissolved and that a couple of the major clients were to be transferred to another company, owned by someone who I respected.

This series of events didn’t come as a huge shock to me. We were a small business whose office manager had quit a couple months back because he couldn’t stand the environment, and the other technician was laid off shortly after – leaving me to fend for myself with all of our clients, as my boss was busy with his other business venture.

The place was terribly mismanaged, with money going everywhere except for where it should have been going. The wrong technology was being chosen for jobs, planning thrown out the window, leaving the customers unhappy. Bets were being placed as to how long the company would last.

The writing was on the wall; however I would have expected a bit more common courtesy for basically running the company after having 2 of the 3 employees leave in such a short time. Like, maybe a week or two notice? Or not being watched like a hawk while I copied off my personal files from my laptop and packed my belongings. Seems to me like odd behavior for a company that is being dissolved.

Being curious, I got in touch with one of my clients and it looks like plans are being drawn up to transfer them to this other company. I pride myself on the customer relationships that I have formed and needless to say, they’re not too happy about this series of events, considering I’m the only one who holds the majority of the knowledge regarding their network.

That’s right, I was let go before getting any information out of me that only I know, during two fairly large projects. I’m not sure which part bothers me the most – that he would feel comfortable screwing the clients that much by leaving them high and dry, or that he wouldn’t have the balls to give me any advance notice that he was dissolving the company. Instead of treating me like someone who has given up a large chunk of his days (and nights) trying to keep the company afloat, I’m escorted out of the building like a minimum wage grunt.

And after all of this, he tells me on the way out that he’ll give me a good reference. I wanted to tell him exactly where he could stick his reference, but I’m a bigger man than that.

This could all be a blessing in disguise. I’m on the short list for the perfect software developer job. I should know this week whether or not I got it. As a contingency, I acquired a business license and have been in contact with one of my former clients to finish the job I started, except solo this time.

And best of all, I’m not ever going to have to argue with him over whether or not a 16 character password made up of a couple of English words sprinkled with some punctuation before, after, and in-between is more secure than a 16 character password of random characters. I could never get him to understand that one.

We’ve gone through worse and survived. It may sound odd, but I’m glad that I haven’t gotten past the shock and denial part of the evening yet, because a broken down Justin does not do well at interviews.


PS – for those who are at all interested, there are about 94 printable characters on a keyboard. If I’m not mistaken, the random password would be something like 94^16 password combinations, which is a lot, and would have to be broken by brute force… trying each combination until you come up with the correct password. If you start throwing in predictable things like having two English words under 8 characters in the password then you’ve pretty much handed it over to someone who’s experienced in password cracking.


I have more to say about this, but Justin wanted to have a chance to get it out there for himself. I should be back to regular posting soon, but the last 1/2 week has been a little weird around here.



Todd X. said...

So, my password shouldn't be puppydog1? Oh dear.

I'm glad you two are hanging in there. I suspect good things are around the corner.

chauni said...

ugh. My layoff felt like the worst break-up ever. It always gets better! Hang in there!

~ Chauni

Syd said...

Wow, it sounds like a major goof on their part. Good luck with the new job. Fingers crossed for you guys.

LceeL said...

Don't half-step. do it. Start your own company. Get yourself set up with a Sub-Chapter S Corp and do it. Now is hte time. You have customers - and I bet if you think on it a bit, you know where to go to get MORE customers. You can hire contractors (ex employees from the other place, if they're good) and pay them on a 1099 - until you get some bucks in the bank and can afford to actually do payroll. Do it. As this ecomonmy comes back and gets stronger - you'll be in good position to grow with it.

Edie said...

You're a good writer! You also have a good attitude about yourself. We all love you and have so much faith in you.

Trish said...

Have you considered applying at Attachmate? My husband has been a software engineer there for five years now and likes working for them. The Bellingham office is pretty much awesome, as are the people who work there. :-)

Good luck in the new job, in any case! Sounds like you're better off not working for a guy like that, even if you do lose the client relationships. At least they likely hold you in high regard, even if they now despise the company you had worked for.