View Full Version : OT: I got laid off today

tony ennis
01-08-2009, 09:13 PM
When you work for a web start-up, either you anticipate getting laid off everyday, or you're delusional.

Today was my day, unfortunately.

This will put a crimp (!) into my metal working adventures. Fortunately I have my files, scribe, dye, rules, square, and my hacksaw is on the way. Much has been done with these things. I can practice fundamentals I suppose.


A.K. Boomer
01-08-2009, 09:29 PM
Hope you find something else to keep you going, and yes where there is an interest you can practice on more basic stuff, I still have a pressure regulator I built with nothing more than a file/drill an old choke pull off diaphram and a shrader bike tube valve, It worked great and still does.

01-08-2009, 09:35 PM
sorry tony, not a pleasant place to be. i hope your qualified for some U/C for a while anyway. good luck to ya !

with self employment, being layed off is always more than just a state of being. . . . .

im finding that even the people that DON:T intend to pay are not calling. . .
times are tuff and im hear people say this is only the beginning.

screw them !

when the going gets tuff, the tuff have a beer :D

01-08-2009, 09:50 PM
I been making a living myself for a while now. it aint pretty but so far still hangin in there. I still seem to get all te Lousy jobs it seems .I guess its because i just do them to learn how and i need the Dough Mike

01-08-2009, 09:50 PM
My suggestion to you, do not delay in finding a federal government job. Getting the pension and security. My next step from flight instructing is to become a FAA safety inspector.

j king
01-08-2009, 10:00 PM
only so many lips can get milk out of a tit.I think the milk will dry up quickly with the lack of income from taxes from industry and income taxes.Things are going to get real ugly and soon.

Government can print all the money it wants but it wount be worth anything.It is already happening.

A.K. Boomer
01-08-2009, 10:05 PM
We need to keep a close eye on Tony, he's the first one into the great abyss and we await his return ---
all joking aside we all wish you the best, or perhaps it will even lead to better.

tony ennis
01-08-2009, 10:13 PM
Programmers are disposable. This is not the first time I've been whacked. I always land on my feet. I can probably run the wife's quilting machine and make the mortgage. Not that I want to :D That's like... real work. :eek:

My (ex!) boss and the big boss have feelers out for me, and I have a pal in a great spot in a different company. My boss was near tears when he did the deed. He felt worse about it than me I think.

I anticipate contracting by the middle of next week. Oh how I will hate it. But it pays.

01-08-2009, 10:19 PM
What kind of programming have you done?

tony ennis
01-08-2009, 10:32 PM
Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Java, C, perl, Fortran, Cobol, Basic - most of the common languages over the years. And a few assembler languages too. Also Oracle and MySQL relational databases. I'm decent at web site coding though I am better at back end coding. I have domain knowledge of transaction processing, publishing, and simulation.

Sorry you asked?

01-08-2009, 11:03 PM
Sorry to hear. We arrived at work today to find out that three out of eight guys in our shop will be cut from 40 to 32 hrs a week. :( It's happening company-wide. Several other yards have started lay-offs. This is the worst peak season in intermodal I've seen in the 25 years I've been in it. Another contractor in the same yard I work in just wacked 14 guys.

01-08-2009, 11:05 PM
Damn, I hate to hear that Tony but King Jerry is with Obama trying to get some jobs for Big Lou right now.

I, uhhh, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for Jerry to bring something to Big Lou. On the other hand, he don't like manufacturing jobs but does like office and computer and internet stuff.

We may have a difficult 5 or 10 years ahead to keep the world from forclosing on the USA.

01-08-2009, 11:13 PM
Hi Tony, 20+ year code writer myself, got whacked in the third round at Vignette in Austin. Really sucked for me, not having a job for the first time since I was 13 was kinda strange. Actually took unemployment for a few months, THAT doesn't pay all that well, contrary to what you might have heard. :D

Best of luck to you.

01-08-2009, 11:28 PM
Well my best friend from grade school is an IT specialist with the Federal Government. He works at the VA hospital doing security. He'll be making close to 80k a year shortly and has benefits up the ass. If you can think of a better option, do it.
If I wanted to move back to CT, he would get me a job there, I'd think I'd rather be living off the land and wearing deer skin than to move back to that socialist republic of high taxes.

01-08-2009, 11:47 PM
I feel for you Tony. It looks like you have the right set of skill sets and experience so I don't think you'll have too much trouble finding employment. I'm in a hi-tech company doing s/w development and I've seen programmers being decimated in wholesale for the past 8 years, but the past 12 months have been the worst because it's no longer a case of jobs going overseas but job that are simply disappearing.

Bill, I know what you mean about getting a job with the Federal government. Pension in the private sector is quickly becoming a foreign concept.

01-09-2009, 12:25 AM
I know the feeling - the company that I had been with for 8 years as a day job ran out of cash in November and let everyone go. I am doing more cnc work now and some freelance network admin work and actually making more money than I was "working". On the bright side, job listings seem to be increasing with the holidays being over, I guess I still need to figure out what I want to do when I grow up.

01-09-2009, 12:27 AM
Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Java, C, perl, Fortran, Cobol, Basic - most of the common languages over the years. And a few assembler languages too. Also Oracle and MySQL relational databases. I'm decent at web site coding though I am better at back end coding. I have domain knowledge of transaction processing, publishing, and simulation.

Sorry you asked?

On the contrary, glad I did. We use C++, C# under WinCE and Win(PC), several C++ on microcontrollers, I use C++ and carefully crafted assembly on DSP. Our corporate operations are on Oracle. We had been adding people on a regular basis and had openings up to a few months back until the brakes were put on. Fortunately, no cuts at this time.

Don't forget about the massively BS, $50 Billion SW project we are going to create to coordinate nationwide health systems. While billions are being wasted, may as well tap into it if you can. Your background in several traditional languages might help you to deal with various dated systems that will be pulled together.

01-09-2009, 07:09 AM
Sorry to hear about your job loss Tony. I have been cut back to 24 hours.

01-09-2009, 07:30 AM
sorry to hear about the job man it sucks for sure,, i been there i spent many years in the computer industry self emplyed for most of it but in my case i was happy to give it up in the end , to many people want stuff done for free as it were and the competition is getting crazy as hell, i been machineing 4 years now and i do ok so far.. some months are scary and iam a one man show.. but i love it more then i ever did computers , i do have other skills to keep me going like house renos and landscaping in the summer , as well as small engin repair that i do year round for that . Any how if you got good skills in the machine stuff then you can always do that while looking for other work as well.. god gifted us all with many abilities , i guess so we would not have time to get board..its been pretty slow this winter for me and iam considering going in to plumbing or electricial if things dont pick up soon..
i wish you all the best man and hope things pan out for you soon for work..

take care

01-09-2009, 07:49 AM
The effect of this recent worldwide economic crap is hitting hard here. Two of our major sawmills have folded permanently already and the copper mine with 450 employees had laid off half of it's force including 75 more yesterday. The remaining mills closed for two to three weeks over Christmas forcing everyone to use up vacation time and have cut back shifts or are working short weeks. The real problem for us is that if the sawmills fold then so will the business my wife manages. Then the giant sucking sound you hear is what happens to your investments when you have to live on them 100% with no benefits and no pensions.

brian Rupnow
01-09-2009, 08:01 AM
Times are hard all over, boys. I've been designing prototype machinery and automation for 44 years now, the last 7 on my own without a major corporation behind me as a security blanket. About 3 months ago everything stopped with a thud!! I've picked up a few small contracts doing machine animations for websites, but no real work. The whole automotive thing has gone tits up, which means all the tier 1 and 2 suppliers are all standing idle, so nothing new being developed for their production machinery. The automotive sector only accounts for about 20% of my work, but everybody else is so scared with this economy melt down that they have put all expansion and new machine development on hold. I'm okay---my house is paid for, and my kids are all out on there own, and my wife DOES work for the federal government. The thing that gripes my ass is that I'm healthy, I'm capable, and I have a fairly large investment in computer hardware and engineering software, and here I am setting around playing with my dick, waiting for the damn phone to ring.

tony ennis
01-09-2009, 08:55 AM
but in my case i was happy to give it up in the end

If I never coded another line, I'd be ok. Unfortunately, it's the only thing I've ever been good at.

recent worldwide economic crap is hitting hard here.

My ex-company couldn't claim this as a cause. The boss-lady is a nutjob and hamstrung us at every turn. No grasp on reality whatsoever.

01-09-2009, 11:29 AM
The PC division of the contract electronic mfg company I worked for was sold to a chinese company (Foxconn) back in July, so it wasn't too surprising that after a couple of months they started hacking away.

Sure enough, I also got the ax in October. I'd been kind of thinking about retiring anyway for the last couple of years, but had decided to stick around for a while longer. So this made up my mind for me. I'm still looking for something else, but as a cobol/CICS programmer I'm not real optimistic.

I'm at the age where it's not so directly important anymore, but of course the economic problems affect us all in one way or another.

tony ennis
01-09-2009, 11:33 AM
but as a cobol/CICS programmer I'm not real optimistic.

Good heavens you have CICS and can't get a job? I thought the Earth would explode at the speed of light before that would happen.

01-09-2009, 12:35 PM
Sure enough, I also got the ax in October. I'd been kind of thinking about retiring anyway for the last couple of years, but had decided to stick around for a while longer. So this made up my mind for me. I'm still looking for something else, but as a cobol/CICS programmer I'm not real optimistic.

I'm at the age where it's not so directly important anymore, but of course the economic problems affect us all in one way or another.

I retired in June or so - since then all my investments I'd intended to live on, including the value of my home what I had intended to sell (I have a second home) have dropped by about 50%. Not enough left to retire on comfortably, so it's back to work. And that is not looking good - I'm a Unix guy in Microsoft country.

01-09-2009, 12:38 PM
Oh I might find something if I wanted to relocate, but at age 65 I'm not inclined to uproot and move.
There probably are two or three mainframe CICS shops around here, but probably dozens of potential applicants for the rare opening that occurs.

I'm sure I could find something with Wally World in Bentonville Arkansas. A coworker interviewed and got an offer out there last year, but was expecting a baby and got cold feet and turned it down.

01-09-2009, 02:24 PM
Evan, do what 1/2 of the population of B.C. does, start a grow-op or an import-export business.

01-09-2009, 02:44 PM
I am going in to my 30th year of self employment drawing house plans. Last year was the worst year I have had in 29 years. Many of the builders I have worked for in the past have folded and the ones left are just hanging on. It looks like 2009 may very well be the worst year in 30. Anyone need some house plans drawn? Gary P. Hansen

Liger Zero
01-09-2009, 03:17 PM
Two screw-machine shops shut down here this week, just got word. I applied at both of them back in October, one of them told me to come back first week of January because he was expecting a contract then. Guess it fell through! :(

I understand one of the major sheetmetal shops in Webster is down to 24 hour work-weeks. The second major shop is down to 30 hour weeks-take-your-vacation-now-or-else mode, and the third one laid off all 120 of it's "permanent temporary" workers and canceled its revolving door contract with the staffing agency.

The big tower-and-heavy-metal fab-shop across from my house (actually about a quarter mile away) cut way back, they are looking for welders though... experienced ones with 20 years experience willing to work for $8.50 an hour not trainees. They used to be really good about accepting trainees and teaching them the basics of welding.

Lets see... both the big optics companies are running full tilt, and begging every agency they can call upon for EXPERIENCED optics workers, even going so far as to bribe students to switch to optics majors. Aren't willing to to take people from other fields because apparently you need a fancy four-year-degree to even work on the shipping dock.

A couple of plastic companies are hiring, but that's limited-term minimum-wage contract work. More or less you sit next to the machine and pick the parts off the chute, nick a bit of flash with a knife and put it in the box. 'tis how I started years ago, not too keen about it, wouldn't mind getting my foot back in the door and working back up to Setup Tech but the "limited term" contract thing scares me off.

Both major box factories are looking for temps, but the staffing agency is really upfront about these jobs: They are revolving door positions. That's why they always have the same ads in the same papers.

This goes for the battery factory as well down in Newark.

The bag factory in Newark.

The food factory in Williamson.

The snowplow/salter plant in Newark

The chemical etching plant.

The can factory.

The big bottle factory.

The gun manufacturer.

The styrofoam plant.

The printing company nearby.

And the "big" machine-shop there in Macedon as well. Minimum wage to sit there and feed blanks, you must be able to change tooling and make minor adjustments in G-code... for minimum wage and it's "only" a sixty day assignment.

The electronics company here in town wants wire-steakers and harness assemblers but they aren't willing to train. I saw the opening when I was at DOL last week, DOL told me right then and there not to apply because they only wanted people with years of experience.

The board-level manufacturing place down in Newark is the same way, they told me not to bother applying there either as I have no experience.

I was turned away from a chemical plant in Williamson... I have bottling line experience like they want (worked in a bottling plant when I was in College) but I don't have the right sort of forklift certification. Not many people do, as most people are trained on forklifts on the job, not through the BOCES/Extension School OSHA program.

What I'm getting at is I want to work, but there are significant enviromental obsticles in my way. My bills require payment full-time, they don't go away when the employment contract runs out. I need something LONG TERM, not a 30-day assignment. I would be willing to work a 30-day assignment provided you turn around and have something else ready at the conclusion... but bitter experience shows that there is often a month or more between assignments and that requires twice daily calls to whatever agency(s) you are signed with.

Question for those of you still reading: Is it like this everywhere or is this just this region? I can't believe that the entire nation runs on a disposible contract labor mentality like Upstate New York does.

brian Rupnow
01-09-2009, 03:27 PM
Damn man, Its like that everywhere in North America. It ain't particular to upstate New York!!!

Alistair Hosie
01-09-2009, 04:57 PM
Sorry to heaR that Tony I hope things improve soon God Bless Alistair

Weston Bye
01-09-2009, 06:58 PM
They just had another round of layoffs at the Tier II where I work. The survivors got a 5% pay cut. I am still there, but... things still look bleak.

I feel like a cannon on a 17th century man-of-war. When the battle was going badly and the only option was to turn and run, or the ship was taking on water, it was not unusual to throw the guns over the side to lighten the ship for more speed or to keep from sinking.

George Bulliss
01-09-2009, 09:34 PM
I stopped into a friendís garage-shop today at lunch to return some borrowed items and of course the talk turned to the state of the local shops. He told me about two that recently went under and I clued him into two others that I knew about. And this is a small town. We have had shops closing for the last five years up here a on the fringes of the Detroit supply chain. At the start of the recent downturn, the only shops left here were the well run, efficient shops, and now they are starting to drop.

These are highly skilled workers, making a decent middle class income that are being turned loose into a work environment with no options. And what gets me is, you only find out about it when you drive by and notice that the shop has not been plowed in over a month. Up here in the retirement belt, no one really cares that manufacturing is disappearing, perhaps forever.


01-09-2009, 09:48 PM
Sorry to hear it Tony,times are rough right now.

Things here are still moving,heavy construction,oilfield shops and gravel mining are still going,mostly on multi-year projects that have the financing already secured.