Re: Interesting job description

Subject: Re: Interesting job description
From: "Elisa R. Sawyer" <elisawyer -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com
Date: Sun, 9 Oct 2016 21:25:24 -0700

I've seen patterns of layoffs that made sense and other patterns that made
no sense at all.

Here's a story about a layoff that only made sense in the minds of people
who hadn't bothered to fully understand an acquisition:

I was once on contract at a successful company that had been acquired a
year prior to my engagement with them, and the acquiring company was just
beginning to make some changes. In performing what they called a "strategic
layoff," they laid off one of the most talented and productive people in
the acquired company, someone whose genius for pattern recognition meant
that he could debug code faster and more accurately than almost anyone.
Laying him off ended up being quite costly in ways that the acquiring
company probably never admitted.

The genius employee who was laid off had no problem getting hired elsewhere
and probably was able to increase his already high rate of pay. :-)

-Elisa

On Sat, Oct 8, 2016 at 1:21 PM, <mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com> wrote:

> Yes, that is exactly the pattern I have seen as well. And I have been on
> both sides of the retention decision.
>
> And this just reinforces the point about the value of corporate knowledge.
> When a product bombs, that devalues the knowledge of everyone who worked on
> it. The company no longer needs to remember how it works or how it was
> built. It can dispose of that knowledge, and the heads that contain, it
> without long-term consequences.
>
> Some cherry picking does go on as well, to weed out the worst and keep the
> very best. But in the short term the knowledge of the next great product in
> the head of a mediocre engineer is often worth more than the skills of a
> better engineer who has spent years working on something else.
>
> This is one reason that engineers, in particular, tend to be more loyal to
> the technology they know than to the company they work for.
>
> Mark
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gene Kim-Eng [mailto:techwr -at- genek -dot- com]
> Sent: Saturday, October 8, 2016 3:59 PM
> To: Keith Hood <bus -dot- write -at- gmail -dot- com>; Mark Baker <mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com>
> Cc: techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: Interesting job description
>
> I have never worked in a company where the tech writers - at least the
> company's own direct-hire writers - were the first to be let go.
>
> The pattern I've experienced has been that the first to go are contractors
> of all types, beginning with those whose contracts are running out. Next go
> the developers of products that have bombed and have no alternative work
> assignments. Next, as products in the development chutes the company still
> had hopes for are completed, released and fail, go the people tasked with
> supporting them, and that's when many of the tech writers go. The last to
> go
> are the developers who are working on the "next big thing" the company is
> hoping will save its bacon.
>
> Along the way, internal politics will act to push out management and
> executives the company's inner core of power holders dislike, regardless of
> their positions or capabilities. And this management cleansing doesn't
> necessarily sync up with the shedding of individual contributors.
>
> If you see a growing parade of your company's best and most effective
> managers going out the door, it's time to start looking even if there
> hasn't
> been a hint of problems at your level.
>
> Gene Kim-Eng
>
>
>
> On 10/8/2016 12:32 PM, Keith Hood wrote:
> > "As to why tech writers are the first to be let go in a downturn"
> >
> > You are wrong. Tech writers are always in the first wave of layoffs
>
>
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--
Elisa Rood Sawyer
~~~~~^~~~~~
Technical and Creative Writer
"Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today." Mark Twain
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Interesting job description: From: Keith Hood
RE: Interesting job description: From: mbaker
RE: Interesting job description: From: mbaker
Re: Interesting job description: From: Kathleen MacDowell
RE: Interesting job description: From: mbaker
Re: Interesting job description: From: Keith Hood
Re: Interesting job description: From: Gene Kim-Eng
RE: Interesting job description: From: mbaker

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