Wednesday, January 28, 2009


This economy is getting me down. I've been forced to check in with my 401(k) (should be renamed to 201(k) at this point) and other accounts to prep for taxes. I've been reading the news on the bus on my phone, which is very unhealthy. News. Bus. Phone. All not good for me. And yesterday, once again, I had to be a conspirator in the laying off of very good people. Two guys from my team had their stint at The Company cut short by some accountant somewhere who decided we had five too many people.

I'm sure it gets easier later in one's career. Presently, letting go fathers or mothers or sole bread winners gets me down. Unlike the Insightful layoffs, I can't guarantee we'll find new jobs quickly for them. You might have heard the big M has been doing some pruning as well.

Good people. Hard workers. Productive people. The chaff blew away months ago. It makes me worried about the times ahead. If good people are getting laid off now, how long before all of us should worry? I'm just a middle manager -- I can't believe I survived this cut. I doubt I'll be so lucky next time. I am focusing on showing business value with everything I do at work in these times. Still, if some accountant says we have five too many...

Quincy and I were going to buy a car last weekend. We decided to wait a bit. This is exactly what you're hearing on the news. Two rich yuppies, worried for the jobs and comfort, curtail extra spending and large purchases. Slowly, bit by bit, the economy collapses. Clearly operating in our individual best interest might not get us out of this collective jam. But I'm not going to be the first back into the car lot.

Hard times? Not yet for most of us. But this is a downturn; that word is all too perfect. As we face the inevitable slope falling away from us, we pick up speed, worry more, and I at least feel helpless in fixing it.

Heck, even Birkshire Hathaway is down 40% from last year. What's an investor to do?

No comments: