Gosh it seems like just YESTERDAY, although now it's been many years??..
I was totally MISERABLE. I was in government accounting with a company that downsized from 2500 to 700 over just 3 years prior. It was a depressing environment. More Fridays than not, they would come and let people go and walk them out the door. Those left were nervous, scared and very much uncertain that they would not be next. Job security became a thing of the past.
Those that remained were told to be THANKFUL for being there, and were given an added work load. They had to not only take on new assignments with NO help or training, but also maintain their existing work load. It was no longer fun to come to work.
I began to get very depressed. While I was not really so much afraid of being laid off, I started to think about the future. I began to wonder if the company would survive. It was in the mid 90's back when the government was cutting back the defense budget and many defense contractors were in turn cutting back.
I was not getting any younger, and began to wonder what would happen if they closed the doors in the next 5-10 years. I also felt very sad to see my co-workers laid off one by one.
Although I was raised to get a JOB, work 40 years and retire with a huge pension, the way the economy was I knew that may no longer be a reality. I no longer enjoyed going to work. While I had been there a number of years, because of the work loads, I never would take off more than 4 or 5 days of my vacation at a time. Even when I did take off, many times I would work overtime before and after returning just to keep from sinking.
Also, I was tired and weary of making someone else rich. I began to wonder what happened to the Ameican dream. I found it fast becoming a NIGHTMARE.
When I started with this company, they were a big national company, which sold out 5 years later. The time I started we worked on APPLE II E's (remember them) We transitioned over the years thru the days of Lotus, Quattro Pro and Paradox and DOS software. (whatever happened to the good old days).
Soon we were upgraded to Excel, Word, and Access and with the numerous sales of the company and the system changes, I had become quite an expert at change. It's funny though thinking back, because back then I was TOTALLY automated, and efficient with all those things. TODAY I use email and that's it. I take my receipts to my accountant and he does all the numbers, what a difference.
I've never been a slacker, but the work load became horrendous. I was not worried about me being the next one to go quite yet, as I had a pretty full work load with all the added responsiblities and knew most of the things they needed, systems, and things. It was beginning to get stressful in the envirnoment of do more with less and the loss of co workers.
Since I worked in cost accounting, and pricing, those that understand this industry know that meant once a year, we had to go into what they called ?CTC?s . That was a DREADED word as it usually was in the summer months, when everyone else was vacationing, we were working 6 days long hours to that we could set a new baseline for the budget people and fund the remaining contracts.
In addition to all that, the company at the time saw fit to install a totally NEW mainframe computer, which did NOT give us easily the information we needed and made our jobs even harder. Each month we'd have to run reports and some of them took HOURS and HOURS just to run and print, so we could get our reports out.
Everyone was expected to do more with less... and we were taught to welcome CHANGE. It WAS good training. I became accustomed to changes... and they no longer bothered me. They became the NORM.
I knew if I stayed there, I'd probably be fine for a few years, but with the defense industry on the decline, losing millions every year... how long would they be in business? While the salary was fair, the stress level was intolerable, and I was looking for a better way.