Author Topic: Very bad economic indicator today  (Read 1801 times)

eastbound

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Re: Very bad economic indicator today
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2019, 08:36:09 AM »
so PB, why are you unemployed???
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PonoBill

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Re: Very bad economic indicator today
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2019, 10:00:18 AM »
They informed the client of how they were addressing the budget cut and the client freaked out. It ended up being the worst April Foll's day joke ever. I have been reinstated this morning.

Congratulations, but as already stated, they canned you, so any loyalty they might have earned is out the window. I'd at least go for a contract for the term you want to work. I wouldn't suggest anything that makes their life a lot tougher and turns you into a pain in the ass that they need to get rid of as soon as they can, but you certainly need some assurances if they are using you to retain the customer--written assurances,

Eastbound--I work harder on a random Tuesday than most people do all week--at having fun.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 10:21:46 AM by PonoBill »
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Weasels wake

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Re: Very bad economic indicator today
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2019, 10:05:17 AM »
They informed the client of how they were addressing the budget cut and the client freaked out. It ended up being the worst April Foll's day joke ever. I have been reinstated this morning.
Take advantage of you being an "economic indicator" and ask for a raise.
It takes a quiver to do that.

SUP Leave

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Re: Very bad economic indicator today
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2019, 04:34:59 PM »
Damn R-T-G I'm glad you got your job back, but what a turn of events.

As a business owner, if I have a client that likes one of my technical staff it is like the best thing ever. I don't even have to interact with the client, and we are still earning. The overhead for that client drops immensely. Unfortunately, I have a bunch of nerd engineers as my staff and the chances that the client likes them more than me is small. Nature of the biz, but when it happens it is so nice.

I have conducted lots of interviews, mostly with GenXrs, but a few older rehires  too. Here is the key to a good interview with me: Make it clear that you are not another mouth to feed, but will be an earner (and explain why). Since you have experience, you can sell yourself pretty easily. My last hire was so simple he said to me "I'll need about a week to get my feet on the ground, then you can charge me out at $150 an hour and pay me $40 if I don't turn a profit in the first month you should fire me." I couldn't shake his hand fast enough.

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RideTheGlide

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Re: Very bad economic indicator today
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2019, 07:01:47 PM »
They had a major management shakeup at the client. I got a lot of love for a lot of years from the previous management team. A *lot* of love. My company passed a substantial portion through to me and for that I am very grateful. I am not the $40 guy in your example.

The new management team brought in another vendor for new work we had hoped to get. Not because they hate us, but because they didn't really know us and went with a big name firm out of the PNW that is going through their money like water in the shower. So they looked at our bottom line and demanded a reduction in the total bill. It made margins razor thin and you can't fix that by getting rid of your $40 guy. It was business and not personal. My company hated doing it. The CEO literally shed some tears.

The client didn't like the outcome and decided they could be more flexible but not completely. So Weasel's wake may be disappointed in what I did. I played ball. I am still doing substantially better than I would if I took something new, but I dropped out of the stratosphere. I like the work, the environment and the team I do the work with at my company and at the client. I don't have the stress of trying to find something new that pays the bills and makes me happy without an extended period of unemployment.

EDIT - Another reason I didn't push is something that I am pretty proud of. I got to a rate of more than double market for my position without ever asking for a raise.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 07:23:31 PM by RideTheGlide »
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PonoBill

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Re: Very bad economic indicator today
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2019, 11:13:05 PM »
It's a common problem, the new management team can't really show that they are "fixing" things if they keep the same vendors as the old team. As soon as a new VP of Marketing got hired at one of our clients I told the account managers and supervisors to treat every project as a final one and make sure we got paid--because we were doomed. You can be doing godlike work--doesn't matter. You're out. We had a huge contract with Siemens when the dot com collapse happened. The entire marketing team we were working with were suddenly gone. We never got fired--we just no longer had anyone to talk to--and more important, no one to bill.

I'd say you're doing the right thing RTG. It never pays to be a pain in the ass. Two of my best developers started constantly demanding raises, explaining how much they could make elsewhere during one of the big booms. I paid the increases because I needed them and started building a replacement team around them. The next time they came to blackmail me I just let them walk. Good guys, but they made me replace them, so I did.
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Area 10

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Re: Very bad economic indicator today
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2019, 01:41:08 AM »
Well done, RTG. Peace of mind has financial value. Glad it worked out.

eastbound

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Re: Very bad economic indicator today
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2019, 03:28:41 AM »
if youre happy, rtg, im happy---heartening story, where a worker actually doing the quality work of a business ends up prevailing, based on his productivity

where often workers get screwed in connection with machinations operating far the world of their good work and appreciative clients

system worked--put you through a tailspin, but youre ok---good luck---seems youll get at least several of the 5 years you want

im on a similar, more uncertain, track---i am trying to restart my business with a new capital and clearing partner--all cost coupled with hope, but some fruit is beginning to appear, so hope may prove warranted----but i want 5 more years of saving accumulation, if possible, and medicare---which hopefully will still exist in current form, ongoing

nice end to this chapter--hope the book ends well--------in 5 years!!!  good luck
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RideTheGlide

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Re: Very bad economic indicator today
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2019, 05:04:45 AM »
Thanks all. I really feel for people who are unemployed; there is a lot of talk about how it could lead to something better and that my skills have enough demand here that finding something should be no trouble but the truth is I was terrified. The last time I went on an interview I was in my late 30s. I am not adept at a lot of the new tech. It's only because I haven't had to be; I pick up things quickly and I am not resistant to change. But when looking for something new, either you can check a box or not and if you don't have experience you can't check the box.

It's a common problem, the new management team can't really show that they are "fixing" things if they keep the same vendors as the old team. As soon as a new VP of Marketing got hired at one of our clients I told the account managers and supervisors to treat every project as a final one and make sure we got paid--because we were doomed. You can be doing godlike work--doesn't matter. You're out. We had a huge contract with Siemens when the dot com collapse happened. The entire marketing team we were working with were suddenly gone. We never got fired--we just no longer had anyone to talk to--and more important, no one to bill.

I'd say you're doing the right thing RTG. It never pays to be a pain in the ass. Two of my best developers started constantly demanding raises, explaining how much they could make elsewhere during one of the big booms. I paid the increases because I needed them and started building a replacement team around them. The next time they came to blackmail me I just let them walk. Good guys, but they made me replace them, so I did.

They let us participate in bidding for the new project, but it was pretty much a lock out spec and we could only indicate willingness to change how we did some things to meet it. That wasn't good enough; we couldn't check the box.

I was appreciative of all they had done for me even though I was upset. I was no longer an employee (really, not just a threat - my insurance was cancelled and had to get reinstated), was going to get severance and had no further obligation, but I spent a big chunk of that day bringing other team members up to speed on things I was doing and talked a guy I have been mentoring off the ledge and convinced him he was ready to step up. I suspect that played into the decision to try to make it work with me. Even with the client willing to negotiate, it isn't going to be enough to return to status quo. I am not insulted by the cut; they have always been more than fair with me and I believe this is what they can do. I made no attempt to haggle; I just said thanks and went back to work. I might be a PITA if I were not treated fairly but that has not been a concern.
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TallDude

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Re: Very bad economic indicator today
« Reply #24 on: April 03, 2019, 07:52:12 AM »
Thanks all. I really feel for people who are unemployed; there is a lot of talk about how it could lead to something better and that my skills have enough demand here that finding something should be no trouble but the truth is I was terrified. The last time I went on an interview I was in my late 30s. I am not adept at a lot of the new tech. It's only because I haven't had to be; I pick up things quickly and I am not resistant to change. But when looking for something new, either you can check a box or not and if you don't have experience you can't check the box.

It's a common problem, the new management team can't really show that they are "fixing" things if they keep the same vendors as the old team. As soon as a new VP of Marketing got hired at one of our clients I told the account managers and supervisors to treat every project as a final one and make sure we got paid--because we were doomed. You can be doing godlike work--doesn't matter. You're out. We had a huge contract with Siemens when the dot com collapse happened. The entire marketing team we were working with were suddenly gone. We never got fired--we just no longer had anyone to talk to--and more important, no one to bill.

I'd say you're doing the right thing RTG. It never pays to be a pain in the ass. Two of my best developers started constantly demanding raises, explaining how much they could make elsewhere during one of the big booms. I paid the increases because I needed them and started building a replacement team around them. The next time they came to blackmail me I just let them walk. Good guys, but they made me replace them, so I did.

 I might be a PITA if I were not treated fairly but that has not been a concern.
Aaaaaayyyyaaaaaa....... RTG....... Aaaaaayyyyaaaaaa See...we're going to have to move your desk down into the basement.

PonoBill

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Re: Very bad economic indicator today
« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2019, 10:09:15 AM »
Yeah, do your job, and keep doing it well, but start figuring out how to have a greater say in your financial future. Nearly everyone has to modify their lifestyle after retirement. Too many people do it when they are in crisis mode. It's much easier and much more pleasant to do it when you don't have to. My book on retirement is a mess, but it's relevant and the content could be useful. And it's free. https://retirement.pressbooks.com/

If you have a plan, reality doesn't carry so much terror.

It's also worthwhile to add the skills you think you lack. There's nothing special about the learning opportunities of younger people--most of them waste the enormous free time opportunities of college and have to learn the newest tech after they enter the workforce. Most of the new languages that are in vogue are quite a bit easier to learn than the old stuff like C, C++ and assembler, the dependence on existing functions and procedures is enormous. Most code is just stitching together existing stuff. The hard part is having the motivation to learn something that you might never apply. Young people have that--they can't get a job without it. I'd say now you do too. I learned PHP and CSS to a functional level in a couple of days. Ruby and Python take even less. The hardware side is 99 percent connecting modules as well.

I've considered re-entering business, mostly just for the challenge. I don't need to, not because I'm so wealthy but because I've already started the process of simplifying and reducing the cost of my lifestyle. That's why Ponohouse is up for sale and I moved from a huge house in Portland to a small one in Hood River. But I know that with the way I'm wired, if I start a business I'll have to give it 150 percent, and I'm not sure it's worth that. Your calculation might be different. The consulting world might seem like a gig economy, but the world runs on old tech while it reaches for new. No one wants to staff for that reality, but they need access to the expertise. My ex-wife made a killing doing COBOL code review as a consultant during the Y2K scare, at the same time I was trying to convince Microfocus to run an advertisement I wrote that started with the headline "20,000 COBOL programmers will die this year".  Being a bunch of geeks they wouldn't run it because I couldn't prove that number would die of old age.
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TallDude

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Re: Very bad economic indicator today
« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2019, 10:16:46 AM »
Damn R-T-G I'm glad you got your job back, but what a turn of events.

As a business owner, if I have a client that likes one of my technical staff it is like the best thing ever. I don't even have to interact with the client, and we are still earning. The overhead for that client drops immensely. Unfortunately, I have a bunch of nerd engineers as my staff and the chances that the client likes them more than me is small. Nature of the biz, but when it happens it is so nice.

I have conducted lots of interviews, mostly with GenXrs, but a few older rehires  too. Here is the key to a good interview with me: Make it clear that you are not another mouth to feed, but will be an earner (and explain why). Since you have experience, you can sell yourself pretty easily. My last hire was so simple he said to me "I'll need about a week to get my feet on the ground, then you can charge me out at $150 an hour and pay me $40 if I don't turn a profit in the first month you should fire me." I couldn't shake his hand fast enough.
I've been self-employed most of my life. Constantly looking and hoping for my next contract was a stress I was used to. Lot's of risk, headaches, and sleepless nights to keep things running and maintain my payroll. That's all I knew. After 30 years of surviving, I took a job working for an architect friend of mine. He said he could hire a full staff of young architects and spend years training them just to produce the work he gets from just me in the same time frame. I almost never have a question for him, and I'm able to be more thorough than he is because I don't have to be interrupted by or deal with any clients. It was very odd to get a pay check as an employee for the first in my life at the age of 50. Now I get job offers all the time. My stress level has gone down near zero. I don't miss the stress, but I kinda miss the money that comes with the stress. I figured I did my time, no one died on any of my projects, and I never got into any messy lawsuits. My brother who's 63 was in the same business I was. He saw me make the transition and found out that he was way more valuable than he had given himself credit for. He now works for a large architectural firm managing and training young architects. He has benefits and will get some sort of retirement when he's had enough.   

RideTheGlide

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Re: Very bad economic indicator today
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2019, 12:04:22 PM »
Aaaaaayyyyaaaaaa....... RTG....... Aaaaaayyyyaaaaaa See...we're going to have to move your desk down into the basement.

I did get to keep my 3rd floor (in a 3 story building) private window office. I don't think they are overly greedy, but this isn't the owner's hobby either. There has to be a reasonable margin. With the demanded billing reduction, there wasn't. Negotiating with the client on one end (roughly; they still have to meet to pound out exact numbers) and me on the other, they made it work again. I would rather help make this work than find another job that I might not like as much and is almost guaranteed to pay less than my reduced rate.
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eastbound

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Re: Very bad economic indicator today
« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2019, 12:42:11 PM »
PB---clearly you are a diligent committed worker, who tirelessly pursues-----------FUN!!

jealous! enjoy!
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PonoBill

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Re: Very bad economic indicator today
« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2019, 06:07:50 PM »
PB---clearly you are a diligent committed worker, who tirelessly pursues-----------FUN!!

jealous! enjoy!

I was the same way when I worked for money. I worked whatever 14 hours per day, six days a week I chose. But I did have fun--it was just in much smaller bites.
Ponohouse is for sale: http://www.ponohouse.com
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.