I have being working over the last few days helping my employer deal with some very hard hitting decision making over what to cut, how to do it, and how deep these cuts should go. We are in a position where austerity measures are not only a means to our very survival, but to our ever growing debt problem. The local economy is vibrant, but we are starting to feel the pinch of inflation, and the lack of consumer confidence from the sales and service departments that we operate. There is cash flow, but operating in this new economic era must change for us—we have no choice anymore–the pot is getting smaller and smaller.
I asked what I could to help over and beyond as far as working more proficiently and economically, but I also wanted to add my thoughts and ideas to the pile of recommendations that were on the table that could help ever further. I suggested cutting back on the some of the services that we use such as the paper shredding service that we do once a month, and use our paper shredder from the photocopying room and do that whenever we need to dispose paper. Also, our “paperless system” needs to be reinvented as we seem to be printing more paper than ever before. But I also suggested streamlining our hours so that payroll could be reduced by a 3 percent annually. That would be a huge saving in operational costs—and it might save our jobs in the long run?
For some unknown reason, to me at least, my employer dismissed my recommendations of the reduced hours for employees. In fact, they told me, they are going in the opposite direction with the staff, and that we should start seeing an increase in our hours starting in October. They went on to explain that they are going to shrink our office size, cut out one section of the building that we currently occupy, and then we are going to take over unused space in other sections of the building. We will also be taking on more operations from outside the corporation as the business model is being pushed into other none traditional areas of the service sector that we are currently in.
So, I was left a bit surprised, but then realized that the effect on me in this new business model is going to be huge. It scared me as I thought about it. I do not agree with the new direction, but then again, I am not the one at the helm of this ship. However, I do see the benefit for myself. I will still be employed, and my skills and knowledge are going to utilized more so than ever before, which makes me very happy. I feel needed—as I am laughing about this.
I guess with knowledge, there is power, as I focus on these new changes. My coworkers are not too thrilled about this, and some have voiced their concerns, and some even said that they are ready leave if their work load increases too much. Being educated, and with my experience, I have learned that you never make a decision based on speculation unless you have tried it before. Dealing with change is my specialty now that I can see beyond the writing on the walls, having to use blind faith, and looking at the patterns in the tea leaves.