Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Passion of the Termination Process

As I have mentioned before in this blog, I have had only a few jobs. That is why I can't really say that I have a wealth of knowledge and experience with the termination process. However, I am quite surprised by the non-event that my recent termination from my last employer has been.

I expected to be deluged with bunches of different papers to sign but the termination process is self-service (like everything else these days).  You go to a corporate web site and click on a few options and out pops everything I ever needed to know about termination.  There have been no papers to sign. There has been no exit interview. The final check arrives in the mail. There is no goodbye luncheon; my boss lives 1000 miles away from me and besides he was on vacation the week that I was scheduled to spend my last day with the corporation.  Our last communication was through instant messaging.   I had to turn in my laptop, my badge and my corporate credit card to one of my coworkers.  I wasn't expecting a brass band or a massive severance check but I was there for 6 1/2 years and did a reasonable job (if you believed my annual reviews).  It would've been nice to have a thank you for my time.

What really surprises me is that the HR people wouldn't want to have some kind of a exit interview. Think of the data they could plug into their models; think of all the various plots of data points that they can produce; think of all the PowerPoint presentations that could be generated from that data.

But I guess it doesn't matter anymore. We have become a disposable society and that impacts even large corporations. We are all expendable. That is really kind of sad that we are reduced to such a passionless process.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Change is hard. I have rhythms in my life. I figure out how to do something and find a place for that thing in the pattern of my life. When things change, I have to go back and reestablish all the rhythms. That takes a while and somehow seems to be a monumental waste of time: unavoidable but unpleasant. I am changing jobs and that drives a whole bunch of changes in my life: preparing to setup a new a new laptop, commuting locally rather than getting on a plane, selecting a new set of benefits, and on and on. To add to the confusion, my wife has also taken a new job recently: a better job but still a new job with different patterns.

One thing that I have to do is figure out where the time to write this blog fits in. One of the things that I am going to try is to dictate the rough drafts while I commute. I live a ways out from everything: lovely place to live but 30 or more minutes from all of the interesting places to be. I use Dragon Naturally Speaking Version 9 for a lot of my writing. I dictate into a headset microphone and the words just appear. It is not 100% but the speed of getting the rough material into place is great. One of the options that Naturally Speaking provides is the ability to transcribe material from a digital recorder. I just bought a WS100 digital recorder from Olympus and created a user that captures the peculiarities of my voice recorded on the digital recorder through the headset microphone. It may take a few weeks to work out the kinks but that is what life is for.