Well what I suspected was going to happen, in fact did. The actual company I work for went bankrupt and laid off, terminated or fired if you prefer 120 of 130 employees this week.
I am one of the handful (read less than ten) people left to clean up the mess. I have been verbally told I will be retained for at least 120 days and possibly offered a full time job with the newly formed parent company. This may be a good thing and the birth of a great opportunity, and it may be a one way drop into the sh*t.
Now for the lengthy history of how we got here.
I left my cushy hospital data miner (wanna be VB programmer) job a year ago to work for this company. I left for the wrong reasons. I worked from home, I liked what I did, and I played a lot of wow on one computer while watching a remote desktop screen run reports and chunk through data bases on the other. Up until the final sixty days at the hospital, the job was great and I really liked my boss. Out of no where they did a reorganization and I worked for a new boss that never liked me and especially didn't like the department I worked in, thinking we weren't necessary. I convinced myself she was going to get rid of me and started looking for a new job.
I call the few people I know that know anything and asked what was out in the working world. One of them says she thinks I would fit well into the place I am working now.
I interview with the new company CEO, the entire executive management team and the general counsel. They all agree I know this element of their business that they really need to know and offer me a job. Being excited to do something new and really wanting to get out of the hospital I do a terrible job negotiating my new compensation. I didn't ask some key questions, as in, where was I going to work. The office that is close to where I live, or the office that is well over an hour from where I live. I wanted benefits from day one and they verbally agree to pay for this, but I never get it in writing. I agree to a slight pay increase and they agree verbally to pay for this artificial bonus over time to cover my driving costs. You get the idea.
I figure it's a win-win and put in a 30 day notice with the hospital. The hospital is surprised but doesn't jump up and down to keep me. I also let it be known I wanted to go so there was really no re-bargaining involved.
I start the new company in January of this year. I've written a few things about some experiences and they may still exist on the forums somewhere ten or 50 pages back.
Over time I prove my value, I create things that the company likes. I create more allies than enemies at a very good ratio. I know this to be true because that was the reason I was told I was kept and the other 95% of the people were let go.
Now here's the problem. The parent to my company actually has all the money and long term assets; the company I work for has all the staff, hard assets, employees and long term debt. This is really complicated to understand, and if you want to know it's a bunch of LLC's that have strange relationships. The easy version is to think a parent – child relationship where the child takes the fall for the parent's mistakes. To add more to the story, the parent merged with a competitor three months ago and things started to get weird.
Well the CEO of my part of the company gathered a lot of capital and invested in a lot of things that never turned a profit. We find out after the merger a few months ago all sorts of decisions were made that all but put a nail in the coffin of the company. Or, they spent money and it never resulted in returning profits, ever.
The newly formed parent takes a hard look at the facts, realizes there is lots of redundancy between the two entities, lots of wasted space, a huge debt burden they acquired from my company and lots of other problems. They tried to save parts of it, but it was just too insolvent to survive, and the long term debt was going to drag them down.
At the advice of lots of attorneys, they decide to file chapter seven bankruptcy and cut off the dead company from the parent. This results in pretty much everyone I know being let go this week. Some had just hired on within a few months, some had been there in various other companies that had been consolidated for over 20 years.
I found out about this last week from my boss. In short he said, if you tell anyone, you're gone. I was told don't come in to work on Tuesday, were doing it then. Myself and a few others got the day off. The new executive management from the new parent flew in from Dallas and told both offices that they are out of a job. They hired security guards and gave people a box and an hour to get their stuff and get out.
One office took it fairly well, was sad, but got their things and left. The other office, the one I actually work at found out they were going to be let go once the other office was let go and all but rioted. I wasn't there, but I saw enough of the after effects to know there were some not so happy people.
When I went in yesterday, there were around ten of us left. A few IT people to make sure servers and stuff are working, some management and me the lone compliance person. Even of us that are left, I don't know who will be staying and who will be going soon.
I spent the day going through every desk in the building removing client information (HIPAA: PHI, if you need to know). This just sucked. People are slobs. The rotten food, random paperwork and trash that they leave in their desks just made me sick. The thousands of dollars of office supplies, calculators, scissors, paper clips and custom post it notes that were ordered and never used was just disgusting. I can't believe we spent so much money on things that people don't need. Why does everyone have a solar powered, over sized calculator on their desk when they have a computer with a calculator and Excel sitting in front of them.
Today I go to the other office to box stuff up.
I got my last check, I was told I will get my written retainer agreement any day and that I am good for 120 days, assuming I play ball with the new company.
They are going to keep a few people in one office and offer them a new job for the new parent. See how they are doing and by may decide if this is worth keeping or not. My world is on a day to day mode.
It hasn't been a great week so far.
and Happy Holidays