Friday, December 12, 2008

Bad News is Good News

The bad news is Sun Microsystems is to close its manufacturing operations in Scotland. That's where Husband works. The whole manufacturing structure is to be run out of Hillsboro Oregon. It's very likely he'll work out the next five months and then be made redundant. The good news is, the severance pay will be extremely useful in our moving plans. That's the hope after all.

Although, this is a dumb move for Sun, isn't it always the way that the people of the company can see the right way forward but the bureaucrats can only see figures? Doesn't Sun see it's creating a huge problem with an already tarnished reputation by pulling manufacturing and support for it's European customers away to America? But what do they care about the longevity of the brand - it's about the Now that matters. Make the stockholders happy, make the magazines write good things and then we'll worry about the customer later; it's not like they're important or anything.

What saddens me about this, and it's not just Sun, it's most companies that follow this pattern, and there are far too many, is the amount of genuinely devoted employees who are determined to see the company succeed, determined to raise the brand and do everything they can to make a them successful and they still don't figure into the finances. Devotion isn't rewarded. Ideas aren't rewarded. Dickheads are - those managers who are more then happy to cut for the favourable report, but these companies have lost their soul, drive and passion for their work and are merely creating the path to their own downfall. The customer doesn't matter, the product's quality doesn't matter: it's all about the accounts. When you have a successful brand and product, you don't scale back the talent that brought you there. They also don't seem to be listening to the current demands and updating or re-working their product to fit that demand. It's lunacy. They seem pretty determined to go down in flames, and blame the staff for it. Sun: don't cull the talent, just make a better product.
And have a better after sales service, too. I may not have a business degree, but if you're not offering the best product and the best service then you can't even compete. HP have been kicking your asses since the bubble burst and you're still in the corner scratching your arses.

Husband is a devoted guy who wants to see his company succeed, but they don't want him and it's their loss. He's not the Captain, he can jump ship without any guilt. (Although, if you know my Husband, you'll know there's always a line of guilt, and it's endearing that he cares so much.)

We're lucky in that we have a plan. Others may be taken by surprise, but technology is like this and everyone who works in a tech company should have a serious back-up plan for this kind of thing. At least in the UK you can't walk into work and be handed a pink slip and then escorted out of your office by guards. Thanks, now fuck off you scum. I don't know how companies can get away with that in America. Which is why the thought of moving to Hillsboro is laughable. No way.

So we're taking this as Fate talking to us, pushing us along, giving us a sign that this is the right way for us to go. Let's get our fingers out and start making the dream come true.

We're listening! And we're very excited.

(To any Sun folks reading this - my opinion does not reflect my Husband's opinion. You want to know what he thinks, go ask him. He's partial to sweets and strong black coffee.)


Jomamma said...

I know where you're coming from... A little over a year ago The company the hubby works for, ST Microelectronics, announced they were closing the plant in Texas July 09, moving it to China. "you'll be the last one to go" is what they told him. He's the Facility Manager. The plant in Arizona was to remain open... many people transferred out there only to find that it would eventually close, sooner than the Texas plant.

Hubby would also get a huge severance pay... 3 yrs salary. Then he got sick... thank goodness for their great insurance. But he wanted to hurry back so they wouldn't put him on the 'lay-off' list. He forced himself to do chemo in record time in order to get back only to find out that the minute he returns they will hand him a pink slip and his severance... not the full severance either.

Yes we have our plan put together, he's been this route before. We keep the bills paid 3 months in advance at all times, including the house payment. And he's not afraid to strike out on his own which is what he'll probably do. He has many connections in his line of work.

I think this keeps men from going into a death spiral. Having a plan puts them back in control for their family. But it also helps for them to have a supporting non nagging wife behind them. The only haven they now have is home... we have to make it the place they want to come to when times are tough, otherwise they go to the Titty Bar.

I know you guys may not want to return to the US but you gotta do what you gotta do... go where the paycheck is.

Good luck to you.

Overboard said...

Well, it seems that this recession is real and has hit our little blogging community, that's for sure.
Like you said, time to move on, and if you have a good severence pay package deal thingy, then wooo hoo. Great!
(I'm so simple but I'm sure you get my gist)

NWJR said...

"At least in the UK you can't walk into work and be handed a pink slip and then escorted out of your office by guards. ... I don't know how companies can get away with that in America."

Out of curiosity, how does it work in the UK?

I'd rather have someone escorted out than be allowed to stay and sabotage the company. So my question isn't rhetorical.

tornwordo said...

This is just the universe nudging you along with the grand plans. I say good news. Oregon sounds like a nice place to live though I know that's out.

Jomamma said...

Like Torn said... Oregon isn't so bad... it's the greenest thinking state we have, and you'll be really close to Ichiban Kan! (my husband would say that's all the reason not to go.)

Overboard said...

Yeah, I've only heard really good things about Oregon. Great music scene, too.

Overboard said...

Lotsa herbs,too.

Northern musings said...

Hey Livvie - this is as you say just another sign that the big escape plan is the right way to go. Pity you aren´t going to Maja´s neck of the woods but the southern end of the other side is nice - middle bit is overrated and the top toooo muggy.

Ree said...

Yep. And here in the States, the southern Republican senators managed to stop the $14 billion loan to the Big 3 - which means world financial markets are tanking left and right.

I'm afraid this is only the beginning.

Roxrocks said...

It seems as though the stars are lining up for you guys to move and live out your dreams. Go hard, Lyvvie!

Brook said...

So, I totally, well as much as one can, commiserate with you. My hubby has his own business of which the product turns out to be a luxery item. We have seen major upheaval in our lives since 2 years ago( it hit us a little early which I am thankful for)on many fronts. Financially, emotionally, relationally, spiritually(though I hate to say it) and physically as well. D ended up getting another job(keeping the business open and employees on staff)the whole thing
has been stessful to say the least. D travels quite a bit too and it can be hard when you feel like a single parent(don't tell me it doesn't) and your partner's far far away. Things have eased for us recently with D's new job(read paycheck). Note that doing the math realisticly proved that I could not get a job that would pay childcare and make a difference in the meantime. Banking, while fun, on the customer service side does not pay the big bucks. Anyway, hopefully the move to AU that you hinted on much earlier will work out for you and him and the cuties you call your own. May you weather the storm ahead ans as "they" say, "May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, etc" Chin up and pluckiness count. Just ask me.

Maja said...

Everything you said about companies these days is true. It's all about cutting costs for bigger profit margins and no loyalty to employees. Really sucks the life out of me to think about it.

But good that it's helping you get where you want to go!

Overboard said...

Woo hoo. It's Maja. I haven't seen that pretty smiling face in a few days.

Dingo said...

I agree with everything you said. I worked for a firm that talked about company loyalty, blah, blah, blah. People would give up personal time, holidays, etc. to get a project finished so that the higher ups and the company could look good and succeed. But come hard times, the company didn't think twice about laying off those same people. With crappy severance packages. Then, when business picks up, they just hire fresh people and the cycle starts all over again. But the higher ups are always protected either with their jobs or really, really sweet severance packages. Being an ass in big business pays well.

Sorry to hear about hubby's job. It sounds like your plan is a good one and I'm excited about all the new things that are coming your way.

Chick said...

You're's tough to be so devoted & get kicked in the gut for it...I'm glad you don't just accept it like most.

Keep your killer attitude & have fun with your plan.