LowComDom Performances Presents
The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You Know You're a Real Geek When...
you can build an iPod out of a 14 resistors, 18 transistors, three coils, a battery, and a Diet Coke can.
You've stumbled onto another issue of The Crapolla, a journal written for software professionals. No not the managers; I mean the people who do the work.
This Crapolla is sponsored by...
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In This Issue...
Preparing For The Storm
Randy from the Gold Country writes...
Cube 846 Plymouth, California
So, did you piss off these guys? Are you a Product Manager, Marketing Idiot, or Executive? Did you hit someone's car in the parking lot and not fess up? Are you in HR and handled the latest layoff with no tact at all?
Which are you?
Are you still feeling feisty? Well then you haven't been paying attention! We're tanking again! Fucked Company is still off the air, but you can read the layoff tracker at Tech Crunch as you cash your severance check. I don't want to unduly alarm you, but the iceberg we're plowing into looks like it would make several dozen Long Island Iced Teas for each of us. Don't believe me, let's look at The Valley's vital signs.
The layoffs have started. The first notable was eBay which came up with a new euphemism for a layoff. eBay called theirs "simplifying the company". It's another "S" word to avoid along with synergy. Both mean someone's losing their job.
But give eBay some credit, the severance package was generous. Up to 22 weeks pay for peons and up to four years for executives. That seems pretty simple to me!
The last IPO was several years ago. Almost all of the success stories during this past cycle have used the "get acquired" exit strategy. But since the big boys who do the acquiring are hurting, they are going to buy fewer companies.
This leads to the next behavior we see. The VC's have started battening down the hatches on the startups. No more money for the already funded. Only a little seed money is being distributed. One of the best barometers of The Valley's health is VC investment. When it's down, we're down.
Startups are getting ready for a couple years on whatever money they currently have. Some startups have laid off half their people. (Many times this is a dozen or so, but there are many more startups in The Valley than people realize.)
Yahoo! was the next major player, killing off 1500 people, but still are having their million-dollar Christmas party. Hey Jerry, here's another word of advise since you seem to be the Sarah Palin of CEO's, if you canceled the party you could save some of the jobs, maybe even your own. Brilliant move, turn down The Borg's money when you had twice the market cap. I'm waiting for Ballmer to dig enough change out of his sofa to buy you. Not Yahoo!, you.
This all makes sense. You can't have had so much turmoil in the financial markets without getting nailed in the labor market. It's probably a good idea to start thinking about what you're going to do if you get laid off.
Step one, stop driving your car! I drive 20 miles each way to WTHAIS five days a week. I get about 27 miles per gallon and spend about 50 to 60 bucks a week just on gas. That's $2600 to $3120 a year. This is about 10 percent of my annual personal expenses. No or little driving is a substantial saving. Luckily, I live very close to essential shopping. You know, Fry's, the donut shop, Armadillo Willy's.
It's time to figure out the difference between needs and wants. This is a very difficult task for Americans. Without your fat income it's time for a dose of reality. Food, shelter, medicine, these are needs. A new flat screen, a faster computer, and a Big Gulp are wants. Figure it out. I remember the Twinkee stopped going to Starbucks when she sussed out how much she spent on crappuccinos annually.
For those of you who have been playing the house flipping game, a lay off might mean bankruptcy. Good houses are taking a long time to sell. If you didn't squirrel away a fat wad in the mattress, you're going to have to walk from that house. It's nothing Donald Trump hasn't done on a bigger scale.
Education is not an need, nor a want, it's an investment. If The Valley has no use for you, start re-educating in your copious free time. Since you don't have a job, you've got eight hours, five days a week to retrain yourself. Most public libraries will give you free internet access, and the net is full of free educational sites.
If you do have that wad in the mattress (you lucky bastard!) now might be a good time to start that new venture you've been thinking about. Instead of looking for a job, maybe you can create one. Here's a hint, in a deep recession, everyone cuts back on advertising budgets. So building yet another web site funded by ads is a bad idea. Remember the lesson of James T. Kirk, change the conditions of the test and don't accept the no-win scenario.
I know, I'm bagging on you. But I think this time around we need to see the wave before it hits us. Too many drowned last time.
Miss Teen USA Loses Her Crown After Skipping Out on $46 Restaurant Tab!
Sez Teen, "I didn't think royalty had to pay!"
Heard in the halls of various software companies.
"The Chinese are the new Japanese."
"They're exactly the same, but different."
"Leonard just went 'Shatner' on us!"
"I agree, you are a disease."
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo."
I need to go ask Santa for job security.
They pay me to think. These are my thoughts. Do you think they are getting their money's worth?
Remember: The Crapolla contains my personal opinions. That's right they're mine, so get your own! And you kids get off my lawn!
Although written with the software professional in mind, my mind tends to wander all over the place, and I sometimes write about politics, mass stoopidity, dumb things I saw, and whatever else comes to mind.
From time to time, I use salty language, thus The Crapolla is not intended for children, or certain people in the Bush Administration.
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