The Vulture of IT

I am the Network Administrator for a high-tech circuit board manufacturing company. A ‘struggling to survive’ manufacturing company that is currently running in ‘survival mode.’ I have been here for 12 years and this is nothing new to me.

When a corporation is struggling to survive it is like a wounded animal and some really difficult decisions are often made.

As the Network Administrator I’m often called upon to clean-up the fallout after these decisions.

The inevitable decisions are made and I cringe as I’m handed ‘the list’.

“The company has to restructure to help bridge the gap this year. A head count reduction is regrettable but necessary.” “Don’t worry Mike, you are not affected by the head count reduction.”

“You are not affected.”

<sigh> I cringe and glance down ‘the list’.

I see names on the list I don’t even recognize, which makes me feel a little sad. “You are not affected.”

I see names on the list I actually am kind of glad to see, which makes me feel a little guilty. “You are not affected.”

As I glance farther down the list I see names I wasn’t expecting which knocks the wind out of me. “You are not affected.”

I see names of friends, I see names of people I felt were indispensable to the success of the company. “You are not affected.”

I see names of co-workers I’ve worked side by side with for over a decade. I see people who were more family than co-worker. “You are not affected.”

I feel the weight of the world come crashing down upon my shoulders. “You are not affected.”

I feel the pride I once had for the skills I possess, for the company I once supported without question, for the company I once looked at more as a second home than a place of employment, vanish.

“Don’t worry Mike, you are not affected by the head count reduction.”

In my mind I see dozens of laptops, PCs, and cellphones which, until today, were the tools of the co-workers on ‘the list.’ “You are not affected.”

In my mind I see the gigabytes of Personal Drives, My Documents, Outlook Archives, etc. that I now have to clean up and archive. The data that, until ‘the list’ was the products of someone’s career. “You are not affected.”

In my mind I see dozens of accounts that will soon be disabled. The electronic remains of people who are my friends. Remains that I now have to clean up. “You are not affected.”

“Restructure”, “Bridge the gap”, “Head count reduction”

Corporate Human Resources rhetoric that sounds better than “The loss of people’s support structure for their lives.”

“You are not affected.”

I sigh, my shoulders sink, my soul aches, and I move on. I begin the task picking the remains of people’s professional lives apart. “You are not affected.”

As I begin to gather the remaining equipment, the ghosts of friends who once used them, someone walks by and says “Hey, at least you weren’t affected. You’ve got job security.”

In the back of my mind I scream “Fuck you! Take your ‘job security’ and shove it!” and I silently move on with my morbid responsibilities.

“Don’t worry Mike, you are not affected by the head count reduction.”