Monday, March 30, 2009

Stacking sandbags

I've been watching video from Fargo. What should we be doing while waiting for the cuts? I have two obvious suggestions:

1) Whether or not you think you might be fired, backup anything you have on a company computer that you think you might want. Contact lists, e-mails, notes, clips, whatever you have that is only in their server needs to be in your own. The easiest way to grab text files is using a flashdrive. Photos or videos will require something more elaborate. Alternately, you can e-mail material to your private account. This may be impossible to do on D Day. I read that last week's Houston layoffs were like the first round here: E-mail and computer access off immediately and perp-walked out the door by HR. The most recent round here was more humane. Even if DMN gives the fired a little time this time, however, you do not want to be making these decisions then.

2) Get your resume ready. Sign onto LinkedIn, Monster, or any other jobs database or social network you think you'd want to be on if you didn't have a job. Figuring out what you want your resume to say, which kinds of jobs you'd be interested in and filling out registrations all take time. Get ahead of it. Most of us assume this cut will not be the last. Many of us would prefer a job that does not have the sense of impending doom that is part of newspaper work today. So whatever preparation you do will not be wasted if you're not among the cut this time. It feels productive, too. Many of us need something to do that doesn't feel like just sitting and waiting.

3) Should you clean out your physical desk in advance? I'm not. If I get cut, they'll need to give me whatever time it will take to pack up what I want. It wouldn't take me that long and I am not worried that they won't let me take what's mine. On the other hand, I know that some people feel better if they feel like they're completely ready. Some people also have more to pack. So I suggest doing what makes you feel better.

Any other suggestions?

And here is a question for DMN HR: What will the procedure be for this round? We know that there are legal reasons you can't answer most of our questions. But that cannot apply to the procedure.


  1. Thank you for this. But I'm very, very tired of hearing things the company can't do for legal reasons. We can't hear the number of laid off yet? We can't have a date? We can't hear the procedure? These are things I'm sure they've already come up with (if not a list of names) and Belo would have less chance of an incident or legal battle if they were halfway human with people.

  2. Can they at least say that everyone who appeared in the "DMN Investigates" wrap-around ad in Sunday's paper (and the compainion Business ad) is safe?

  3. I would recommend setting your email to forward to a private account. I only set mine up to auto-respond when I left.

    I just tested it, my address will still tell you how to reach me. I have been gone for two years. Had I set it up to forward instead...

    My thoughts are with you guys.

  4. How do you set it up to forward?

  5. You set up a "Rule" It's like a filter. There's a wizard in Outlook that will walk you through it.

  6. Make sure it's a server rule, vs. a client rule.

  7. 4:52 PM - Setting up an Outlook out of office message that notifies of alternate phone and email contacts is a good idea.

    YMMV on email still working after you leave. I have been gone for over two years and my regular web email and VPN login access was cut off within a week of departing, however my Blackberry continued to still have access to DMN email and calenders for another 6 months until I wiped the device. For all I know, I would still have access at this point had I not done that.

    I would also recommend setting up a voice mail message on your phone alerting callers of alternate ways to reach you. My DMN extension is still active, 2+ years after departing, still with a message alerting callers that I no longer work there and how they can reach me at my new job.

  8. You can always check your voice mail away from the office by calling 977-8844