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.