Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bleak Times

HR has dropped a bombshell in an abrupt meeting today. VSS (Voluntary Separation Scheme) has been implemented to reduce workforce as part of the cost reduction program, and it's up to us to choose whether to apply or not. For the program, employees are encouraged to apply and will be required to leave the job in less than a month with proper monetary compensation. The reimbursement actually doesn't seem too bad, pretty standard by what MNCs tend to offer, according to a reliable source. However, the current economic and employment state are gradually sucked in by the maelstrom of the plunging global economy.

Unemployment is running rampant worldwide, with companies retrenching left and right. Fresh graduates seeking to enter the job field this year will face an intense uphill battle to secure a job. Other cost cutting measures such as hiring freeze (means no new hiring until further notice), reducing/eliminating traveling expenses, no bonuses or profit sharing, zero increment, no promotions and minor/severe paycuts are heard of everywhere. If you think that you are safe, it's only a matter of time before something like this happens to you or your workplace. I'm not trying to scare anyone, but it's the truth. What's scarier is that things are predicted to take a turn for the worse after April this year. If you think it's really bad NOW, wait a coupla more months. More retrenchment and companies shutting down or moving out are predicted to follow suit.

Seriously, the current severe economic slowdown hinges on the US economy. Anything good or bad happens to the US economy will trigger a butterfly effect that would ultimately affect other regions worldwide. It's like dropping a stone into still waters, you can see how the ripples spread out and disrupt the calmness of its surroundings. Governments and companies are acknowledging and taking drastic measures to save themselves in the upcoming economic DEPRESSION. Even now, companies, businesses and even governments (think Iceland) have gone down under, declaring bankruptcy as they owe huge amount of debts, incurred large losses and are no longer able to sustain themselves. It is inevitable, and I don't have to be an economist to say that. Just look at everything that's happening around you. Look at what you read in the news. Listen to what's happening to employees everywhere. Chances are you will know AT LEAST ONE person who's hit badly by the economic slowdown. The imminent economic depression will be a tsunami that is far more overwhelming, and from the current circumstances, we are definitely gradually building towards that.

Back to the VSS, I won't be taking it. Although the reimbursement will be able to last me about 6-7 months, I haven't secured another job and there is NO guarantee that I can even get a job at the end of this year. Yes, it's THAT grim. Even if I DO secure another job now, there is still minimal job security. I might be subjected to the 'last to enter, first to leave' mentality most companies have right now. Why retain the new guy who has to learn and train himself up for the job, when you already have people who can do it? So now, I will just wait until they force us to leave via VSS this year, assuming that they will do it if insufficent people are applying for the current VSS to justify for the cost reduction planned. It is highly probable that the reimbursement plan would still be the same. I will play the waiting game and do my job as normal. It'll be a LONG time before we crawl out of this economic shithole, and it just keeps getting deeper. Until then, the increasingly bleak economic times will continue to reel its ugly head and continue to ensnare its unsuspecting or ignorant victims.

To lighten up, here's a old joke among economists that states:

A recession is when your neighbor loses his job.

A depression is when you lose your job.


Gerald said...

Pls do something bro. We have been talking about this issue even b4 we left uni. If we read more and understand, that ripple effect has not even touched Malaysia. The sad part is, many thinks they are very safe. We shall "WAIT" & see ...

Anonymous said...

surely the economy will be aroused soon with all the stimulation applied

Bengbeng said...

You better hang on tight. I doubt there will b many takers for the VSS.

The stimulation applied? - don't think it will be effective enough

牛五花Orange said...