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Friday, June 10, 2016

Life in a Lifeboat

Nowadays that a growing number of Intel Corp. employees are forced to leave the company under duress of forced retirement and massive layoffs, we would like to encourage these people and assure them that there is still life worth living, after their Intel career has unexpectedly and prematurely ended.

If you have been an Intel Corp. employee that was affected by the company's executives ill conceived move to rid itself from senior and consequently older employees, I would like to provide you with positive encouragement and provide you with a (figuratively speaking) a flotation device that may ease coping with your situation.

I am taking the liberty to use an analogy to explain your situation:

Imagine that as an affected employee you and your family members were present on the deck of cruise ship when it suddenly hit an iceberg.  Luckily and through the aftermath of the collision, you somehow, managed to escape the sinking ship and transferred into a lifeboat.

Of course, as is usually the case, there is a reason why the cruise ship hit the iceberg, in the first place: the captain and the deck officers, spent too much time partying in the ballroom, to notice that they were on a collision course with the iceberg.


Regardless of the officers' shortcomings, you are now facing a new reality. You can thank Gaia or the Holy Ghost for not ending your life in the freezing ocean water, and you have to accept that surviving without the luxurious amenities of the cruise ship is still a better alternative than swimming in brine and dying from hypothermia.

Imagine that the cruise ship is still not fully submerged under water; however, a big open gash keeps letting sea water in, the captain and his officers remain intoxicated from last nights party. It is very unlikely that they were in a state of mind that enabled them to admit to the reality that suddenly hit them in the face. They still expected their cheese cakes to be brought to their cabins, alongside their coffee and breakfast. They never imagined that the next party that they will attend would be referred to as "The Donner Party".

The 28th page of Patrick Breen's diary, recording his observations in late February 1847, including "Mrs Murphy said here yesterday that thought she would Commence on Milt & eat him. I dont [know] that she has done so yet, it is distressing."

While your life has been saved for the time being, the limited space of the lifeboat is crammed with many other passengers (most of them you have never met or interacted before). you must consider how to proceed with your life when the probability of hitting land or being rescued is unknown. The water and provisions in the lifeboat are limited. Some of your fellow passengers might have navigation skills, others might have useful mechanical, or perhaps medical skills. Others may have no skills that seem that could be relevant to your current situation; however, they might be equipped with mental toughness that makes them ready to make good decisions and help others who might be in a state of shock.

As the day go by life on the crowded lifeboat becomes intolerable, as food an water become scarce. Dire situations of this nature lead most people into two possible states of mind:
  1. View your lifeboat mates as resources and work cooperatively to maximize the chances of survival for all of you. This might be tough; however, if you read about many survival stories, you will find that resourcefulness and cooperation among individuals are key to survival.
  2. View your boat mates as competitors for the limited water and provisions available in the lifeboat emergency supply. As much as the thought is disturbing, under "normal" circumstances, your survival instincts may drive you to view your unlucky lifeboat companions as food source...
If we leave the above Titanic analogy I would like to return to the main points of this article, which are:

Give yourself a reality check:
    • Most of you should have money to last through at least a few months without additional income. The money would last longer if you spend it wisely and control your expenses.
    • Most of you are entitled to Unemployment Compensation, which may not look like your regular paycheck; however, it is an additional income that is available to you for up to a maximum of 26 weeks, during a period of 12 months, after your last day of work.
    • COBRA (alternative) medical insurance coverage is guaranteed to be available to you by Federal Law, for a period of 18 months from your termination date. Besides the COBRA coverage you can find other medical insurance programs that could be more optimal for your needs.
    • You have many colleagues who could provide you with a listening ear and a place to vent your frustrations without driving your family members nuts by repeatedly bitching about your condition.
 Find your support network:
    • Join other people who found themselves in the same "boat", particularly those who have been through the same experience in prior years. The "Eliminati" group includes several dozen people who have been through the trials and tribulations of layoff from Intel Corp. and at least some of them are willing to help you cope with your hardship.
    • If you have a Google account (which is easy to establish and free of charge), join this web site and receive automatic notification of events organized by our support group. Otherwise, just put the URL of the web site <www.pdx-tie.org> on your bookmark list and visit frequently.
    • Check the instructions on this web site regarding how to join the Eliminati mailing list through Google Groups.
    • Seek friends and family members with whom you can spend quality time that would allow you to be distracted from developing "circular thoughts" about your misery.
    • Seek professional counseling for mental health issues. Experiencing depression is very common in the situation that you are facing now and when depression reaches a clinical stage, it is very difficult to recover form it without professional help.
Show solidarity to your colleagues and advance our common cause:
    • Active solidarity can be a very constructive force. One foot tapping in the street, does not have the same effect as the march of hundreds or thousands of people. From the general public perspective, the power of an organized group is many times greater than the sum of its individual members power.
    • Share information with your colleagues in a manner that would allow us to uncover significant facts. Each of us may view their case as "happened to me" and feel powerless to respond to injustice. The power at be use this "divide and conquer" method to diminish the conscientiousness, as well as the ability of the masses to respond. By sharing information among us, we can uncover some actionable information to the benefit of our members.
    • Be willing to have skin in the game when action for the common good is required. There is no way to win by sitting on the bench.
    • Dedicate some of your idle time while being unemployed to contribute to the welfare and the common cause of people in your support group.
    • Share your discoveries, your experiences and your thoughts with group members. Each and every one of us has something to contribute that would also be appreciated by others.
    • If you find opportunities that you yourself could not utilize or harvest, do not assume that they are not worthy to mention. Other members of our group may appreciate your sharing.

Happy navigation.

--Dr. Flywheel  

1 comment :

  1. Wonderful analogy. Maintaining a positive mental balance was and is difficult during a drastic change. The resources here help us all to get back in the game.

    ReplyDelete

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