Dancing to Dirges

Depressing and happy things Tim says, sometimes while drunk

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Still Dancing

So, all the tumult yesterday kept me from saying that I've finished my first read through on the copy edits for The Horns of Ruin. Now all I need to do is read the full thing through with a pen in hand, putting final touches on and looking for things that might impact the narrative down the road. Bad timing, since I'm moving on Monday, but things always happen at once.

Of course, the reason that there were layoffs yesterday is because things have been slow at work, so I have time to sit here and read the thing at my desk. Just don't know how wise that is on the day after massive, company-wide firings. We risk the blade for our art.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

All is well, and all is well, and all shall be well

Well. Today's the one year anniversary of this job. Interesting, because droves of people are being laid off. First round is done, but no one knows if there will be more. Let us meditate on this.

We've seen it coming for a while, those of us with access to multiple departments. I'm unfortunate enough to be on the Acquisition team. Acquisition is a single mailing (well, three mailings, but all one job) that accounts for about half our billing for the year. Last year the company decided to take an aggressive pricing strategy to acquisition for 2010. Sort of a make or break thing. We broke. The actual numbers are only beginning to coalesce, but to give you a rough idea we needed to sell something like 7 million pieces to not lose money over last year, and 8 million to make our targets. We're just under 5 million right now, and that's if all of our regular clients buy the recommended quantities and don't decide to tighten their belts. So it's ugly.

There are other things. This company bleeds money. It's just inefficiently built. Everyone is working at top capacity, and we're still not making money. So they're cutting people. I have an idea how much we're losing thanks to acquisition this year, and I know that today's cuts won't cover even an eighth of it. So things are far from settled. There's no way for them to cut their way to profitability, but they can try to close the gap. We'll see.

So, here I am, a year later. I still think it was the good move, coming here. I would have lost my mind a long time ago at the last job. And there have been other developments that are positive. I don't really think my job is in immediate danger, but I do think that as a company there are some deeply flawed systems in place that will not be easily repaired. May be irreparable. And on it goes.

So today's firings. The fired the whole research department, one guy in production, and the CFO. And yes, the CFO has been screaming bloody murder about how much money we're losing. So that was the kind of move that makes you think we're adrift. In case you were wondering.

That's all I've got right now. Updates will follow as time allows.

*UPDATE* Two others were let go, but management has said that the layoffs are over for the foreseeable future. So that's something. Then again, we just shouldered a whole bunch of work from Research, using tools that none of us know. So that's something else.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


While browsing through my blog, I noticed that way back some months ago I mentioned that we are building a house and had put our place up on the market, but I had never updated that. So here's an update.

We are still building a house. It is being built right now. We have walls and a roof and they've poured the concrete basement and garage pad and put in all the plumbing and most of the electrical. This part goes quickly, I am told, and then it will appear as if all progress stops. But for now, it's flying by.

Also, our house sold. Hooray! The first realtor we talked to wanted us to replace all the carpet, replace our appliances, and then list it for considerably less than we felt was reasonable. So we contracted with someone else, cleaned the carpet, did a little repair work, and listed for only slightly less than we thought was reasonable. Honestly, if we'd sold two years ago, we would have listed for $50k more. Downturns turn down.

Anyway. We got an offer in two weeks. So that worked out.

There's a four month gap between our sale of the current house and the completion of the new house, so we're having to rent a place. It's going to be an interesting period. A throwback to our college days, really. I'm curious to see how it impacts my writing schedule. Etcetera.