Saturday, February 6, 2016

As pep talks go, that one was pretty much a failure

The project is nearing the end, but it is in that nether region where we still have plenty of work and heavy hours, but know that the situation could change any day and we'll be suddenly unemployed. Apparently, the agency has been getting a lot of questions about how much longer the project will go on. (I never ask these questions -- when my assessment of the remaining documents tells me it's almost over, I set up my escape plan. If I wind up leaving a little before the project plotzes, well, as the French say, so fucking what?)

Anyway, the agency, in a rare fit of candor, sent one of the suits down to give us a pep talk. Basically, the guy acknowledged that the project is nearing the end. One rumor apparently was that the project is ending Wednesday, because the suit went out of his way to deny that. What he couldn't say was how long, whether hours or temps would be cut back (I can answer those -- yes to both), when those cuts might happen if (when) they happen, how many people might be kept on to finish things up or who those people might be.

Despite having introduced tremendous uncertainly, the suit then went on to urge us not to jump. Oddly enough, he invoked loyalty (nonexistent, in either direction), ethical duty to the client (not applicable), and -- the really weird one -- the reputation of the agency. Apparently, people jumping would hurt the agency's reputation and could lead the firms to take their business elsewhere. He didn't explain why we should care about this, since we would just go work for the same firms through a different agency. Here is his speech, paraphrased:

Look, some of you have heard the project is ending Wednesday. Not true. We don't know when the project is ending, but it isn't Wednesday. So don't jump to another project. Sure, you need to earn a living and can't afford to get left unemployed, but we want you to ride this down, all the way in until it crashes in flames. It's all about ethics and shit. And loyalty. Don't forget loyalty. You committed to see this thing through, so do it. I know, we can fire you anytime and we didn't commit to keep you around to see this thing through, but work with me, people. Don't make us look bad.
Yeah, hours might get cut. Yeah, some of you might get cut early, and you'll all be fired eventually, but if you quit you'll make us look bad So, sure, we don't know when, how many or which ones will be fired, but stick around to find out, even if it means there is no project for you to go to after we fire you. I'm telling you, don't quit. Hang around so we can fire you without at the time of our choosing.
Oddly enough, this speech did not go over well. Pretty much everyone on the project is contacting other agencies, looking for projects starting in the next week or two. I guess this guy's attempt to inspire the troops failed. Joey Porter, he ain't.

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