“The times, they are a changin'”

Today at work, I sent my supervisors an email that I was leaving work early (at 3:00 PM) to attend a “job fair” at another company. I had earlier received an invitation from one of their employees to a job fair at another company here in Knoxville. It had come to me through my daughter-in-law, Cheryl Jenkins-Nelson, from a friend of hers, Mark England. So I had decided it was worth checking out the possible opportunity this job fair might offer me.

Then around 1:00 PM our supervisors asked us all to assemble in one of the meeting rooms at the company, and we, of course, did so. Around 1:10 PM, the Site Director, Greg Jimenez, came in and announced that BellSouth had made the decision that Tier 2 support (the group with which I work) will be moved to the company’s Philippines facility. Our last day of business in Oak Ridge will be January 14, 2005. Once again, my job has been eliminated.

So it appears that my decision to leave work early today was well-timed. I went to the job fair with more enthusiasm than I might have exhibited otherwise, armed with the information that Greg had given us. I realized that I should be open to the possibility of employment with another company. Fortunately, the first part of my interview process went well. I will go back on Thursday of this week, my day off, to complete more of the process. I hope that this next step in the interview process will proceed as well as the first part and that I’ll be offered a job at this other company. (I’ll leave its name out for the moment until I learn whether I’ve gotten the job.)

Life is full of transitions. They can’t be avoided, nor should they be. In fact, it is probably better to accept them and enjoy them because they offer new opportunities to prove your worth to a new group of people. I’m looking forward to the next step in my life’s journey and to finding more stable employment in the near future. I’ll keep you posted.


4 thoughts on ““The times, they are a changin'”

  1. Anonymous

    Hi Perry,Well, here you go again. Your company sure has had you on a yo-yo string for some time now. Nothing like losing your job to an off-shore outsourcer. I can tell you, it is becoming very common, but I have had several recent experiences talking to call centers that clearly are based off-shore. When it is difficult to have a discussion or understand the party that you are looking to for assistance, I don’t believe it is an improvement and I can’t believe it will pay off economically in the long-term. From my personal experience, I have vowed never again to call the customer assistance line at a few of these companies and have closed my account at one, as result of their clear inability to communicate with me. I will correspond via email, if available, or by letter. I didn’t intend to “vent” on your news, but it is exasparating to me. I do want to wish you all the best in your job search and the job fair process you are currently engaged in. You are so right in viewing this as a positive experience and an opportunity to begin anew with another company smart enough to bring you aboard. The company that hires you should feel so lucky to get a person of your caliber.Best Wishes….Darrell

  2. Perry

    Thanks for your words of encouragement, Darrell. And there’s no need to apologize for venting about your feelings about the outsourcing issue. I’ve spoken with a lot of customers who, when I answered the phone as the call was escalated to me after the previous agent had tried to resolve the customer’s issue, expressed relief to be talking to someone who was in the United States and spoke a more familiar version of English. Some even took delight in my southen accent, if you can imagine that! It has been a challenge to develop a response to such statements that doesn’t berate my colleagues in the Philipines but still acknowledges the customer’s frustration. My usual response is something like “I know it is sometimes difficult to communicate with someone with an accent and I’m sorry you had the problem, but I’ll be glad to do what I can to help you.” If they press me about “outsourcing,” I ususally point out that all of us want to get things as cheaply as we can, and outsourcing is the response companies make to that objective. The truth is that there’s probably a $4.00 per hour difference in what BellSouth can get by with paying someone in the Philipines and what they must pay someone like me. And when you multiply that difference by hundreds of employees, that is the place where a company can squeeze their costs so that they can lower their prices and still maintain a profit for their investors.It is time for me to move on from ClientLogic. I’ve held on for these four years in the hope that the trend I have seen for a long time was an abberation and that in fact the hope and promise I saw when I joined the company was the “real” story. But as an indication of the fact that the trend is more the real story, the company I am interviewing with starts people out at a salary that is about $0.15 less per hour than the salary I have a attained after four years of service with ClientLogic. Enough said. Moving on _is_ the thing to do.I appreciate your support and continued encouragement.

  3. Anonymous

    Hi Perry, I’m sorry to hear of your lay-off.I wish you luck in your search. I hope to have good news for you soon from our mutual friend.Diane


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