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Working Yourself Out of a Job

  1. Jun 11, 2010 #1
    How many of you have had a job and done so well in that position that the your employer or client decided that they no longer needed you?


    My supervisor at my job recently told me that one of our contracts is ending soon and that the client has decided to look into other companies to potentially replace us.

    When we started this contract the place was covered in graffiti, gang bangers and drug dealers hungout around the place, vandals were setting fires for fun, and cars and apartments were broken into regularly. Now the client's biggest concern is parking violations and they are wondering why they pay us so much money when we do so little around the place.

    While my bosses put on optimistic faces and tell me that as long as we work hard we will keep our contract I am fairly certain that they simply want to be paying less and will most likely wind up contracting another company that doesn't charge as much. Unfortunately if that happens I will only be working three days a week. :-/
     
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  3. Jun 11, 2010 #2

    Chi Meson

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    Don't you read Dilbert? You're only supposed to talk about how hard you work.

    What's your job, exactly?
     
  4. Jun 11, 2010 #3
    I dread the day when I become a physician and invent the magical cure for all diseases.
     
  5. Jun 11, 2010 #4

    Chi Meson

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    I remember a show that told me how to do that.
    "First, become a doctor and then discover a marvelous cure for something..."
     
  6. Jun 11, 2010 #5

    Borg

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    Sorry to hear that SA. I had something similar in September. Our contract had funding issues and I was one of five people that was let go. When I asked why I was chosen over some others, I was told that the software that I turned in was complete and didn't have any issues. They were keeping the other developers because their work wasn't completed and had a lot of issues that needed to be addressed. They finally fixed their funding issues and I'm back on the project but, it really made me wonder what management was thinking.
     
  7. Jun 11, 2010 #6
    I work security.

    Thanks Borg. I'm glad your situation turned out well.
     
  8. Jun 11, 2010 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    Sorry to hear about that, SA. It is a tough economy!

    As an independent contractor, I can certainly relate. When my best customers all get slow it can get pretty scary at times. Luckily, one got busy when the economy really started to tank. Three or four previously good customers [almost 12 years with each] are likely gone forever.
     
  9. Jun 11, 2010 #8

    Kerrie

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    Sorry to hear this SA. I was laid off in January, and can sort of relate to your situation. When I took over the receivables for my previous job, there were so many companies that owed them money, and I recovered or settled a lot of the old accounts. I developed some efficient processes in some of the systems that were out of date, and I kept a tight rein on certain outgoing expenses. Sometimes I wonder if because I was a big help in getting a grip on some things that were previously out of control, made me less valuable later on.
     
  10. Jun 11, 2010 #9
    It's analogous to being a cornerback in Football. The really good players have to do the least because the quarterback just stops throwing the ball in their direction. But at least the people who pay them know that, so they get paid millions to do nothing.
     
  11. Jun 11, 2010 #10

    DavidSnider

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    When I first started programming I had a similar question and a guy told me: "If you automate 60% of people's job they will love you. If you automate 90% of it they will hate you."

    The same goes for your own job.
     
  12. Jun 11, 2010 #11

    Moonbear

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    On the plus side, when you work security, if they hire someone who just gives parking tickets, soon they'll need you again. :wink:

    As for Borg's situation, the problem is that management types too often just don't think. Otherwise, yeah, keeping the person whose software actually works would make a lot more sense than keeping the ones who write buggy software. Next time leave some bugs to convince the pointy-haired boss you need to remain employed to fix them. :rolleyes:
     
  13. Jun 12, 2010 #12

    Borek

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    Sorry to hear that TSA, hopefully these three days left will be enough to let you keep your apt?
     
  14. Jun 12, 2010 #13

    Borg

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    How did you know that he had pointy hair? :rofl: Seriously, I think that I could write a book on the mismanagement that I've seen. Maybe someday after I retire. :devil:

    @SA - Good luck with your situation again. I hope that it works out for you.
     
  15. Jun 12, 2010 #14
    Well thank you everyone. I was more hoping to see if others had their own stories than anything. I just thought it was a funny thing to happen if not very fun.

    I should. Those three days are all 12 hour shifts so they account for the bulk of my check anyway.
     
  16. Jun 12, 2010 #15

    turbo

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    I worked myself out of a job. I took a struggling sales department with declining customer-base, turned it around, and made it the industry leader world-wide. I made the owner millions of dollars in net profits, and he got greedy and tried to slash my incentive pay. When I protested, he fired me and lots of legal nastiness ensued. I got my pay, though lawyers took their slice, and now the job that I did is being done by 3 full-time people, not 1. During legal depositions hearings and the trial, he constantly harped on my "shortcomings" but never managed to explain why it took 3 people to replace me.
     
  17. Jun 12, 2010 #16

    Kerrie

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    In my opinion, certain types of bosses/owners/etc have a hard time admitting they made a mistake because of the image they feel they must uphold to those who look up to them. You may never hear it directly from your old boss that he made the mistake of letting you go and now having to pay 3 employees instead of one, but here is a case where the action is much louder than the words.
     
  18. Jun 12, 2010 #17

    turbo

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    He made a mistake when he demanded that I switch to a failing department, take it over, and handed me a generous incentive package. I flipped that division in no time, and that's when he he started hating handing out the bonuses. He might be paying less to the 3 people doing the job through restructuring of the incentive pay, but he screwed up big time. It will fall apart, and he will be clueless about why. He is an idiot that started out with a huge head-start and will fade.
     
  19. Jun 12, 2010 #18
    I think there's a point where you should stop working in other companies and have one of your own.
     
  20. Jun 12, 2010 #19
    I think that Turbo would make a generous and even handed employer. Too bad I think he would rather retire in peace at this point.
     
  21. Jun 12, 2010 #20
    I wonder if generosity exists in the work world.
     
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