Thursday, July 17, 2014

Being a unicorn

Working in the secretive design department is sort of like being a unicorn: rarely seen or heard from, but lots of talk abound about what we do and how we come up with the magic that is seen later.

I have to say, it's funny being a unicorn. "You must work in the design department because I don't think I've seen you around." You're right I do. We're magical.

I believe the term I've heard repeatedly is, "soooo secret squirrel."


I do love working here, even if lately it's been harder for me to keep focus because of my feelings. I get bored more easily, am not as motivated. I have less patience for people. 

But I do still love the perks and the people I work with (generally speaking), and where I live. I've come to love Don in a way I never expected. I can see what people mean when they say that it takes a long time to get into London, but once you do, it never takes its claws out of you.

The reason I am bringing this up is once again our company is faced with layoffs. There are rumors abound that 10% of the total workforce will be cut. We're at 127,000 employees at the moment. That means 12,000 are going to go in the announcements next week.

I'd like to believe the rumors that it will mostly be where there are overlaps (we now have marketing teams from our old company and new, for example), dead program teams (e.g. their products were cut but they're still around and aren't being used for something new), parts of the system that are no longer used (we brought over many small outposts of employees, because we were so completely global).

But the fact remains that once again it is a toss up. Even knowing what the company strategy vaguely is, it doesn't always (in fact usually doesn't), correspond to reality in who gets cut and who stays.

On the one hand I'm glad they're moving so quickly and decisively, it seems we finally have someone at the helm who is willing to make the changes we need to become competitive.

On the other hand I'm sad for those who will lose their jobs, no longer be with us. We've been bleeding employees here in the meantime because people feel uncertain about the future.

Either way I know I'll be fine because I have my accepted position at UCL. Should things go sour (and I really hope they don't), I'll merely switch to full-time study and finish in half the time. I know I'm safe and secure.

Having emotions this time around though, has made the layoffs harder. I now fear much more than I did before. But I guess this is just part of life, people keep telling me it's natural.

So I guess in conclusion I'll just say this: I'd like to remain a unicorn, with all its goods and bads. This world needs to retain a bit of magic.

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