Wow. Today started with a hastily scheduled meeting for everybody who works in Business Intelligence, Finance, Marketing and IT. This meeting was to discuss the future aims of the company and how they could improve their standing in the 4th quarter after a poor 3rd quarter. It began with an in depth overview of the new action plan which can be summarised into 2 point – increase gross margin, reduce costs. It soon dawned on us why we were in this meeting – we were the costs that were going to be cut. We were told to go back to our departments and work for the rest of the day as if nothing had happened, and that we would be called for later in the day for individual meetings where we would find out if we still had a job or not.
Naturally this was met with utter bewilderment and the day dragged by very slowly with very few of the primary functions of the company running smoothly. I for one felt I was a prime candidate for the chop – I was merely an intern, had only recently started and didn’t have a great deal of responsibility. The time came when our department were to be called in for our make or break meetings. Silence fell across the room.
First up was Bastian, the man who I had been shadowing and supporting since my very first day and who provided integral analysis to the entire company. Ten minutes past before he returned. With tears in his eyes he picked up his jacket and left. He’d been fired. This partially calmed me, as I thought I may be in line to inherit his job and that I might be safe.
Next up was Luc a new recruit from Holland whose birthday it was today. He has integrated into the company very quickly and had lots of important tasks regarding the highest people in the company. This did not save him. Another relatively new recruit, Jonathon, was also fired, but he seemed the least bothered of any of them, claiming he already has other jobs in the pipeline. At this point it was 3 out of 3 that had been fired. It didn’t look good.
Our boss, who was also sitting in on the meetings, came into the office to call the next ‘victim’ forward. However, the bad news stopped here, and the remaining 4 people in the department would still have a job come tomorrow. In the space of an hour our department was practically halved in size and for those remaining, the responsibilities doubled.
Huge cutbacks were happening in all departments to the point where the entire Marketing department no longer exists. From a firm of around 800 this morning we are now down to somewhere in the region of 500-600.
The boss called it a day and we all finished early. To say I was relieved would be an understatement and I now look forward to playing an integral role with many responsibilities in what is a very exciting start up company.