As it turned out today, I wasn’t actually thrown under the bus, but I still felt like I had been. This last month has been a rough one at work, ever since layoffs were announced. I did not get laid off. This layoff was to be different from the other ones that I have survived. It targeted senior engineers, such as me. It was to play out as a real life dramatization of the Peter Principle, a management theory, in which a person’s promotion is based on that person’s past performance. Thus, workers only stop being promoted once they have risen to their level of incompetence. Normally, reaching one’s level of incompetence isn’t such a career endangering move in corporate America. Usually, the newly incompetent is allowed to serve out their career, while other more deserving individuals pass them by. That would be fine with a work force that followed a normal bell-curve demographic distribution, but decades of declining business and cutting from the bottom have skewed our profile. Instead of one of the few, I was one of the many. In a cost cutting move the company decided to cull the herd from the top, instead of by its usual method, from the bottom. The topic of age discrimination has been foremost in many of our minds. In the past the company has been successfully sued over this matter. I’ll be curious to see how this plays out. Mostly, though I feel abused by the whole process, like I really was thrown under a bus.
Nothing worse than knowing the shoe will drop than not knowing when or who the next target is…
I’m glad that it didn’t drop on me, but waiting for it was awful.
But they need to make room for those engineers from Seattle that they decide are worth moving to other cities. Anywhere but Seattle (unless you are a machinist and know how to play ball).