Thursday, April 05, 2007

I Had Two Submarines, and Both Were Blown Up.

On the show “Lost,” it was recently revealed that The Others had a submarine which they could use to travel back and forth between their island(s) and the “real world.” As Ben, their leader, pointed out to Locke, The Others didn’t necessarily want to leave the island, but the submarine was a constant reminder that if they wanted to leave, it was at least possible, and that knowledge gave them piece of mind. Of course, two episodes ago, Locke blew up the sub because he doesn’t want anyone to ever have the ability to remove him from the island (selfish prick!).

And thus we reach my current situation. I’ve worked in the same group at work for 4.5 years now. I like my group. I’ve learned a lot here. But there are a few externalities going on which make the present situation a little different: 1. I recently finished my MBA, so clearly I’d like to move to a position where I’ll be using my newly-learned knowledge, rather than continuing to develop software. 2. Almost every one of the people I started working with has been systematically removed from the team over the course of time; one retired last Tuesday and the other just headed out to a different building for an internal position. So at this point it’s essentially me and my lead left (and he's not going anywhere). 3. We are constantly reminded in my group that layoffs are impending. We have seen staffing charts that look like a roller coaster going down over the next couple years, so to a certain extent I feel like I’m on a sinking ship.

Thus, much like Juliet on “Lost,” I find myself longing to hitch a ride on the submarine, only I had two subs. One sub is the “look elsewhere” sub. However, since my company graciously paid for my degree (for which I am thankful), they also require me to work with them for at least a year post-completion. This is to say if I went to another company I could potentially owe my current company tens of thousands of dollars. BOOM!

Sub two is the “internal transfer” sub. I recently found a multitude of positions that would have been great for my skills and the newly acquired MBA. I started getting phone calls about interviews. But suddenly,


I’m being kept in my current group (i.e. they are not allowing me to leave) because the people that have recently left have left a unique situation where my team really needs me or we won’t meet deadlines. So despite the fact that others watch out for the layoff axe, I have the anti-layoff super-glue in its place. The thing is, I’m fine with the rationale of the whole thing and frankly, I’d implement the same situation if I were my boss.

But it would still nice to have a submarine in the dock.