Saturday, December 20, 2008

Being a Sitting Duck is Hard Work

Yep, that's me, A sitting duck. This was an extremely long week, as I watched some of my colleagues getting picked off one by one. It was long and scary. I was like a sitting duck, just waiting to be plucked. Pooping my pants, every time the HR lady emerged with a red folder in her hand. My back up plans were in motion but not in place. I was shook!! It was crazy watching peoples reactions as they got the news. Some people laughed, some people just sat there and stared, thinking about what they were going to tell their wives.

Some of the layoff's were deserving and long overdue and one or two were a surprise. Honestly you can still cut more due to non performance and the company wouldn’t blink an eye.

Middle management means you have no idea where you stand in the company. It's one of the worse, most difficult positions to be in; hence my drive to get out

If they would have pulled my card this week, I would have definitely been in some trouble. There is no "Golden Parachute" at my job, you get two weeks and then it's a wrap! No medical insurance and a direct ticket to the unemployment line; which in Detroit looks like an American Idol Audition.

With General Motors closing their plants for the first 6 weeks of 2009, there undoubtbly will be more cuts coming.


All I can do is turn it up even more at work. Work harder & smarter, more aggressive and more hours. Believe it or not, I'm not ready to leave Michigan. I will if I have to, but I'm not ready to leave…….just yet (more to come on that on a later post).

So I will be a sitting duck again in a few months and then probably again at the end of the 2nd quarter. During this time my goal will be to advance far enough in my company to get me out of middle management. I'm close but not close enough. Once out of middle management I will have the versatility to move anywhere in upper management in the country supporting a wide variety of industries. A move right now would put me from the top of middle management to the bottom or middle of the middle management ladder at another company. A step backwards. If (Or should I say "When") I make it to upper management, that ladder is short. It's more like a step stool. A Director is a Director, there aren't really any midlevel directors. I need to take this goal and tape it to the inside of the visor of my car. I need to flip it down and read this so I’m focused on the task at hand when I walk into that building every day.

For those people who are the sole providers for their families with kids,
Don’t go there jerking around, emailing jokes, drinking coffee and bullshzitting.

Your wife and kids think you are working hard. This is like cheating on them. When you get laid off you are surprised and you are telling your wife how unfair it is. Boo-hoo.

DO WORK – Times have changed – DO WORK

2. I need to really start saving my money. I"m entering a phase where stability is going to be key. Marriage, kids, etc. If I can't escape being a sitting duck, then I need to be able to stare the barrel of the gun down knowing that me and my family will be "better" then alright.

3. Still concentrate on my entrepreneurial endeavors, but using generated money as capital investment money instead of dumping my pay check into the 100 ideas per week I work on. This will be key. I think I have enough momentum in my small hustles to keep the fire burning to a flame in almost all of them.

NEWS FLASH! WASH AND ROLL has been requested to quote a job bigger then life! If our quote is selected, my biggest money loser will be the biggest money earner. Please keep your fingers crossed, say a prayer, light a candle, what ever you can do for your boy. I need all the help I can get with this one.

I’d like to end with this: I want to keep this post serious because this was a serious week. Job loss is like the black plaque to this blog. If you are here and still reading, you are A.B.B. (Against Being Broke).

If you have is a very interesting email sent out by our new company Prez, who I must say handles and continues to handle his business in this current automotive crisis....and it is a crisis. Here is the email sent by him that is really worth the read. As a responsible blogger with a voice (over 20,000 hits on this bee-ach), it's my duty to pass this on.

Holla at your boy...and I still got my job haters!!!!!

It is likely that you, like me, are tired of hearing our government call for an end to the industry that puts food on our family’s tables. I am also sure that most of your friends or families outside the Detroit Metro area do not get a well rounded perspective of the true story of the Big 3 or the auto industry in general. If you would like to help others obtain a slightly different, somewhat biased, view of the situation than is currently portrayed by the media and the US government, I thought this was an interesting article that you could forward out to your network. I hope you find it good reading.


Incredible editorial from one of our Dealers
in the Pittsburgh Region....Attached is a well written
"Letter to the Editor" from Elkins Fordland.

Editor: As I watch the coverage of the fate of
the U.S. auto industry, one alarming and frustrating fact
hits me right between the eyes. The fate of our nation's
economic survival is in the hands of some congressmen who
are completely out of touch and act without knowledge of an
industry that affects almost every person in our nation. The
same lack of knowledge is shared with many journalists whom
are irresponsible when influencing the opinion of millions
of viewers. Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama has doomed the
industry, calling it a dinosaur. No Mr. Shelby, you are the
dinosaur, with ideas stuck in the '70 s, '80s and
'90s. You and the uninformed journalist and senators
that hold onto myths that are not relevant in today's
world. When you say that the Big Three build vehicles
nobody wants to buy, you must have overlooked that GM
outsold Toyota by about 1.2 million vehicles in the U.S. and
Ford outsold Honda by 850,000 and Nissan by 1.2 million in
the U.S. GM was the world's No. 1 automaker beating
Toyota by 3,000 units. When you claim inferior quality comes
from the Big Three, did you realize that Chevy makes the
Malibu and Ford makes the Fusion that were both rated over
the Camry and Accord by J.D. Power independent survey on
initial quality? Did you bother to read the Consumer Report
that rated Ford on par with good Japanese automakers? Did
you realize Big Three's gas guzzlers include the 33 mpg
Malibu that beats the Accord. And for '09 Ford
introduces the Hybrid Fusion whose 39 mpg is the best
midsize, beating the Camry Hybrid. Ford's Focus beats
the Corolla and Chevy's Cobalt beats the Civic.

When you ask how many times are we going to
bail them out you must be referring to 1980. The only Big
Three bailout was Chrysler, who paid back $1 billion, plus
interest. GM and Ford have never received government aid.
When you criticize the Big Three for building so many
pickups, surely you've noticed the attempts Toyota and
Nissan have made spending billions to try to get a piece of
that pie. Perhaps it bothers you that for 31 straight years
Ford's F-Series has been the best selling vehicle. Ford
and GM have dominated this market and when you see the new
'09 F-150 you'll agree this won't change soon.
Did you realize that both GM and Ford offer more hybrid
models th an Nissan or Honda. Between 2005 and 2007, Ford
alone has invested more than $22 billion in resea rch and
development of technologies such as Eco Boost, flex fuel,
clean diesel, hybrids, plug in hybrids and hydrogen cars.

It's 2008 and the quality of the vehicles coming out of
Detroit are once again the best in the world. Perhaps Sen.
Shelby isn't really that blind. Maybe he realizes the
quality shift to American. Maybe it's the fact that his
state of Alabama has given so much to land factories from
Honda, Hyundai and Mercedes Benz that he is more concerned
about their continued growth than he is about the people of
our country. Sen. Shelby's disdain for "government
subsidies" is very hypocritical.

In the early '90s he was the driving force
behind a $253 million incentive package to Mercedes. Plus,
Alabama agreed to purchase 2,500 vehicles from Mercedes.
While the bridge loan the Big Three is requesting will be
paid back, Alabama 's $180,000 plus per job was pure
incentive. Sen. Shelby, not only are you out of touch, you
are a self-serving hypocrite, who is prepared to ruin our
nation because of lack of knowledge and lack of due
diligence in making your opinions and decisions. After
9/11, the Detroit Three and Harley Davidson gave $40
million-plus emergency vehicles to the recovery efforts.
What was given to the 9/11 relief effort by the Asian and
European Auto Manufactures? $0 Nada. Zip!

We live in a world of free trade, world
economy and we have not been able to produce products as
cost efficiently. While the governments of other auto
producing nations subsidize their automakers, our government
may be ready to force its demise. While our automakers have
paid union wages, benefits and legacy debt, our Asian
competitors employ cheap labor. We are at an extreme
disadvantage in production cost. Although many UAW
concessions begin in 2010, many lawmakers think it's not
enough. Some point the blame to corporate management. I
would like to speak of Ford Motor Co. The company has
streamlined by reducing our workforce by 51,000 since 2005,
closing 17 plants and cutting expenses. Product and future
produ ct is excellent and the company is focused on one Ford.
This is a company poised for success. Ford product quality
and corporate management have improved light years since the
nightmare of Jacques Nasser. Thank you Alan Mulally and the
best auto company management team in the business.

The financial collapse caused by the secondary
mortgage fiasco and the greed of Wall Street has led to a
$700 billion bailout of the industry that created the
problem. AIG spent nearly $1 million on three company
excursions to lavish resorts and hunting destinations.
Paulson is saying no to $250 billion foreclosure relief and
the whole thing is a mess. So when the Big Three ask for 4
percent of that of the $700 billion, $25 billion to save the
country's largest industry, there is obviously
oppositions. But does it make sense to reward the culprits
of the problem with $700 billion unconditiona lly, and
ignore the victims? As a Ford dealer, I feel our portion of
the $25 billion will never be touched and is not necessary.
Ford currently has $29 billion of liquidity. However, the
effect of a bankruptcy by GM will hurt the suppliers we all
do business with. A Chapter 11 bankruptcy by any
manufacture would cost retirees their health care and
retirements. Chances are GM would recover from Chapter 11
with a better business plan with much less expense. So who
foots the bill if GM or all three go Chapter 11? All that
extra health care, unemployment, loss of tax base and some
forgiven debt goes back to the taxpayer, us. With no chance
of repayment, this would be much worse than a loan with the
intent of repayment. So while it is debatable whether a
loan or Chapter 11 is better for the Big Three, a $25
billion loan is definitely better for the taxpayers and the
economy of our country.

So I'll end where I began on the quality
of the products of Detroit . Before you, Mr. or Ms.
Journalist continue to misinform the American public and
turn them against one of the great industries that helped
build this nation, I must ask you one question. Before you,
Mr. or Madam Congressman vote to end health care and
retirement benefits for 1 million retirees, eliminate 2.5
million of our nation's jobs, lose the technology that
will lead us in the future and create an economic disaster
including hundreds of billions of tax dollars lost, I ask
this question not in the rhetorical sense. I ask it in the
sincere, literal way. Can you tell me, have you driven a
Ford lately?

Jim Jackson Elkins
Nothing needs to be said...

Ford, Chrysler and GM's contributions
after 9/11. An interesting commentary:

CNN Headline News did a short news listing
regarding Ford and GM's contributions to the relief and
recovery efforts in New York and Washington.

The findings are as follows.....
1. Ford- $10 million to American Red Cross
matching employee contributions of the same number plus 10
Excursions to NY Fire Dept.
The company also offered ER response ! team services and

office space to displaced government employees.

2. GM- $10 million to American Red Cross
matching employee contributions of the same number and a
fleet of vans, suv's, and trucks.

3. Daimler Chrysler- $10 million to support of
the children and victims of the Sept. 11 attack.

4. Harley Davidson motorcycles- $1 million and
30 new motorcycles to the New York Police Dept.

5. Volkswagen-Employee s and management
created a Sept 11 Foundation, funded initial with $2
million, for the assistance of the children and victims of
the WTC.

6. Hyundai- $300,000 to the American Red

7. Audi-Nothing.

8. BMW-Nothing.

9. Daewoo- Nothing.

10. Fiat-Nothing.

11. Honda- Nothing despite boasting of second
best sales month ever in August 2001.

12. Isuzu- Nothing.

13. Mitsubishi-Nothing.

14. Nissan-Nothing.

15. Porsche-Nothing. Press release with
condolences via the Porsche website.

16. Subaru- Nothing.

17. Suzuki- Nothing.

18. Toyota-Nothing despite claims of high
sales in July and August 2001. Condolences posted on the

Whenever the time may be for you to purchase
or lease a new vehicle, keep this information in mind. You
might want to give more consideration to a car
manufactured by an American-owned and / or American based

Apart from Hyundai and Volkswagen, the foreign
car companies contributed nothing at all to the citizens of
the United States ...

It's OK for these companies to take money
out of this country, but it is apparently not acceptable to
return some in a time of crisis. I believe we should not
forget things like this. Say thank you in a way that gets
their attention..

1 comment:

Deuce Carter said...

Amidst my usual reading of your blog I somehow failed to remember that you live in the Detroit area.

Knowing that, along with this post itself, gives that situation a new found place in line of the news that holds my attention.

And oh yeah...

"Keep Going" homie.