Monday, June 03, 2013

A Resource Action

You've been surplussed.
That was the word used.

This is a resource action.
That was the phrase used.

Leave. Or find another position.
That was the message.

You have 30 days,
The clock is ticking.

They read the script.
Over the phone.

Out of sight.
Out of mind.

You were checking in the code,
Rushing to meet the deadline.
Heads down, juggling things.
Bugs, emails, instant messages, ideas.
Plans: car, house, family, books.

Then: there was a resource action.

"12 years of my life"

It's over.
Simple as that.

You're not mad;
You're merely sad.

You thought you were a resource,
But then there was an action.

The Corporation.

The language.

"Rebalancing... efficiencies...
Your responsibility..."

The workings of capital
The theory of surplus value

This is a dark matter.


Note the time. Start writing.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007, 12:14:05 PM

You hang up the phone
A fleeting thought:
"No wonder they never sent the new monitor".
And the fuss about that expense report

You fire up the browser
"Let's get some more news about this thing... this... this... 'resource action'".
The blog loads and renders.
7,000 words stare at you.
Written the previous day.

Unsolicited: your contribution.
Unrequited: your capital.

Extracted: your labour.
Redundant: your value.

Ironies are many

No matter.
You check in the code.
Respond to the instant message.
Answer the emails.
You are a resource.

You finish.
Break for lunch.

Things fall apart

This is a dark matter.


You call The Wife.
You need a comfort suite,
And some soul insurance.

This is a dark matter.



The first plank of the web style:
Identify all important resources.

First pass at a resume:
Enumerate skills and experience

Second pass:
Strive for brevity

Visualizing Koranteng

You can have me in 30 days.
The clock is ticking.

This is a dark matter.


You get back to work.

Email arrives. Inbox:
"The Company's Africa work sounds so cool!"

So. Africa. The Company. Work. Sounds. This! Cool?

You have 30 days,
The clock is ticking.

You're still a resource



You were a resource
But they've taken an action
A judgement of value: surplus.

No matter.

It's your turn now.
You'll publish another resource.
Add value to the global surplus.
Your hyperlinked testimony,
Your resource action.

This is a dark matter.


Music. Pet Shop Boys:
"There's lots of opportunities.
If there aren't, you can make them"


Music. Vesta Williams:
"Once bitten, twice shy"


Music. Gil Scott-Heron.
"She could hardly understand
that she was really sweeping up
pieces of a man."

This is a dark matter.


An awful conversation
An untimely disruption
A broken connection

A fractured dislocation
An involuntary termination
An extraordinary rendition

A resource manipulation
An ironic meditation
A redundant representation

A corporate decision
Announced with euphemism:
Call it a resource action

Best to rethink things.
After all: "You have 30 days".
The clock is ticking.

This is a dark matter.


Before: they paid you to stay.
Now: they'll pay you to leave?

Ironies are many

Strictly business,
Don't take it personal.
You're not alone.

A full frontal stare,
You dare not flinch.
You're all alone.

A temporary inconvenience
and a matter of soul.
Put your game face on:
"Be humble but be bold"

Timing is everything.
Must be more to the story.

No condition is permanent.
Observers are worried.

This is a dark matter.


It's time to save things
Let's see, the folder: web
The filename: resource-action.txt

That's enough.
Don't be precious,
You'll add the links later.

Note the time. Stop. It's all wasted time.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007, 1:45 PM

You get back to work.

Good father - Confidence - Big Blue truck in Africa

[ this space intentionally left blank ]

This is a resource action
This is the school of hard knocks

This is a dark matter.

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1 comment:

Koranteng said...

A postscript of sorts...

There should be a statute of limitations on the setbacks that one encounters in life and I thought that a six year delay in publishing this note surely sufficed.

Friends and family who heard about my 2007 "resource action": were always surprised to hear that my first reaction was to write a poem and focus on documenting the process and the language used; poetry or reportage are not your traditional stages of grief but, as a son of a journalist, I seem to be wired that way. In any case, my friends and family helped me land in a better place.

The timing also worked out because the blow, and, more importantly, the subsequent recovery, came before The Great Depression descended on us. I have my own barometers about this last ongoing disaster and note merely that I still have many friends and family members dealing with their own resource actions from that period. Still, in 2013 I am hopeful about a 'small recovery'.

My pat answer to those who ask me about "what went down at IBM" remains the same: "I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. There was a resource action". I still don't know what the phrase really means but what you've read here was my best guess at a definition. Ionesco would have loved such phrases intended to obscure.