Good-byes can be hard…
Today was one of those tough days when I had to say good-bye to my team of 5 years. Our jobs have been sent to India as so many in IT have of late. This little group has spent the last 5 years forging itself into a family of sorts – we’ve had highs and lows, laughed together, cried together, eaten, drank copious amounts of tea and coffee – and have grown to care about each other. We’ve shared our struggles and our dreams. We’ve debated and had our little tiffs. But today, it is all over as most of us sign off for the last time.
One thing I have learned through this whole process of our work being systematically off-shored, is that it affects the wider community. While I am quite aware that we can survive on less than we often do, it still has an impact. People worry about their mortgages and providing for their kids. Less money goes into the local economy and that can ultimately lead to less work for others as well – maybe we can’t afford the cleaner or garden service anymore, or wait longer to get a haircut – and the ripple effect ends up affecting these people too.
And while sending our jobs to another country may be legal, I’m not convinced it is ethical. The people making these decisions earn millions a year and are unaffected and probably unaware of the upheaval being caused by their decisions. The whole process has been murky and frustrating even though we were promised transparency. There is an air of frustration and uncertainty like a cloud over the office.
I still have an assignment for another 2 months and then will join my work mates on the unemployment line. A few of them may find work in the new year, but I fear the majority will have to leave our beautiful state to do so. Our own company is also moving to an off-shore model so I think many more colleagues will be joining us in our search for meaningful employment.
I am not sure what my work future holds for me – it may be time to do something completely different now. Being in IT for over 35 years, it’s what I know but one does not achieve great things from the comfort zone! For now, it’s a sad day and I am taking a little time to grieve the loss.