Yes sah. We got canned here at AOL, as predicted. Our Tucson site will be closing in December 16th and along with it our jobs. We get one month severance package (yay). I only wish they would start the severance early so I could chill while finding another job.
In any case here is how the day went. On Wednesday, October 18th I went into work and I saw the Channel 13 news van. I figured, either someone got shot, or we’re getting laid off. It was that simple. And I was correct on the second account. I walked in and immediately was greeted by the Workforce management person. They had us go into a room where we listened to a Human Resources person give a spiel about why our site was getting shutdown, and what our benefits were. Well we know this was going to happen (refer to this article).
It was funny, because I was already going to jump the second I got another job offer, so this did not have the “scary” effect they supposed it would have on me. I do however, feel sorry for those who were counting on this job as it will no doubt affect them unless they can get employment quickly.
In any case, I left with a bottled water and a threat not to talk to the media or we risk losing our severance package. (Good luck figuring out who I am). Obviously that went over well. I don’t know why they didn’t want us talking to the media, maybe the media would paint them in a bad light because they are keeping India call centers open. But people should’ve known that was going to happen the second the India callcenter’s opened.
They don’t “augment” workforces with India, they replace them. And it’s so common now no one will make a big fuss when it happens. Any remaining employees working for Dell or any other big company that outsources, your jobs are in jeopardy whether your company admits it or not. I suggest education and training, and looking for a more reliable position. I will not give away my plans as I feel it may be used to identify me, but needless to say I will not be in bad shape.
For those who got canned, we salute you!
At one time there was a great deal of speculation concerning AOL layoff rumors. That speculation is no more. It is now clear that all of the Tucson sites will be laid off in the near future (i.e. less than 6 months from now).
It’s an inevitable state of affairs if you look at AOL’s changing business model. They are changing revenue to be advertisement based and not subscription based. To accelerate that, they are giving free service to those who have high speed and do not want tech support. Clearly they are stepping away from a software platform, and embracing one that is web based. Hence no need for techs (us).
To make the possibility even more clear, they admitted to needing to layoff 5,000 people (duh), 3,000 of which will come from Europe. The other 2,000 will likely be us here in Tucson, and whatever callcenters remain (I think Abequerque). It is our belief that India will stay on to be the last techs. Why cut the cheap ones first? (thinking like an idiot bean counter).
So anyway we post here to put any speculation to rest, and plan for the future. Yes we were those guys that walked you through deleting files and reinstalling CD’s. Yes we wrote disgusting articles shortly after talking with you. We were those guys.
We hold little ill-will towards our employer. Much like you would not hold ill-will toward a retarded kid that hits you with a baseball he was playing with. You can’t get mad at him, because he’s retarded. The same holds for our company. I could go into a lengthy diatrabe about corporate stupidity. Let me just say, I have never understood the figure of speech “right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing”, more clearly than I have in the years I’ve been working at this company. For those about to be canned, we salute you!
And the jerk goes on…
Now it is my turn to ask the hard hitting questions. I’m not sure what will come of it but I know that your view of Portzer #1’s character will never be the same.
Portzer #2: What type of egg laying animal would you want to be and why?
Portzer #1: Roseanne Barr!! I would lay eggs everywhere and watch my little Roseannette spawns flood the world with bad 80’s humor.
(this made me squirm in my seat…)
Portzer #2: If I gave you two shrimp chips, fishing line, and swimming diapers what MacGyver like device would you be able to make?
Portzer #1: A restaurant sign editor in which I would be able to switch around letters on a restaurant name/logo. To give you a better example and a visual, I would edit the burger-god, “Fuddruckers” and switch the F and the R around. Can’t you see the potential of this device?!!
Portzer #2: I can see how that would be very useful. Now if you could prevent one type of member from calling who would they be?
Portzer #1: There is no such thing as a type of member, its more like a breed instead. Certain breeds can be tagged by their knowledge of computers and the internet, and even by the number of chromosomes and brain cells they have; some are even inbred. Some are taught how to “mersh” or “mash” the controls, and also discover that their Windows Operating System loads up slowly only “because they have dialup”. I want to laugh in their face. Among my favorites (actually quite dreaded) are the crazed chimpanzee members who act like they’re on some sort of experimental amphetamine; they are so riled up that they can’t see or talk straight. They click on buttons and type things when you don’t ask them to, they always talk when you try to talk. Its just like a reversed psychology case; when you tell them to click on something or enter text, they don’t respond. The way I deal with this breed is I tell them “do not, I repeat, DO NOT hit that ok button” then they respond with, “ok” and then they hit it. Works everytime.
Portzer #2: Wow, that is an eye opener. Makes me wonder if a member kennel is nearby. So have you ever made an online hookup? Found a female Naga Baba Babe or anything?
Portzer #1: I once met up with this nice lady from love@aol, and she appeared to be very sweet and I wanted to meet her. Well, we went out to dinner, had a very large meal, and lots of wine to go with it. She took me back to her house, and wanted to get intimate. I was still intoxicated, and foggy in the mind. She began to take her clothes off, and even though it was dark, I could determine she had a male-looking bulge by the crotch area. All of a sudden, it was like I became sober; I pushed her away and ran out of there like a bat into hell. I blocked her on my buddy list and mail filters, and trashed my love@aol profile. I never seen her again.
Portzer #2: Sounds like a rocky e-lationship. Imagine if you will, you are the most powerful man on earth with superpowers and could have any job in the world you wanted, what would it be? Englighten us please.
Portzer #1: I would be a Gold farmer boss in China for the game, World of Warcraft. I will find ways to manipulate child daycare activities as well. Instead of playing with toys and games and singing and laughing, the children will play WoW instead to increase our financial gains. I will even stretch out this franchise to senior citizen convalescent homes; those folks still have some use in them.
Portzer #2: Simply marvelous use of resources. Now what would you rather drive a Ford Probe or a Moped?
Portzer #1: Umm, I think you asked me this question, due to the word, ‘probe’ in it. If you think I’m going to answer it like this, (in a silly voice) “ahah ah ha ha hah, I would get a probe so I can say, “I took my probe to work today instead of the bus!!!” Or, “I like driving my probe, its a smooth ride” Portzer #2, you stink!
Portzer #2: Touche good man. Touche. Well thank you for chatting with me. It was a disturbing experience.
As you can see, portzer #1 has a strange view of the world. Although his insight, at times, can be deep and profound. I now know what truly would happen if people were egg layers and it scares the hell out of me. Also I believe that portzer #1 has the mindset of a super-villian. He reminds me of a Lex Luthor or Mister Mxyzptlk, only with a trenchcoat and nothing underneath. A villian of the dirty flasher type.
Am I not turtley enough for the turtle club. Turtle, turtle, turtle!
Well it appears that Mr. Gates is going to step down from running day to day operations at Microsoft. I guess it will be really nice to chill at home and sip a 40. I mean come on, the dude is more powerful than Oprah. I guess he is going to retire so that he can protect the secret treasure that our forefathers had hidden for hundreds of years. Or he can hopefully go through a mid-life crisis, buy a Jag, get a Clay Aiken haircut, two monkeys that do Aikido and eat broccoli, and learn a new sense of fashion from Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen (that's right oversized rose colored glasses, big wooden beads and a shirt that will show off his non-existent chest). I say hopefully because he looks like the character Dana Carvey played to get into the Turtle club. What makes it even further amusing is if you imagine Gates running in slow motion with his lips out and his head hunched over while Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" plays in the background. 'Im a coWboy, on a steel horse IIII riiIIIIiide!!! IIIII'mMm WANTED DEAD OR ALIIIIIIIIVE!!!'
Well, I think we portzers (not portzer #1) will be ruling the world soon. Through ninjitsu, |_33+ [0d||\|G, and our savvy business sense. While I think portzer #1 will be left homeless having lost all of his money running a poop site with Mr. Greenstein. Although, by our search and tag hits, it looks like the poo is popular.
Well good luck and have fun Bill.
Ride on cowboy… ride on…
Here at IRQportz, we are sensitive to the recent transitions made at AOL. We wish nothing but the best of luck for those who were let go, and that they have strength during the uncertain road ahead.
That being said, we want to help our fellow techs by sharing our analysis of this process. There are warning signs that your call center may be closing soon. If you see them, it is best to make preparations early, and not be caught off guard. In no particular order:
# 10) A new call center opens in India. Company spokesmen are abuzz about the new "world class talent", that will "take the product to the next level."
# 9) The local news mentions a new Walmart will be built, its address is strangely similar to your call center.
# 8 ) At the weekly raffle, instead of giving away Game boy advance, the prize is a month's supply of Ramen.
# 7) You catch your supervisor surfing monster.com.
# 6) You catch your site manager surfing monster.com.
# 5) Some important exec says the company needs to "streamline its infrastructure."
# 4) Your site manager sends a mass email assuring you everything is ok.
# 3) When you go to your workstation, you find a rotory phone and a spiral notebook where your computer used to be.
# 2) The company fails to throw a big party on employee appreciation day, instead, the main event is a janitorial staff talent show.
# 1) The company issues a press release stating they do not respond to unofficial rumors.
Again, if you see any of these signs, it may be time to check into some alternatives for employment.
Here are some tips on what to do when you call tech support. This is more of a ran than anything so here it goes:
- When you reach me don't blame me for your problem or complain about another tech or how much time you had to wait. Guess what the guy before you did the same thing. He made you wait and so did the guy before hime ::watches snowball roll down hill::
- Don't call me when your computer is off or you are not at it. I do not want to wait for 10 minutes because you've got an 8 year old emachine. This also adds to people complaining about the hold time.
- Don't say something isn't there. I have done this for many years and know it is there. I especially know you are lying when you respond immediately.
- Don't say you don't know what I mean when I give you instructions. I'm speaking plain english. If I say look for the Windows I mean that the word Windows will be on the screen. Not something close to that.
- If you say you don't know where to find it and I took you to a screen you are an idiot. I give you a 5 x 7 inch screen to find one word with a maximum of 20 words on it yet you can find the Ho Ho's at the 1 acre Super Wal-Mart.
- Don't say you are not computer illiterate. If you say this meaning you do not know about computers you are far more illiterate than you think.
- Do not close an error message before we are done with it and say it disappeared. I know you closed it, I know you are a retard.
- Do not say you don't think that the reason I give you for the issue or having to call someone else is not the problem. I am the tech support person. You called me for help remember? You were the dingus that couldn't find the start button.
- You do not have a mow-dee-um. It is a mo-dumb.
- Your computer is not the screen you are looking at. It is the box like thing that has your cd-rom drive and your modem in it. Also note, the computer is not the modem.
- I'm more intelligent than 95% of you fools out there, I took an IQ test. So please don't try to act smart, I can tell the difference.
I'll add to this list as I take more calls…