Rick's Ramblings

You have found Rick's Ramblings, a Web Log.

I have been writing in this space for a few years now. Visit the archives to get a feel for my style.

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Email: rickumali@gmail.com

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Friday, September 07, 2001

The U.S. Department of Labor issued a report that the unemployment rate hit 4.9%. According to the Associated Press, "The increase in the monthly jobless rate was the biggest in six years."

And on that mailing list populated by ex-employees of my last job, someone announced that his job was just eliminated.



I received an e-mail from a mailing list populated by ex-employees of my last job. IBM is hiring technical sales engineers. After I muttered "Where were you four months ago?", I then read a headline on Yahoo! stating Jobs Picture Weak, but Worst May Be Over.


Wednesday, September 05, 2001
A few days ago, Jenn captured a fun photo of Mia and I. Even though it's out of focus, Mia's happy face is very clear, and it's one of my favorite photos of me and my daughter.

Tuesday, September 04, 2001
Today, Hewlett-Packard announced it was buying Compaq. Up to 15000 overlapping jobs will be eliminated. I suppose we're all used to these kind of numbers by now.

How will these 15000 jobs be eliminated? Who will these people be? I'm sure managers and employees at HP and Compaq are fretting over these very questions. In the Boston area, there is a sizeable Compaq community, because a few years ago, Compaq bought Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC).

When we had to layoff people at my last job, I was a manager involved with the actual tasks of deciding who should be let go. I didn't have to face these huge numbers. I only had to "let go" two people. However, that fateful day last October was one of the most draining days of my career.

I still remember the "training" we middle-managers had to attend on how to perform the "task". I still have the crib sheet I used when I talked to the two people I was letting go.

Today's merger and pending layoff news brings me back to that ugly day, although for the 15000 overlapping employees, their day of reckoning won't be for some time. But it'll get here, and we'll just take the news in stride.

Sunday, September 02, 2001
September is here, and it was cold last night, and this morning. I wore sweatpants, and a fleece pullover. It must have been in the 50s, it felt that cold.

September: Football. Obligatory articles about Boston college students moving back to town. Hockey camp. Shorter days. Colder days. The anticipation of Halloween, Thanksgiving, then Christmas. The "last quarter" of the year. Months that end with "ber".

Already the hot days are a dim memory. Already my car's heater kicks on automatically. Already we're thinking of turning up the heat a little.

There's something about turning the calendar from August to September that makes the past year's event seem much more distant (baby, lay-off, new job). The First Day of Autumn isn't until September 22, but mentally, it's Fall to me.

The last book I finished was in June. Since then, I've been on and off with The Executioner's Song. (This tome is a little over a thousand pages, and is itself split over two books, each with seven parts. I'm in Part Two of the Book Two.)