I wanted to blog today. I have many things to write. But I have no time to blog, because I'm so busy at work.
I'm so busy at work because 48 people were let go from this law firm last month. That's about 30% of the support staff.
Those of us still here have to work harder to make up the difference.
I don't mind being busy. But we're not just busy. We're swamped, and we're afraid. We're all supposed to just be grateful we still have jobs, keep our noses down, and work faster.
No one complains. No one expects a raise this year. People are reluctant to use their vacation and sick entitlements, fearing it will count against them.
But you know what? This firm turned a profit last year. By all reports, it's doing well. So why were 48 people let go? Because the firm can use the bad economy as an excuse to cut costs. That's what we are. Costs.
This week a second axe fell. Our transportation allowance is being cut.
When you work evenings or nights in a large law firm, the firm pays for a cab home. This is a safety issue, as night-time transit, especially to the suburbs, is infrequent and often deserted. It's also a long-standing tradition. Law firm, night staff, cab.
Now the firm is putting a dollar cap on cabs home. I don't live too far away, so the difference between what the firm will pay and the cost of the cab is not exorbitant. Even so, in the course of a month - working only two days per week - it will add up to $120. I'm already underemployed. Where am I going to find another $120 per month? For other people, the distance puts a cab home out of reach. How will they get home? Will they be safe?
Everyone is waiting for the next axe to fall. The fear makes us accept anything.
Of course there are so many people so much worse off than I am. Their examples also keep us afraid.
This is why I went to the IS talk last week: "How can workers fight back in a recession?" The talk I don't have time to tell you about, because I'm working so hard.