Friday, December 5, 2008

I've Finally been Affected by the Recession

My small family and I live well within our means all the time, so when the recession was formally announced, we just kept on living like we always have. We'd already been though the exercises of looking at where we can cut costs and such, and really the only things we can cut are to travel less, which will translate into traveling further, less frequently, and doing a better job of turning off the lights when we aren't using them. And yes, we are replacing incandescents with CFLs as we go along.

I work hard at work, and I am a top contributor. Recently, I've made sure that my efforts are appropriately visible. Really, this has only meant being careful to accept praise for work I've done without demeaning the work or my efforts. I'm both very cocky and very modest, but about different things and in different ways. I think most people are, actually. I'm also doing better letting interrupters know when a better (less busy) time for chit-chat would be, which makes my life more pleasant when I'm hard at work, but also serves to let people know I am working hard. I work at a mega-corp, so being recognizable at all is a bit of a challenge, and being recognized as something good is even harder.

I'm young and have many more years of work before my 401K and other investments will be drawn against, so I look at the low stock prices as sale prices, not losses. We really haven't been too affected by the recession, even if it did start back in 2007.

But, despite my best efforts of being recession-proof, I found out today that my assistant, Sandy, is being laid off.

In case you haven't met, Sandy is a virtual assistant, but is personified as a friendly Web 2.0 service that processes e-mails (or even voicemail through Jott) and keeps my calendar up to date as well as reminding me of upcoming events and even looking up info for me when I request it.

I'd suggest you check her out, but she's getting the boot on the 19th. Quite a few users are happy for the good times we've shared, but I am also a bit disappointed that she won't even run through the end of the year.

There is more discussion on it here. Trevor Glen and others (including moi) have already begun creating an OSS Sandy. Here are some examples of how Sandy can work for you, in case you might be persuaded to join our effort.

Here is a thread on some alternatives.