Diary

Dear Obama, I've been downsized. Thanks!

Dear Mr. Obama and Congress:

While I cannot hold you completely responsible for the current state of affairs, I will view you as the primary cause of a vast majority of the pain that we are currently experiencing in America.

Thanks to your lack of even the most fundamental understanding of economics and the job market in this country, you have taken a fragile situation and amplified it 10-fold, effectively turning a headache into a disaster of epic proportions.

Did you ever stop and think beyond the moment? Did any of you think to look past those special interest groups who you are so obviously beholden to?

The company that I work for is a high technology, cutting edge company. You remember those, don’t you? The type of place that you claimed we need more of in order to push America to the forefront of technology and industry… Oh, don’t bother making excuses – we were the kind of company that you claimed to support so feverishly.

Prior to your rise to power, we were thriving. A company of 60 or so employees, most of which were engineers and technical staff. We provided custom equipment worldwide to some of the top technology-based industries out there. We had even broken into the much-hyped solar power market and were prepping to begin designing for emerging technology markets that promised to revolutionize industries such as metal forging without the use of furnaces and water purifying without the use of heating. In fact, much of our portfolio consisted of industries and applications that a president and congress who claims to be interested in moving America forward would drool over. But it looks like you lied. Again.

Like many other industries, we were hurt by the current economic situation. Yet, we held out in the hopes that we could ride out the recession and come back even stronger once things picked up. However, we didn’t anticipate the death blow that would be dealt to us by the government – the very government that claimed to be working to help companies like ours. The “stimulus” package that was supposed to solve America’s woes left technology behind. What’s worse is that companies like mine were tossed aside in lieu of low technology make-work which is a slap in the face to those of us who had actually thought that we had leaders who were interested in moving America back into the technological lead.

While the money and resources are redirected from the private sector (you know, the sector that keeps companies like mine thriving and growing) and into the public sector for use in make-work projects and the funding of labor and construction unions, highly skilled technology workers are being dumped into an employment market that is looking more for asphalt workers than electrical engineers. Is this how we move America forward?

My company has reduced it’s staff to only 20 or so people now. We dumped all but one electrical engineer, all but two electrical engineering technicians, most of the support staff and assemblers…These are not unskilled workers, but it would seem that the stimulus package has done nothing but create jobs for unskilled labor – leaving the rest of us wondering what in the hell we are going to do to support our homes and families. This isn’t a matter of being “too good” to work unskilled labor jobs and take advantage of the government’s brilliant plan, this is a matter of not being able to find work that pays enough to live.

Was this the plan all along? Cut the throats of the middle class workers (the range of pay that our people made stretched from the low $40’s to $60’s) and force them into the same position of people who didn’t work their asses off to ensure that they were educated and could collect a paycheck that allowed for at least a modestly comfortable way of life? I don’t like to think that way, but it sure does look like that at first glance.

The only element of the government’s interfering actions in the economy that folks like us will be able to take advantage of is unemployment – and that isn’t such a great prospect to look at. We have worked too hard to become leaders in technology to be OK with suddenly being neutered and sent to the unemployment office through no fault of our own.

But what can we do? The latest actions of the government has created an overtly hostile environment for the small guy who isn’t part of the “stimulus plan.” All we can do now is hope that something else comes along and that the couple of dozen experienced engineers and engineering support staff that have just hit the market can all find something that will allow them to support their homes and families.

And what of the small company that was one of the cornerstones of a tiny community in rural Wisconsin? This loss will be felt in all corners as we no longer fan out for lunch during the week, use the local shop for oil changes after work or contribute to the community United Way campaign.

I sincerely hope that this is all worth it. I look forward to driving on new roads and beautified parkways – which I hope will be seen on my way to and from a new job and not to and from the unemployment office. But the situation is grim right now, and I’m not going to hold my breath for that.

So again, thank you so much for betraying us. Thank you for forgetting about the little technology company while you raced to stimulate your own pet projects. Thank you for so blatantly revealing to us what you really think of the skilled workers in America. You have really made me feel as if the work we have put into our careers was all for nothing.

Best Regards,

Just another laid off worker