WHOOP! WHOOP! I might take a two-week vacation in Italy next September! Seattle University offers two-week study tours, and next year they are offering an Economics class and a Managment class in Sansepolcro, Italy. Best yet, spouses are welcome and there will be lots of food at drink! I love history and, especially the Renaissance period. In September, Sansepolcro has a huge Renaissance Festival, with jousts, flag-thowers, a cross-bow shooting contest and lots of food and wine. Yea me!
Of course, that is assuming I am still employed. Paccar laid off 23 people in my division last week. I was terrified that I would be on the list, but have so far been spared. People are walking around like they are in a war zone, all shell-shocked and quiet. Productivity must also be at an all-time low. The people who would normally take early retirement can't afford to retire because the stock market has taken such a hit. People are afraid that, even if they made it through the first round of lay-offs, they might not be so lucky next time.
I am thinking about applying for a new position within Paccar. My philosophy is that if they still have positions posted (and I qualify for them), those positions must be pretty high priority...otherwise they wouldn't be approved. Several positions that were open got axed as part of the money-saving strategy.
Not that Paccar is hurting, mind you. They are still making trucks (though fewer of them). They are still making a profit (though smaller than in recent quarters). But Paccar is a very conservative company, and they want to make sure that the profits continue to roll in. I can't blame them for what they are doing. Many companies are much worst off. Yet, it is still disconcerting. Employment has always been something I have taken for granted.