This sucks.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…

Those of you that know me know I got a job with a small, mostly Macintosh ISP here in the Bay Area. The company is small; there are 10 of us, and we’re quite a motley crew. I got hired more for my personality and how well I “fit” with the company than for my technical skills, and I’ve made very good friends with my coworkers. We’re like a geeky, wacked-out dysfunctional little family.

I love my job. I get up in the morning and I’m happy to go to work. The atmosphere is great, my coworkers are great, it’s laid back and friendly, and our customers genuinely like our company. We have a very loyal customer base, and a lot of the customers are “regulars” and we know them by name, know their personality, know their comfort with computers, and can tailor our support to their needs. They love this. We always have people coming in to make their payments in person, just so they can say hi, or thank us for doing a good job. It’s nice to be proud of the job you do. I’ve done support before in a big corporate call center (for Microsoft, nonetheless) and it sucked. This is so different. I love this company and the people in it. It’s so great to have a job that I like, and I realized how damn lucky I was to have this.

So, understandably, I was heartbroken to learn that we’re going to be forced to close our doors for good soon. Not because of money; we break even, but because the owner has family responsiblities, and just can’t handle them and run the business. His wife is dying of cancer, and is day to day. They have two children, 6 and 4. He needs to attend to his family, which is understandable. He made an offer to the three senior members of the company to take ownership of the business, but it involves them taking on a whole lot of personal debt. If the company fails, they personally owe the money. With heavy hearts, the three of them rejected the offer.

It looks like we’re going to get bought out by a larger company within the next week. That will give us 6 weeks until we close our doors. To make all this even harder, I’m not supposed to know all of this is up; only the owner and the three senior staff have been told, but I’ve gotten to be good friends with one of them, and he had to vent to someone, so I got to hear it all first. These three guys are crushed; they feel responsible, like they could save the company if they just were willing to take the risk. But they can’t, and I don’t blame them. It’s so hard to see the look on their faces and not be able to say anything. I like these people, they’re good, hardworking, dedicated people and they hurt for what they can’t do.

The next few weeks are going to be rough. We’ll have to find another company to take over our dialup customers, and set them up. People will be calling, all disappointed because they’ve grown to love our personalized service. It might sound lame, because hey, it’s just a job, but I feel like my spirit has been crushed. I found something I was afraid was too good to be true, and it turned out to be. Makes it hard to believe in good things…

I wish I was a business guru or that I could take over the company and run it myself, but I’m far from that. I’ve been trying to come up with harebrained schemes to save our business, kind of to take the sting away, kind of with the totally irrational hope that I’ll come up with something, anything. But I guess I need to come to grips and realize that I’ll be looking for a new job soon. I just don’t have to like it.


You are a love, and a dollface.

Prayers and best of hugs coming your way.


Hey Rasa, that really sucks. I know how happy you were to get that job, and I know how important it is to enjoy your work. I hope everything ends up working out. Good luck.

Thanks Scotti, I need all the hugs n’ prayers I can get. I’m a long way from home to be jobless… I’m afraid to tell my mom and dad because I know they’ll be all worried and I hate that.

And woodstockbirdybird, thanks for coming out of the woodwork to lend me your ear. You rock.

That’s a major bringdown Rasa. Let me know if you would like help with your resume. I’ve helped a few members of the SDMB with theirs and can provide references.

Sweetheart, you are intelligent, and diligent and creative. You will be fine, I have no doubt about about THAT!

Still, it hurts and you have a right to be discouraged. But if this doesn’t work out, you WILL find something else. You are too wonderful NOT to.

(Who is PROUD of her Rasa!)

That does indeed suck. I hope everything works out for the best in the end. You’ll be in my thoughts.


Thanks Zenster, I’ll keep it in mind. Much appreciated. By the way, do you work in Mountain View? I was out at lunch the other day and swear to GOD if you don’t have a double that works right near me! I’d mention the name of the company I saw your doppleganger coming out of but I didn’t know if you’d be cool with that…

Again, Scotti… you’re the sweetest.

And thanks Serendipity, good thoughts help!

Come on, don’t any of you want to buy and run a small ISP? :wink:

Rasa, I’m really sorry to hear about this. I hope things work out for you.

Hey Rasa. I’m so sorry to hear about this. I’m sending some happy thoughts your way. Hope things get better soon.


Thanks porc, I’m sure they will… I just wish things could have worked out better where I am now…

Aaw, thanks, Simetra… somehow, I knew I’d find ya here. :slight_smile: Hope all’s well with you, my friend.

Damn Rasa, it is bad enough to lose a job, but to lose one you love is terrible. You have tons of talent and you have a friend winning personality. I am sure you will find another job quickly, and hopefully one that is just as rewarding.

I hope things work out well for you. You certainly appear to have the intelligence and fortitude to go far.

And now the bad news…

Your circumstances are unique due to the family situation of your boss. This can’t be avoided no matter what the financial situation of the US.

Truth is, we continue to operate in cycles. Live twenty more years and you’ll experience it all. We have recently undergone a period of high employment. Millions and billions were made and we all benefited. Now it appears that we’re in a slump (which I feel is one of those self-perpetuting prophecies) and times may be rough. I remember a time in San Jose where engineers couldn’t find jobs and were reduced to unemployment. I had five jobs in the '80s; four of which were eliminatd because the firms simply went out of business.

Toughen up. During the good times, save for the bad. It’s just life.

The best message I’ve received through the years: Employees love their companies, companies don’t love their employees.


Very crappy deal, Rasa. Having a job you enjoy is great, and it really sucks that you’re losing it.
I hope you find another one you enjoy as much. You should do fine in finding a job, though. Any employer would be lucky to have someone like you for an employee.
Sending good vibes your way.

Has any thought been given to letting all the employees know about the situation? Perhaps the debt could be spread over 10 people instead of just 3.

Fletch, thanks for the sentiment. [Stuart Smalley voice]I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and damnit, people like me![/Stuart Smalley voice]

straykat, I know I’m just being starry-eyed and idealistic, but this company does love its employees. If it didn’t, and the owner was like “Sorry gang, I’m leaving, have nice lives” and closed up shop, it’d be different… but he’s almost as upset as the rest of us. I understand what you’re saying though and you’re right, I do need to just toughen up and deal with it. I will, just not now. :wink:

I’m catching those good vibes, silent_rob, thanks! I hope so too.

Henry, I think unfortunately, the way the rest of us are going to find out about this is when it’s too late for that, after papers have been signed to sell the business. I don’t know what the others would say if it were offered them. I’d take on the debt myself, but hey, I’m a dork like that.

Hugs, Rasa.

I hope that the company finds a buyer. I’m broke, so I can’t even consider it.

If the worst happens and the company closes, I’ll be happy to help with your résumé, if you like. (Got lots of practice preparing and editing technical résumés.)

Or, if you think you might wanna relocate to Seattle, I’ve got connections to refer ya to. :slight_smile:

Best wishes,


jeyen, thanks… I hear ya on being broke.

Ok, there’s a glimmer of hope in the works. I’m not altogether sure on the details, but this is what I know so far. The latest is that we may merge with a larger company, and they would take over the business operations. Another company would take over our DSL business (I’ll get into that in a minute, I’m sketchy on that part), and we’d keep our dialup customers, plus get into wireless.

It’s just a possiblity, but hey, that’s all I’m hoping for. It’s a bazillion times better than the other company’s offer! Another problem we’re faced with is that the company we resell our DSL from has filed Chapter 11. We’re locked into a contract with them, so we can’t provide ADSL to home users. We can do IDSL, SDSL, but not home DSL. In order to get out of the contract we’d have to spend money on lawyers, and the DSL reseller we use has a whole branch of laywers devoted to fighting things just like this. So if the other company buys out our DSL contract, we may be home free!

Don’t stop the good thoughts–my coworker that is providing me with details is convinced that it’s my sheer force of will that’s providing this hope. I don’t want to prove them wrong. :slight_smile:

Rasa, never fear! You’ve got a lot of things going for you.
[li]You’re young (or so I assume from pictures I’ve seen, I think at one of the dopefest sites.) In the computer world that’s considered a plus (unfair as it might be to older people with experience).[/li][li]You’re in the computer field which is begging for workers right now.[/li][li]It sounds like your company is going to be merging with someone else, so there should be a chance for you to keep getting a salary and if you don’t like the new company at least you can be job-hunting while you’re still employed.[/li][li]You’ve got some advance notice and the owner of the company sounds like a nice guy so you’ll get good references.[/li][/ul]

All in all, look at it like it’s going to be a nice vacation! I was laid off last year and I was hired on the very first job interview that I went to. There’s plenty of work out there.

P.P.S. If you do keep a job for the people buying your company, please let them know that there’s lots of Mac users out there that will be happy to use a Mac-friendly ISP. I’m one of them.

Oh, Rasa, that does suck.

I’m sorry I don’t run a small ISP, but I’m sending all good vibes to you and the other workers at the company.