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Played Chicken and Lost

In Corporate America we all play chicken. Most days we win, some days we lose. It appears I may have just lost.

Effective tomorrow, September 18th 2020 I will no longer be employed by Dell Corporation, and my career as a Dell SE will be at an end.

And you know what? I’m OK with this.

Now, don’t get me wrong; this is hugely stressful and is a blow to me as I was really enjoying my work and had high hopes for how things are going to move forward at Dell. But I understand and get it.

Business has been slow. That’s not a secret; during this pandemic business has been slow for EVERYONE, and Dell is just the latest in a long line of companies that have let otherwise good people go due to softness of business in the server and networking space. Besides, it was a terribly kept secret because it’s been all over the industry news rags all week.

I don’t take this as a personal affront or as a statement that my work was somehow subpar. The decision was not even in my manager’s hands; he was as blindsided by this as I was. The reality is that in Corporate America, these sorts of decisions are made at a level that we have no visibility into using criteria that are similarly opaque. The people who made this decision don’t know me and only look at numbers… and like everyone in this field right now those numbers for this calendar year haven’t been good. I guess mine were just worse than most of my peers.

This isn’t even the end of the layoffs in my opinion. I’m just part of “Wave 1” and there are more to come. I don’t know that for sure, but the statement from management was that there were layoffs coming “over the next few weeks”. I am a little relieved in a sense that I already know what I’ll be doing next week.

So what will I be doing next week? Well, I had already planned a vacation on my motorbike. I was going to leave Saturday and ride around Lake Michigan, up through the UP and across the Mackinac Bridge. It’s a trip I’ve wanted to take for years. And I’m going to do it. I don’t have a set itinerary yet… I plan to have lunch in Peoria on Saturday but beyond that I have no idea. I’ll either spend Saturday night in the suburbs of Chicago or Milwaukee, and after that the timelines are deliberately nebulous. I don’t want to feel rushed or stressed… this is time for me and the open road.

So if you’re in the industry and know of opportunities right now in this space, reach out. If not, just keep in touch regardless. I know that this will fundamentally be a good change and I know in my heart I’ll land on my feet. It might take a bit of time, but I know I’ll get there… and perhaps better than before.

To the future…

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