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State of decay

Times stopped. One year ago. Our business results were bad. Worse than expected. Of course, they have to lay-off. In France, laying off is much more harder than in United States. But ever since the board announced the situation, it looks like time has stopped here. Few of my friends tried to fight the situation, to fight the depressive ambiance, the decay but slowly, all seems to fade away, general lack of interest sneaks in.

On the beginning, there's still hope. With the new board, we were looking forward for things to change. They have merged two business units. A start-up business model and a more mature company. The big company has a complex business model proven for years now when the small one is more straight forward and does not include as many refinements as the first one. We were hoping that the small company will help to rationalize the thousands of details and subtleties which drag the big company down whence the big one will bring in the alliance its knowledge and structure. But weeks after weeks, we realize that things will not change at all.

Merging two opposite companies without any strong leading directives will probably destroy both entities. People does not want to give up their habits, even if the same habits are the reason of years of difficulties. On the other side, other people does not want to understand why things have come to be so complex and how to deal with. Both side believes the other side is wrong but neither want to look it own reflection into the mirror.

Then, how can we possibly fight for them ? How can we help them to build a new business model ? They don't even know where we are leading. Eventually, one business model will emerge from this situation, but this will be the result of a silent fight between both group and not the result of coordinate work.

Anyway. Managers starts to run away. They just quit. One after another. Then colleagues you know for years now. They found opportunities elsewhere and take their luck. Then you own manager find other opportunities and take the other job. Remaining people now are probably the most irresolute. Should we go ? Should we stay ? Will we find some place in the new model ? Should we wait ?

Since there's no clear scheme for the future, on going project are ending slowly and no new projects are added to our days. But everyday here we are, faithfully sitting at our cubicle. Anytime i walked along my colleagues' workstation, they all looks absorbed in their screen, just like they were doing important job. Our eyes never quit the screen. We keep typing onto our keyboard. Phones sometimes ring. We still held meetings. I keep wondering myself what work are they doing ? Is there bugs and flaws i'm not aware of ? I know there's a lot of googling but then... what else ? We scarcely talk to each other anymore because there's nothing to say really. Slowly but unmistakablely, there a sense of decay which stains all our days...

Photo : Detention

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