Previously on: Ayala Boy
I have difficult news to share with you today. Due to some updates in our SEO strategy, we’ve been forced to lower our writing deliverables by up to 40% immediately. This is not what we had hoped would happen. We’ve unfortunately had to let go of ~50 of your peers today. Although all of your contracts are still active, we have updated a new contract (details below) which you will have to agree to by tomorrow, 3pm, in order to continue writing.
The electronic mail was couriered through the private networks, like a bomb dropped at the unsuspecting agents. There was no advanced word: not even hints that something sinister will tear people's lives before the day's end. It was business as usual for these writers, not even in their greatest fears had they ever contemplated having to spend their last day at work before the month's end. With the holidays fast approaching, seldom do companies hire at this time of the year. Why leave when pay is good, performance is in the upswing, and all seems well with the home-based workplace?
But then the unthinkable happened.
One of the agents suddenly found herself being kicked out of the company portal. She was unable to log in for reasons beyond her understanding. Another agent wasn't even able to start his work anymore, unbeknownst to him, his contract had just expired.
Across different teams, this was the collective tale. Fifty souls had just lost their jobs. This doesn't include the number of new hires from the outsourcing unit the management had just tapped some months ago. There will be no separation pay. Even those who met swift termination were deemed the lucky ones. They are at least free to look for work elsewhere, unlike those who are still in the company, and unsure when their time of reckoning will come. Not only will they never find peace in the coming days, earnings, unlike the ones they enjoyed just weeks ago have been slashed by more than a half. Those who used to bringing home 60 grand will have to make do with less than 20. The management did not just enforce a limit to the number of work units a writer can do in a week, every short article written will have less value from now on.
Lives have changed in a single day.
I have heard stories about agents who suddenly found themselves under mountains of debts. Cars that were paid by loans might need to be returned if other sources of income cannot be found. Children who were sent to expensive schools may need to go back to public classrooms. Many, who have left their day jobs will suddenly find themselves unable to support their new lifestyles. Regret will be the by-word for tomorrow. Some of my peers even started looking for short-term projects on Upwork.
While this has little effect on my earnings, the confidence I have with the raketship has been shaken. No longer can I let the days pass certain of my direction. While I have seen countless retrenchments in my life, one, even engineered by me, it is only now that the stakes have been higher. Losing the raketship would mean a slash of my take-home pay. I cannot imagine keeping a lifestyle with merely my day job to keep my finances afloat.
A town hall meeting was held today, and a person can glean from the agents' sarcastic remarks punctured by self-entitled free thought the anguish of having to work under a new arrangement. Tempers flared. Many, vented their anger and resignation by showing insolence towards the management. At first, my sympathies were with fellow writers, and how they have been led to believe of the limitless opportunities offered by the raketship. But realizing how companies - big and small - ditch even their most loyal pawns, and how each worker is as good as his last performance, little by little, I begin to understand the right of the raketship to save itself. It may have been drastic for others, especially to those who have become complacent of tomorrow, but nothing can really be undone. I may have been spared the fate befalling some of my peers; I may even end up as one of the highest income earners given the decision to stick with two jobs rather than invest in one. However, in the end, I may have to accept this as well:
Nothing is permanent, and I may have to look for a third source of income, just to be sure I may never find myself with nothing, when the day of my retrenchment comes.