It was a bit of a shock when Tim's company began to slow down, but I suppose it was not totally unexpected. They rushed to get jobs out the door before the fiscal year ended. The company was also being sold - it had gone from Dresser-Rand to Siemens, and now it has been sold once again, and it is Siemen Energy.
The company builds huge in-line compressors for pipelines and these compressors go all over the world, to Russia, UAE, Australia, here in America, Asia and South America. These things are so huge that the containers they are shipped in are built around them and they are called 'houses' for good reason. They are hauled by trailer to the shipping yards on the east coast, and it can be a very big production.
No one else builds these compressors and so that is job security. Rushing product out the door led to a slow time in the shipping department. Compressors are still being built. It will just take some time for the compressors to be finished and ready to ship.
At this point, Tim has a return date of December 14th.
He called from work today to tell me that they had a meeting. The company will pay the insurance premiums for the guys affected. They also told them that they would pay them for the four day Thanksgiving weekend. Tim was a bit concerned about his 60 hours of vacation. It has to be used up by the end of the year. The company offered them the chance to cash in that vacation so that they would not lose the money. However, they would let them keep the hours that they had so that if they chose to take time off during the Christmas holidays, they'd still have the available time to do so,
The company's generosity made Tim feel assured that what was happening was not due to financial problems within the company but more of a matter of a company changing hands, and the old company trying to get the maximum profit before the turnover. Once the new company begins getting those compressors out (they take weeks to build and the inspections from foreign companies are brutally thorough), it will be back to business as usual.
So he has a 30 day vacation which allows him to finish his garage and to hunt to his heart's content.
"Tim..." I said,
"Please tell me that you did not dance out of that meeting!"
I'm afraid he might have.