In the past, fear of being next to be axed was most likely based on some error the employee made. Today - its not about your quality of work, your skill level, education, personality or your attendance record, not even your ability to work well under pressure, ability to muti-task or your commitment to the job - your career comes down a whether or not your seat is a strategic benchmark for the company.
The worst feeling an employee now come to expect is a phone call to meeting with no agenda in the small conference room next to the exit sign. This fear is forcing longtime employees to opt for early retirement and scanty severance packages.
For the past 14 months, Southern California Edison (SCE), one of the largest power providers in America, located in the city of Rosemead, has had its employees on the edge. While some dodged the bullet this round, the fear of termination no longer haunts nearly 2,300 employees who have been cut with little assurance and nothing more than two month severance pay.
Within the middle level management, however, some were not waiting for the axe to fall, and skipped out on the power giant. According to circles of past Edisonites, SCE could lose a generation of seasoned project managers and senior managers some who are being recruited and many who have already found new positions other companies, some small with less perks, but possibility of stability and upward mobility.
While internal department mergers and elimination is the standard approach at SCE, some mid-level positions are becoming obsolete. The word 'reorg' has become common jargon and middle and upper level employees have had their hopes of climbing the corporate ladder kept in check at the once die-to-work-here utility offices spread around the San Gabriel Valley.