Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Supersize my downsizing - an oral history project

Cycling to work this morning I listened to a harrowing account of the scenes in New Orleans by a N.O.P.D. officer who has been deeply involved in rescue operations. It added a completely different and highly personal dimension to the story - and was all the more poignant because the subject was both victim and savior.

It started me thinking about the amazing work of the great Studs Terkel, who allowed otherwise anonymous people to tell their stories for posterity - often these were stories of those who had found themselves caught up inextricably in events much larger than themselves. Then I started thinking that, while it's greatly entertaining to sit here and observe the disruption of Mother Telco as an abstract event, there is a very real disruptive aspect of this process in people's lives. The smug industry rhetoric (which I have heard time and again) is that standards of living rise as a result of greater efficiency, and that innovation creates jobs to replace those lost in legacy industries - not a message often heard crossing the lips of a former Detroit auto worker now stocking shelves at WalMart.

So, EuroTelcoblog takes on a new aspect today, in addition to the familiar items of technological and commercial disruptophilia (which will continue, never fear). If you're a former EuroTelco employee, fallen prey to "strategic reorganization," "structural realignment," or worst of all, an "excellence program" (how demoralizing to be marked as "un-excellent" and escorted from the building), I want to hear your story. Even moreso if you were some of the low-hanging fruit in Eastern European telcos controlled by larger Western European telcos with difficulty cutting back in the home market. As always, I will treat your input in the manner which you specify.

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