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Is it just me, or is there

an unusually thick air of solemnity hanging over this industry of late?While we are all experiencing the pressures that come with a weakened economy and are feeling the squeeze within our own workplac...


February 1, 2002  


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an unusually thick air of solemnity hanging over this industry of late?

While we are all experiencing the pressures that come with a weakened economy and are feeling the squeeze within our own workplaces, it seems that as individuals we are becoming a more serious group.

Now this isn’t to say that cabling and telecom folk are usually the most happy-go-lucky of all business professionals — although we do have our share. Most people in this industry take their work seriously as highly trained and skilled installers, designers, engineers and so on — earnest business. However, it seems to me that just a year ago people were breathing just a little bit easier, and laughing just a little bit louder.

Case in point: this year’s BICSI Winter Conference, held from January 21 to 24 in Orlando, Florida. While the conference had its usual mix of activities, networking opportunities and lunches, people seemed to focus more on business and less on golf games, after hour parties and extravagant dinners. (Please see News Hub on p. 8 for more information on the conference).

Now that is not to say that there was no “schmoozing” by the pool bar or on the tennis courts, but the kind of schmoozing we do seems to have changed. There appears to be a lot more talk about the industry itself, about the business of cabling, about the state of the economy, and about the reorganizations, layoffs and changes within our companies. And the number of people who came to the conference to look for employment opportunities was inordinately higher than is usual for such an event.

Of course, under the circumstances, no one can really expect anything different. Companies are feeling the pinch and are cutting back on the big parties — invariably a smart money-saving move. And many people are being laid off or are worried about what is around the next corner in a difficult economic climate. Times are tough across the board and people are currently working harder, for longer hours, and perhaps for less pay.

So what can we do to change the current climate? Well, truthfully, there may be nothing we can do, except to try and stay positive, remember we are in an exciting and future-looking industry, and cast our eyes toward the more lucrative times that are being forecast for later this year.

And with any luck, I will be writing a column at this same time in 2003 about the new light-hearted breeze that is blowing over us, and how deliriously happy we all are by the returned windfall of good times.


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