Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Iz.I.T.4.V.S.P

Best to get your Aretha version of Respect before reading the lyrics below. Note that VSP refers to Voluntary Separation Package-a severance package Intel has occasionally offered to employees to leave the company.

What we want
JJ you got it
What we need
Do you know that you got it?
All we're askin'
Is for a little voluntary separation (just a little bit)
Hey JJ (just a little bit) separation
(just a little bit) mister JJ (just a little bit)

We can't keep goin' too long, workin' hard
Ain't gonna do you wrong (oo) 'cause we don't wanna (oo)
All we're askin' (oo)
Is for a little voluntary sep when you redeploy (just a little bit)
JJ (just a little bit) when you redeploy (just a little bit)
Yeah (just a little bit)

(With apologies to Otis and Aretha.)

Most of you are aware that IT is going through another round of layoffs (called "redeployment" at Intel). This is primarily "skills based" redeployment, which means we are going through a skills assessment process for each employee, scoring them, comparing scores, and then determining which skills we can most afford to lose from our individual groups. It's unpleasant, painful work, and just not going well - at least not for my team. The skills assessment process is (imo) meant to ensure that we're legally defensible and identifying people objectively. And to the best of our ability I think it has been objective. But the results are ugly. No matter how we slice it, we will have to redeploy good people to hit our numbers. We're past the point of trimming the fat - we're now into the muscle of the organization.

Based on the scores it looks like a lot of technical women on my team would be impacted. While nobody has told me that I need to try and balance diversity with redeployments, I hate to see my group become dramatically less diverse as a result of these layoffs. But then I also wouldn't want to target white guys between 30-50 just because they happen to be white guys between 30-50. The bottom line when I look at the skills assessment scores for my team is that there are no good answers.

Another problem with skills based redeployment is that it doesn't address what work stops getting done. Once I decide which 10% (or 8% or 12%, no firm number yet) of my team I need to lose, I then need to determine which work I stop doing. It's rumored that the one lone VP on IT staff had decided not to use skills assessments for redeployment, but instead to pick one group in his org to redeploy. This a much better approach, as it saves his managers from going through this large effort and having to pick which people they fire, and nobody has to determine which work needs to stop being done. The work and the people all get cut at once. It also strikes me as a infinitely more fair and humane way to lay-off people. Rather than saying "Sorry, you weren't skilled enough to stay here" it's a luck of the draw situation. So kudos to Bill for having the balls to make this decision, if this is indeed what he's doing.

Another issue is that we have a lot of people who are hoping to be redeployed. They want to leave, but they want the severance package that comes with redeployment rather than just walking out empty handed. About 10% of my team have asked if they could be considered for redeployment. Unfortunately, they can't be, unless they happen to fall below the line in the skills assessment process. So let's say 10% of my team wants to leave, and I redeploy another 10% that want to stay. What I end up with is a 10% gap now, and another 10% who are very likely to leave Intel soon anyway, or at least leave IT. Either way I have to deal with ~20% turnover.

We need to lose some people. We have motivated people who really want to stay, who work hard, but will nonetheless get redeployed. We have burned-out, bitter, highly skilled people who want to leave and will do the bare minimum until they can find other jobs. Why would we not want to keep those who want to stay, and help those who want to leave by giving them a decent incentive to move on? I know Intel is worried about losing the wrong people if they offer VSP. But we're going to lose them anyway. Better to lose them now and preserve jobs for those who want to be here.

We need to offer VSP before this redeployment happens.

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Look at what just happened at the NM site using this process. Where they cut mfg jobs. It was horrible.

It was the same situation. A lot of people who wanted to leave had to stay. Those who wanted to stay were cut.

Management wont listen to the need for VSP however.

Anonymous said...

I agree. If given a choice, I would much rather retain people who really wants to work for Intel rather than keep the highly skilled, but disgruntled folks.

Heath said...

It certainly is a difficult time - and decisions that are being made will be tough all around. Hopefully it can be done allowing people dignity and in a supportive way.

I look forward to senior leaders also being held accountable to decisions that are made which lead us to these types of headcount actions. Should I hold my breath?

Many friends of mine have left the company over the years. I can honestly say that none of them are unhappy with their decision. In fact, I saw one just the other day who was happier than I've ever seen her before. Your comments about good people and burnout is quite apropos. Sometimes, people just get fed up and take their incredible skills elsewhere - great for them.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Not that I would take VSP if offered, I believe those that wish to leave shoud have the option again. Intel can bounce back from any perceived loss of 'wanted' skills by training up those that WANT to work.

tw

Anonymous said...

WOW .... this blog is quite profound! I found the statement "We have burned-out, bitter, highly skilled people who want to leave and will do the bare minimum until they can find other jobs." applying directly to my group too and I'm not even remotely connected with IT. Everyone in my design group is practically begging for some sort of VSP to get away from our mgmt.
This company is slowly and steadily slipping away from the technically-minded people into the hands of the button pushers and managers who they suck up to.

I also like the quote the "JM"'s blog referenced from Gordon Moore recently: "The cost of alienating your best and brightest through ineffective management is a lesson Intel would do well to remember."

Anonymous said...

I know several of the ones they'll invariably want to keep who are already fed up, demoralized and are already interviewing externally. I've mentally prepared myself for a big paycut in exchange for leaving Intel. I'm sorry to say that I think it will be a good deal given IT's situation.

That said, I so very much hate to leave my friends and professional relationships behind. You can make a lot of useful relationships in 15 years...

Anonymous said...

Try almost to retirement. Is it worth it to stay or go? If you stay, do you go past the time you can retire, do you continue to give Intel the best, like you always have? Is it still worth it? Is it worth it for Intel to offer you a nice hefty VSP to walk away? Or is it worth more to them to keep you? I would bet the latter, but I have been surprised before.

Anonymous said...

i agree with some of the comments, the company indeed is far behind in retaining employee...

Anonymous said...

that's few hundred this year and few hundred last year, by the time end of summer in 08, we still kinda need one more because somehow the currency in emerging markets is stronger, so need another couple hundred people...

maybe outsource is the way JJ wants to go? lean and cheap.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the problem is with the VSP, or possibility of VSP, itself. Why should a company give incentives for people to leave instead of just firing them? The big negative effect is that people will be sticking around who normally would have quit long ago without the VSP program. I understand that VSP-like programs do exist in other professions such as under-performing professional athletes/coaches who have their contracts "bought out", but the big difference is that they have set multi-year contracts which their employers want to terminate. With "at-will" employees, such a buy-out is unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

VSP is only needed if want to not go on record as laying off employees but in the end drop payroll. Intel does not see the need to isolate itself from the news of layoffs anymore. Maybe it was not that bad the first few times and when it comes to building confidence with the street and stock holders, its good to show that you have the cahones (SP?) to do what it takes to be compete.

Anonymous said...

I was laid off last Ocotber, from SMG, and the work did not go away. Some work was outsourced, some was dropped back onto the product groups and outsourced (a non-Intel friend got another Intel friend's job as an outsource gig), but nowhere was the work simply stopped. I worked for many groups during my 10 years at Intel and I enjoyed most of the time, except when I had to pull the trigger and do skills assessments and such, and the work never went away.

You are correct, Bill deserves big kudos for dropping an entire portion of the work load, that says this cut is something the company is committed to supporting by not demanding remaining employees to work harder on areas where they just don't have capacity.

ONwebCHECK said...

"when you´re down...."


and if you´re stay with Aretha Franklin try her version of Bridge Over Troubled Water....

After that my mind is clear :)

Intel IT Guy said...

"Maybe the problem is with the VSP, or possibility of VSP, itself. Why should a company give incentives for people to leave instead of just firing them?"

It costs about the same to do either. The VSP package Intel has offered in the past is roughly equivalent to the severance package they give people (which is quite good, btw).

Anonymous said...

I guess it is hard for management to do this in a good way ?!

But where I am working it is horrible, they tend to reorganize every 6 month - on subteam or on whole organization, anything from 50 persons to 20.000.

The joke is that durig reorganization people are put into small boxes and if they have a problem with their new position they are supposed to fill out a form for a team move. But all this is taking place before the team and the tasks in the team are defined!!!

I have been working 6 years in this company and have several ex or current team members that are burned-, bored-, and b*-out. Most of them are holding back from changing company because they have families to support...

Anonymous said...

"I've mentally prepared myself for a big paycut in exchange for leaving Intel." Think again. I'm not sure where your based but Intel aren't even close to being in the list of top payers. Remember TCOMP and think what that's done for us lately.

Anonymous said...

VSP is not a good mechanism. Good people will take it and leave whereas the "deadwood" which we need to get rid of will stay.

Intel IT is bloated and has excessive headcount. Forget about cutting into muscle (maybe into the author's group). There is still too much fat even after this round of 10%. We need to cut more. Specially in middle management where the only skill demonstrated is the ability to talk. I get so discouraged listening to inane morons in meetings. For example- look at the mess the whole SAP replatformization is in but still our IT management continue to call it a success till date. My God! If SAP replatformization is a success so far, I shudder to think what a failure looks like.

Less people means less talking and less need to backstab and to justify as to why the company needs you. I wish we have few people so that we can focus on work and not "selling" or "perception management".

Intel IT Guy said...

"VSP is not a good mechanism. Good people will take it and leave whereas the "deadwood" which we need to get rid of will stay."

Not sure I get your point. The most highly skilled people probably will leave, but they are always the biggest flight risk because they are the most employable. The "dead wood" as you put it should be the poor performers, no? This round of layoffs is not performance based, and is doing little to identify those people who don't want to add value.

Anonymous said...

In the current situation, the most highly skilled will take the approx. 4-6 months pay package (say anywhere from $50k-100K)and leave and find another job (since they can as they are skilled). What we need to do is to do good people management and to provide the right environment to make these skilled performers want to stay and produce. Having the right environment for them is the key. Having fewer employees is a big step towards that environment because they can then focus on work and not on “FOCAL management”.

Majority of folks are de-motivated but the "deadwood" know that they cannot get as good a deal they have got presently with Intel. This "deadwood" crowd is not necessarily the bottom 10% of IR. We have a lot of non productive employees enjoying a cushy life with WFH and flexi-times who manage to fit into the 80% "satisfactory, equal" category whose main responsibility is either to talk in meetings or to produce PowerPoint presentations institutionalizing an ever increasing vicious cycle of governance, process methodologies or bureaucracy. This crowd does not come up with solutions but believes in assigning AR to others or to find “constructive criticism” (sic) into productive members plans or sets up review bodies and chairs meetings. We need to have employees who know their stuff when they open their mouth. Intel can very well do without employees who are “skilled” to pick up the buzzwords and incorporate it in their sentences without having a clue as to what they are saying. These are not the skill that Intel IT needs.

Bottom line, we need to have less but skilled and productive employees. VSP gets you to less employees but not necessarily with the productive ones with the skill needed by the company. Skill based reduction in headcount is the right way to proceed. The trick is make sure that right skill gets retained and unnecessary/unwanted skill gets reduced/redeployed/laid off.

Anonymous said...

you know that Ireland just got offered VSP don't you? I think it's probably a request from the Irish politicians since they've given Intel so many tax cuts....at the same time...we're reopening the old Jerusalem fab and so keeping more people. I didn't know the SAP "transformation" was going badly. You hear so much rah-rah-rah about that and some bitching but nothing really meaty about what's wrong with it.

Anonymous said...

I took a severance package from Intel almost 7 years ago now. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Guy who read this from HardOCP said...

No one is holding a gun to your heads.

If your job isn't the best, or you do not like working under those conditions then it is up to you to find a better job. Its not up to Intel to hold your hand, baby and coddle you.

Grow a pair, update your resume on Monster and get a job making more money at another company. Being an IT guy, I know that the *only* way I'm going to make a huge jump in my base salary is to move around on a regular basis.

Use this time to your advantage, to honestly relect on what you want out of a job, and then do something about your situation. Bitching about it on the internet makes most of you people look like whinners. And frankly.. no one likes a whinner.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, you've made it to Computerworld.

I agree that WFH is being abused a lot in some cases, but the recent telecommuting restrictions don't seem to be much but another way to frustrate people to the point of making them want to quit.

There's another blog (with the catchy name of Intel Incompetence) that talks about this in more detail.

Anonymous said...

And yet another round of layoffs... When the f*** will they stop ? However, that beeing said, You can't imagine how life is wonderful to me since I was fired of that fucking company !!!

DirkD said...

So you make a good point about offering VSP as a means of getting those who don't want to remain anyway, to leave Intel. But this of course has two drawbacks:
1 - High-performing people will be PAID to leave instead of just walking, and you're still stuck with the "lower-skilled" people you have already identified.
2 - If it truly is a "redeployment", which the last few Intel actions have not been of course, these people may be able to find positions in other areas of need outside of IT. Ironically enough, there are several areas that still hire as you are simultaneously hacking people in IT.

And the rub - is it REALLY skills assessment, or PERFORMANCE assessment? If it's performance assessment, or heck even personality assessment, which I suspect is a component since this assessment is being done by your manager and there is no publication of the results, then it doesn't really matter WHAT your skills are, now does it?

Anonymous said...

blog being spoken about everywhere

Anonymous said...

Should buy Intel stock. Layoffs are good for shareholders. Start VSP and outsource IT. This may be frustrating for EEs. But, we need to cut fat. Its not perfect. But, there are no better ways. Intel is EE friendly org.

Anonymous said...

IT layoffs should be done similar to the 1000 managers fired during the SET process recently - quick, decisive, and well-applauded by Intel and external folks...None of this redeployment nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Evidently what goes around comes around.

When I joined Intel IT in 1980 the big project was to "insource" STAR from EDS. Now I read that IT is apparently considering outsourcing parts of all of its IT.

I'd like to remind the current 'visionaries' of IT that, although this might bring short term financial benefits, it will not stop the long term problem of incompetent management of the IT resource or provide long term financial benefit. And, as happened during the last go-round, you will have insurrection by your user departments when they find they cannot obtain timely support.

Seems the 'good ship' IT continues its long time legacy of sailing adrift from one disaster to another.

Bill A said...

After nearly 10 years of working at Intel, I got cut last October as well and I have never had a day of regret.

Intel is a good company with solid ethics and good products. But if you are not happy, it's worth looking elsewhere.

Intel is not the best payer out there. They don't have the best benefits. They don't have the happiest culture.

Nor are they the worst in these categories.

Folks, there is not only life outside of Intel. There is a happy one.

Be sure you are happy. It will improve your health, your attitude, and make your family that much happier.

Never forget that Intel must make these cuts. Intel is way too bloated and NEEDS to cut. The cut is not personal, it's just business.

Bill A said...

My manager had been cut 2 months before me...thus, my skills assessment was done by a person who I had only had a single 30 minute 1:1 with.

A blessing in disguise...

Anonymous said...

Redeployment affords a quick and targeted headcount reduction but should be used sparingly as it results in employee fear and some unwanted attrition. Use it often and it will break down any remaining loyalty, trust and motivation in the organization. I think we're getting their now. Again I expect to see a drove of non-targeted employees walk in the following several months.

On the other hand VSP is essentially painless for the employees and appeases local governments who may have supplied financial incentives while satisfying more employee friendly employment laws in some geos. It does however result in some unwanted loss for the company and can't really be targeted. However, bear in mind management reserves the right to reject individual VSP applications so that shouldn't really be any issue.

Anonymous said...

Question : Other than the obvious financial carrots are there any good reasons to stick with Intel IT?

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I've read your blog. While I don't necessarily disagree with your "perspective" - I'm curious what you are trying to accomplish by doing this? Obviously you failed your BPX and Info Security training - this is stupid. You're the guy that ruins it for the rest of us managers (JJ & IT Staff is afraid to share anything with the rest of the organization because they fear seeing it end up on a web site or blog somewhere) - just so you can satisfy your selfish, narciscisstic needs to be listened to. I hope Intel security tracks you down and fires you (with NO severance package). Congrats to you for whatever you think you're accomplishing.

Anonymous said...

Your blog got famous. This post was cited in a ComputerWorld.com article on 9/22 which was also linked from Google's INTC finance page for a couple of days. Watch your back man!

Anonymous said...

Looks like the poster two above at 5:08 forgot Intel's Open and Honest communication values. What part of this blog is inaccurrate? And what part is sensitive information that would help a competitor? If it's embarrassing, well, BPX training says all actions should be considered for effect if they were to become known publicly. Perhaps you missed that part in BPX training? Apparently you favor gestapo-like and possibly illegal invasion of privacy tactics to track down employees that don't "stay in line". Sounds to me like you are part of the problem that IT is now in.

Anonymous said...

Watched a very good movie recently called the Island. Might be a good idea for selection of employee's for redeployment... We need to create an Island in Second life and conduct a daily lottery, The lucky lottery winner will be "relocated" rather than redeployed. Of course this second life location needs to be attractive as an alternative to our current workplace, wonder could we introduce a virus or apathy or disinterest in our environment, then again maybe thats there already.. anyway bring on the soma

Anonymous said...

I read your blog for the first time yesterday. I am appalled that you still stick around a company that you hate so much. or do you really?

Remember this is employment at will. Dont let "vitriol" ruin your health and your relationships.

It is people like you that make it difficult for the rest of us to get timely information by publishing everything on the web the second you hear it. Now my fellow managers cannot confidently say that our employees are smart enough not to share everything outside Intel. Why would JJ share any information if this continues? I remember back in 1990s, one company just closed the doors and then let employees come in only after checking their badges. The remaining employees (laid off workers) had to return at a later set date to collect their stuff.

If you dont like it - LEAVE!!!! You know that the pay and benefits at intel are neither the best nor are they the worst. Go find a job elsewhere. You will be happy.

Take a deep breath, look at monster or Dice, find the job you like in a company you might like and mozy on brother/sister.

Good luck to you in your career.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you as personal experience... I have always been considered a top performer / highly skilled employee in IT but for the last year I have been burned out and disgruntled and am now so unproductive. If I was in charge then I would definately want to get rid of me. I will pass the skills assesment but still be miserable and buy time until I can find another job. It's like they say in sports - its better to have desire then talent because you can teach skills. PLEASE - offer VSP and I will get out of the way!

Anonymous said...

If individual manager are conducting the skill assessment it should be fairly simple to manipulate the assessment so the 10% who have asked for redeployment get it and those that are dedicated are kept.

Tony Kenck said...

Dude,

You're a manger; manage the situation. If someone really wants to leave and you would rather not keep him find a way to let him go. Manipulate the assessments. It is your job to do what is best for the company, not to blindly do what someone tells you.

Yes you should work within th esystem to try to get your bosses to allow for voluntary redeployments, but failing that, you need to manage.

It's not easy.

Good luck.

Intel IT Guy said...

I'm amused that after one person accused me of being unethical, two others recommended that I manipulate the skills assessment process. Fortunately this could not be easily done - at least not in my group. We used a lot of checks and balances to ensure assessments were fair and accurate.

But more importantly, manipulating the assessment process wouldn't be managing - it would be abusing the system and a huge ethical breach. While my job is to the right thing for Intel, it's also to support decisions that have been made, not to subvert them every time I disagree.

By abusing the system I'd also be lying to my people. Our actions need to match our words. We told people these were going to be skills based assessments.

Roy Jackson said...

I would be happy to work for Intel for the rest of my career. I grew up with Intel figuratively, and literally with Rbt Noyce's kids. A bad patch does not change my opinion. I already saw a couple of bad patches. I worked with management (for several years) and the problems I presented were fixed ultimately. I have worked for twenty companies in Silicon Valley. Intel tops the list of best companies I've worked for.

Scott said...

Good Heavens! Came across this blog after picking up the October 2007 IT Manager Online newsletter and checking with a friend who unfortunately is still in Intel Oregon IT. Quit Intel way back in 99 and dumped all my stock and options at $85 per share after Intel changed management style and went from a cohesive team oriented review process to a quota based advesarial brown-nosing review process. As anticipated, Intel has literally devolved into a truly God Awful place for anyone to work, let alone maintain team cohesion. When leaving in 99, a number of my team quit near the same time, severely cratering a number of key IT projects at Intel. We started our own consulting businesses and have each prospered well beyond our original expectations. To a person, not one of us regretted in the least our decisions and we will never work for anyone but ourselves ever again. Can only extend sympathy for the pathetic stories we still hear from some poor schmucks still dumb enough to stay at Intel who visit the Software Association of Oregon and Oregon Computer Consultants Association meetings looking for help. Anyone who keeps working for these type of corporate parasites is truly pitiful. Oh yes, and you newbies at Intel who want to waste your lives working for someone else, what the hell are you thinking! Get out now while you can and take what skills you have and build something for yourselves instead! Many sympathies to all of you poor schmos still grinding away at Intel. Ohhh the Pain!

JP said...

I'm an individual contributor at Intel and I'll find out tomorrow if I have been redeployed. Considering the skills and value I bring to Intel, if I get redeployed, I will have no choice but to believe that the process is flawed.

That said, IMHO, the severance package that comes with redeployment is pretty decent. Yes, I do have a family with a kid, and mine is a *single income* family and my savings will not get me past more than a few months. The experience I gained at Intel and the tools and training Intel has provided to enhance my skills have given me the confidence to find another job.

I never signed an employment contract with Intel, and I have some sense of the changing market, toughening competition, and the associated pressure on mature companies like Intel to find new ways to grow the stock price, so it's fair game if Intel decides to terminate my employment (with a 2 week notice and no severance package), or if I leave Intel for another company (be it AMD). I have worked for several companies in the past and have looked into some others, but Intel is by far my preferred employer.

Each of us have a different perspective, and I just wanted to share mine since I sensed a lot of pessimism and associated criticism in this blog.

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I am an Intel Vet (26+ yrs) with 1 yr to go before reaching Intel's retirement criteria. IT just dumped me into the "layoff" pool like a dead fish. Not based on "skills" but because of my work location (which they approved many years ago). No VSP, no "thank you for wasting your life with us" just, "Goodbye- and keep the boot" Intel you have no integretiy left and fail to practice what you preach "do the right things right"..

Anonymous said...

Is anyone beginning to wonder where these disgruntled employees are coming from? I don't think they were disgruntled when they began their carrers with Intel. I would bet they started out just as dedicated as those of you pointing fingers. Alas, todays hard chargers will most assuradly become tomorrows disgruntled... I've seen it come to pass, and I am watching it anew... but we must all learn from our own mistakes, right?

Anonymous said...

Being one of the 10%, I find myself overwhelmed by a mix of emotions about the situation.

There is no doubt that this "skills" approach in my group was only a thin veneer to avoid lawsuits and was not designed to keep the most skilled.

In my opinion, I was let go because my "manager" had a target and didn't like me because I was honest and vocal about what wasn't working.

I have worked at Intel for about 3 years, came from 12 years professional consulting (Big-5), received numerous DRAs for projects that I personally managed & owned in that short period of time; but yet was told that compared to my peers I was "less skilled". I have an MBA, CMMI certified and the only person in my group who has successfully manage a project on budget, on-time, whithon scope. I lost count how many times my peers got their projects ZBB'd.

Look, I have been "around the block", worked with a number of very large multi-nationals and I have never been so disappointed with a management group and culture as I have been with Intel.

Intel, it is time someone gives you a big kick in the butt. Stop pitting employees against each other during performance evaluations. Stop creating an environment where employees have to play politics, back-stab, cheat and lie in order to keep their lousy jobs. Focus darn-it on your external competition. Build relationships with your business partners instead of lying to them all the time.

The bottom line for me...I'm kind of happy. Now I don't have an excuse to sit around and mindlessly beat my head on the "management brick wall" that IT has so skillfully built.

Anonymous said...

I just found this blog. I left Intel after 6 years and when I was within sight of my first sabbatical. The reason why is I saw the train coming. I used examples of all the issues I had to unscrew while at Intel to get a better job in a lower cost area for more money. Go into the learning tool in Circuit to read up on the behavioral interview questions and prep yourself to get a better position and network, network and network. One thing trust no one at Intel. Haters who say they are your friends will dime you out in a minute if it gives them a leg up at focal. Don't let the focal badmouthing get you down. I took the anger and frustration and used it as fuel to change my life. If you buy into the concept that Intel is heaven you are truly screwed. Also use only personal cell phones and laptops to do your job search and phone interviews. The best part of leaving the place is handing your manager the letter of resignation when she has no idea it is coming. Sweet.

Scott said...

Think I know what Intel IT Guy is up too these days. Believe he has sampled the wind and somehow found out about the next round of as yet unannounced massive layoffs at Intel during latter part of Q3 and stretching into Q4 and Q1-2 2009. Original estimate from my high-level corporate contacts within Intel was between 10,500 to 11,200, but this has been upped due to current and projected market conditions to between 11,300 to 15,800. Yup, that's right Intel folks, don't you just luv workin there, never knowing when the hammers going to hit! They just luv screwing with your minds, don't they! If Intel IT Guy is smart, he is doing what I discretely suggested in a personal email. He is already crafting and implementing an exit strategy to get the heck out of Dodge before all Hell breaks loose before the end of this year. Otherwise, he will very likely end up by Q1-Q2 2009 swimming in the pool hoping to God someone throws him a life preserver, or else run him over with a handtruck and put him out of his Intel induced misery. Intel IT Guy, you've got enough balls and talent to make it on your own, stop waisting your life building someone elses house Dude! The Channel is hungry for your IT skills and talent. Get to Work Man! Enjoy!