terpfan1980 I wonder what the chances are that one of your co-workers might be a member of the community here? Did you just not consider that possibility?
I know the situation quite well and am sure that my co-workers are blissfully unaware of the contents of this site and my writings here, so when I speak here it is with a great degree of anonymity.
That said, some mis-understandings above remain to be cleared up:
If you have been entrusted with confidential and sensitive information, your employer is trusting you with that, so if you want to break his/her trust, you go right ahead. Me personally, I'd do my job as instructed, as should you.
... to which I can say that it is not my employers that have entrusted me with the sensitive information, and that is really all the more I can say there without betraying some confidences.
For the most part, my coming into possession of this information is from some educated guesses and then, well, discussion with persons in positions to know what is coming. OK, that's a little more than I said just a paragraph ago, but that is all the farther I can take things.
The issue for me remains one of wanting to help make sure my co-worker(s) would be prepared for what could be coming while also completely understanding the position my employer is in. My employer isn't in business as charity. They have to get paid for the work that is done and if they aren't getting paid, they can't, in turn, pay the employees. Even if the work levels don't go down, they are still left to do as much as they can for their customers with however many workers the customers can afford to pay them for. If the customer's budgets are cut and yet their work loads remain, they'll have no choice but to ask fewer employers to do more as some employees must be let go in order to stay within the budgets.
I want to see the budgets brought back into reality but at the same time the losses of these jobs affect real people. Some of those people are friends. Some may be totally incompetent and probably should have been off looking for new jobs a long time but they were too lazy and too comfortable and didn't believe that they could ever be the one(s) that would lose their jobs. Those people could be in for a very rude awakening. On the other hand, some of these people are very good people, dedicated hard working souls that don't deserve to be kicked to the curb and yet they could find themselves out there fighting for open jobs with the dregs that should have been canned long ago.
I wish I didn't know the information that I know and I really wish I could be somewhat ignorant of the situation, but it just doesn't work that way. I'm smart enough to see writing on the wall and put facts together to form educated guesses as to what is coming. I've been through these cycles in the past and know how the game works. I may not like it, but I know how it all works and in the end I have to sit back, keep my mouth shut, hope to get good work out of the co-workers and team members until their very last days and yet also have to be prepared for worst case scenarios where work won't be done, or worse yet, where things get sabotaged by someone that decides a scorched earth exit is their best approach.
One final quote to respond to here:
Dr. Guy said:
Watch your own back. Sometimes they do not let all those being let go who is going. A friend knew I was on the cut list (this was 23 years ago), but failed to realize he was as well (He did tell me as there was no way to trace the news back to him).
Already ahead of you there as I pretty much never assume anything. I've worked at too many places and seen how things go too many times to ever assume that I'm safe and that it can't happen to me. I lost a job that I really did enjoy because my supervisors were stupid about selling my services at any sort of discounted rates and yet they felt they were forced to let me go because I was not generating revenue and income for their department so I became a target when the belt tightening happened. I had conversations with my supervisor where I acknowledged that we needed to get me back out on the road to generate more revenue and yet it didn't happen. I should have jumped ship and moved to other areas that were opening up around us but I was too loyal to my team and I shouldn't have been. Finding myself looking for work and taking about a month to find a new job after losing the old one hurt, but I was prepared to do what I had to take care of my family.
In my current case, I've heard assurances that I'm well thought of and should be safe, but I trust that about as far as I can, well, lets just say I don't really. I know that I'm being told what someone thinks I want to hear, and being told what someone feels will motivate me to keep producing. If I'm not producing and not generating revenue then I'd be gone in a second, and even if I am generating revenue, if I can be replaced at a lower cost, then I'm subject to being cast aside.
That is the way the game is played, and I do understand those rules. I may not like 'em, but I understand 'em.