Nothing warms the heart of the guy who just snuck in the door before the hiring freeze snapped its icy jaws shut then sitting in a staff meeting talking about how his new agency will be offering early retirements and voluntary separation incentives between now and the end of the year. Those options are the last line of defense to head off a more general reduction in force if the total number of employees does not drop below the approved baseline. Fortunately, I’ve got enough years of service to not show up on the absolute bottom of list, but a far cry from enough to be anywhere in the top half or maybe even in the top two-thirds. Still, it looks like we could be in for a long winter game of I bump you, you bump me, and some old timer comes in and bumps both of us closer to the bottom of the list. That’s a great way to spend the long cold months of the year. Uncle usually offers pretty good work when you can get it, but it appears that we’re about to enter unusual times. So in the meantime, if anyone needs the services of a freelance blogger-logistician-analyst feel free to contact the business manager here at http://www.jeffreytharp.com.