I work in the public sector. Around a year ago, management announced a hiring freeze. At that point, we already had several unfilled positions. The situation has continued to go downhill. If we were fully staffed at my position, we would have around 23 FTE's. Currently, we have about 8.0 FTE's that are unfilled. As each new person leaves our location and our supervisors send a request to HR to post the position, the supervisors are informed that HR is "aware" of the situation at our location. However, we are still have not been given the green light to post any positions.
A couple of years ago, when I first started, we had a minimum number of people that we needed to open the doors. Now if we are short of people, we can't call another location to borrow a person or call a part time person to come in and work a few extra hours. We simply open the doors to the public no matter how many people are working.
As a result, it looks like a bomb has gone off in the back workroom. Customers are not happy that items are taking weeks instead of days to get items put out on the shelves. We now rely on volunteers who come in six days a week to help us do one of our most basic jobs.
I worked on Sunday and Monday. Both days I ate lunch at 12:30. Only one other person was eating lunch in our breakroom.
I used to think that the line from the Eagles song Already Gone ("And then you'll have to eat your lunch all by yourself") was funny.
Now I'm concerned that I will be eating lunch at work all by myself at the end of 2010.