Zach Zupancic

Zach Zupancic

Senior Designer, SolidWorks addict, AutoCAD zealot, Cyclist, Shade Tree Mechanic, & moderately tall. 

Hello, thank you, and good bye...

I head into the office on Monday the 29th after a fantastic time in Florida to an easy work load. I talked much with my co-workers about how the trip went and how pursuit was doing in our current plant; all in all things were going back to the way they were before I left. I received an e-mail from the company stating that we would be holding a sexual harassment video conference on Wednesday. I started working on fine tuning our software and set-up for the meeting so that we would be able to start on time and without any for of delays. Tuesday came around with much of the same, and I think that Tuesday evening was one of the first evenings that I was actually able to sleep in my own bed and get a full nights rest since the Florida trip.

Wednesday’s alarm came blaring in my face at 7:30 and I started making the normal slow process of getting ready so that I would not only be presentable in the conference call, but also awake. I arrived at the office at 7:55 and instantly started to turn on the computer, projector, and start the programs needed to get this thing a-rollin’. There was quite a ruffling on the London end with delays, and our key note speaker being late, so I wasn't in any real rush. 8:30 rolls around and it seems that we are going to postpone the meeting until a later date. Rick asks me to wait a bit and I end and close out what was left of the video conference.

Valerie and I were sitting on one side of the table and Rick on the other. He looks at me and says "Due to the lack of data from the plant, Pursuit UK finds it necessary to remove some of its overhead costs. What that means is that along with Warren and Pete, you will be laid off."

Shazam.

Needless to say I was pretty shocked; and yet, I wasn't completely destroyed by the news. I gave up an extremely steady job in San Diego for this opportunity, and even with this result I think it was a good move. Pursuit has a product that is brand new technology, and I knew that there may be some bumps and hurdles along the way. Even though they had testing data to prove the product we had yet to put it into full power and test it in the real world. With idea of helping out the world to be greener, the 5 minute drive to work, and salary increase I figured it was a risk worth taking. As of right now the project is still underway, they are still making further tweaks to make it run perfectly. Although I no longer belong to the company, I am still 100% sure that their product will succeed and change the face of the ethanol industry.

At the end of our talk Rick mentioned that when the product is completely running all of us that have been laid off will be re-instated. They will still have that need for salesmen, and a definite need for my CADD work. So while it sucked at the moment, it looks like it will still pan out for the good. Another upside to the situation is that the company still needs my skills, but since I am no longer employed by them I would be contracted out. What this translates into is more money; granted I no longer have benefits, and set schedule. The ability to make more money with less hours of work is there.

Rick's plan of sending me to Florida to work for Rob wasn't just one friend helping out another; it was also for me to develop a connection with him. Rick didn't know that I was going to get laid off until that morning; but what he had created between Rob and I was worth its weight in gold. Rick and Rob went above and beyond to make sure that I would be okay, and I seriously can’t thank them enough for what they did. Within a few hours Rick, Rob, and I were on the phone talking about prospects and possible future work. To top it off me getting laid off, really put me into a mindset where I really need to finish school. If I would have had my degree right now I would not fear anything about the future, I would be able to go anywhere and not fear my wellbeing; but since I don’t I kinda do.

All in all, the positives out weighed the negatives, and the loss of a great career may turn into the development into a better one.


The end of the week was filled with me still working in the office gathering and cleaning out the comp of all of my data. Surprisingly enough I still had work to do; and since I only have to work 20h a week to make the same amount of money I was more than happy to work.