Monday, July 7, 2008

The Layoffs Cometh

Greetings, wage-donkeys!

After nine days off, nine days of getting enough sleep, nine days of having the time and energy to cook proper meals for myself (or enjoy the culinary skills of others), I returned to work today. And the mood is mostly grim and definitely tense. Part of this stems from a last-minute management change on how we chair moisteners were going to be informed of our 'stay or go' status; originally, all unit managers had scheduled 15-minute meetings on the hour and half hour for everyone in their groups. However, it was decided that this was potentially humiliating; I guess it was thought that others would line the halls, waiting to see who came out of their meetings smiling or crying.

Now I see this thinking as being jam-packed with assumptions of questionable value. First is the assumption that smiles indicate staying and tears indicate departure. I know of several comrades for whom the opposite would most definitely be true. Another is that we drones will simply find an excuse to loiter all day outside conference rooms. Honestly, managers could open the conference room door first to eliminate the likelihood that someone would want to be caught doing that; or they could appoint hall monitors, if they're that paranoid. As if the word won't get around quickly enough anyway, apparently we are so full of schadenfreude that we'll hide behind the rented plants to enjoy the misery of our fellows rather than wait a couple of hours for the gossip to circulate.

Knowing that the meetings were cancelled, I asked lorenzo how we were going to be informed of our departure if not with 1-on-1s. He grinned and said, "I dunno." I asked if managers were simply going to corner workers in their cubicles and give them the bad news. He laughed. Ten minutes after this conversation, I ran into some folks in another division and they had been told that managers will 'find us' during the day and haul us off to a conference room to give us the news. I guessed right again, I tells ya! So managers will be trolling the building looking for their people, or cornering them in their cubicles, and dragging them off to some mystery conference room to give them their good or bad news. Nothing humiliating about that - I mean, what if you're on the way to the bathroom? Do you go pee, or do you get laid off first and THEN go pee?

In talking with lorenzo, I had also suggested text messaging as a better method to inform folks. In addition, I offered to use the Photobooth function on my Mac Book to make two movies, a fired and not-fired, and they could be sent out to the appropriate employees. Honestly, I'd rather get an email than be trapped in a room with my manager looking like the unhappy rabbit he is most of these days. He looks like he's ready to gnaw his own foot off in order to escape.

Oh well, I did manage to draft my "I'm Laid Off" email. If I have occasion to send it, I'll post the contents here.

NB - I was sent this image by a coworker; I have no idea where it is from. If this is your image and you would like credit, or would like to have it removed, just leave a comment - they're moderated and I'll see it. Thanks!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, i actually got up the courage to send a comment! So, you'll be going off like St Helens! What a send off! And we didn't have to wait for the rumor mill to find out...