Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Tomorrow Will Be A Sad Day

When I go to work tomorrow morning many of my friends and co-workers will not be there - they will have been notified that they no longer have a job. Victims of corporate downsizing.
You see, a few weeks ago our company announced their quarterly earnings and while we made more money than we made for the same time last year, our profits were steady so the analysts were upset and our stock dropped slightly. So the short-term answer is almost always at the expense of the workers. I would be willing to bet that when the layoffs are announced, the price of the stock will rise for a short period of time. I have to say, there is something deeply troubling about this. To reward a company for devastating the lives of their loyal workers is simply not right.
We Americans have become used to instant fixes. We gain weight by eating poorly and leading a sedentary lifestyle so instead of pushing back away from the dinner table and going for a brisk walk, we go online for miracle "instant weight loss" diets and spend our hard-earned dollars on a quick fix.
Instead of saving our money and investing in solid ethical companies that treat their employees right, we opt for companies that strive to keep their stock price up by any means necessary but their vision is limited to the next quarterly earnings report.
I may be one of those people who will be greeted tomorrow morning by a company official carrying a box for me to load up my personal things from my desk, but I'll be fine.
Back when I worked for my previous employer we were constantly under threat of being laid off. I hated that feeling so I took advantage of their tuition plan which paid for 100% of my education. I finished up my two-year degree, my bachelor degree and my masters. It must have cost them $100,000 but walking down the isle on graduation day, I felt a sense of accomplishment not necessarily that I had graduated from a great school but that I had done things to improve my lot and to make myself more valuable in the marketplace. A few months later, they did oursource my job to my current employer but I kept on working as a contract employee for the old company. I've continued to focus on my skills and I know without a doubt that I will survive if I were to be laid off. So many of my younger co-workers have not focused on self development so they'll have to take this lesson to their next job and do a better job then.
Not sure what daylight will bring, but even if my job is spared, tomorrow will be a sad day.

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