Friday, April 11, 2008

Greed and Lost Jobs... a short story of millions and layoffs...

Here's a short story. It's a true story.

A company was sold and the executives walked away with sickening amounts of money. It was about 20 people who were grossly enriched. Many stock holders also won this lottery, but the 20 people directly benefitted hugely from their brilliant decisions of cutting back on operating costs by cutting workers (human beings) and thereby improving the bottom line.

Maybe this story will bore you as it happens everyday. But I'll tell you it to you again if you'll listen.

No great vision was needed. No desire to motivate and empower the workers to make a better company through growth in innovation and new products. The company was sick inside, but looked much healthier from the outside and so was sold for an ungodly amount of money to a much bigger company.

The 20 people walked away with millions and millions. You would be shocked by the amounts. Or maybe you wouldn't. And in our weakened economy created by the 20 people and all their thousands of friends (yes only thousands, not many of us get to share in that level of greed), the company is now going through round 5 of layoffs. Expenses must be cut. The only way is to cut the workers.

Yesterday one of those workers was let go in the morning. She was one of hundreds. She was not forced to leave immediately but was allow to stay for the day. She spent the day cleaning up all the work she had been doing for she had been lately working overtime (no extra pay for salaried workers) to enrich the company's leaders and stockholders. She could have left the minute they told her about losing her job. But she stayed and worked to get as much done as she could; to leave things in the best state as possible. She worked into the night and I thought, how stupid. To give so much for no return. The 20 people would never have done that and I think they would think her stupid as well.

But I was wrong. It was not stupid. It was noble. It was doing the right thing as painful as that might be. She is an older worker without a job in a weakened economy.

The 20 people did not do the right thing, and yet I feel certain they are enjoying their blood money.

And so I say pray for the noble people and the greedy people and will have hope that someday it won't be like this anymore.

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