Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Laying off

Hi all,

Monday I went to a spring training baseball game. It was awesome. This particular field is about 45 minutes from my house. Come to find out that there are about 7 spring training facilities within 2 hours from my house.
I started looking for tickets online and all these games were sold out.
My choice was to go to the Yankee vs Phillies game and pay $40 a ticket (from an online ticket company) and drive two hours to get to that park or go to see the Tigers vs Cardinals about 45 minutes away but go without tickets (and try to scalp them when I get there).
I talked to my friend who now has Monday's off and we decided on the ladder.
We went up to Lakeland about an hour early. We drove up and a scalper was in his usual the corner of the street as we drove in.
He had 4th row seats for $25 each. We were so thrilled we didn't even try to haggle with him. The face value for these tickets were $16.
This field out in the middle of no where was AWESOME. It was like brand new. People were super nice, the field was pristine, the food was not that expensive.
We had a great time
It was a great day.

Topic de jour

I have a friend who had to let go an 11 year employee. This is a really outstanding man and he said it was the hardest thing he has ever had to do.
Like my office, if things are pretty good there usually not many reasons to have to have a "talk" with staff.
Things go along pretty good and your staff is pretty rock solid. So I look at my staff and our youngest employee has been here 8 years.
We as employers are not heartless. We, as employers, know our staff. We genuinely like them. We know their husbands and their kids.

Things are not the rosiest financially but we are managing.
Then we go to our financial advisers office and they tell you that your office is going to lose $100,000 this year. Then he says, "You have to reduce the bottom line."
So you hold on to your staff as long as you can.
Then when it can't get any worse you have to make that decision. I am assuming this is what you have to do. You do the line up in your head.
"Okay she is the best assistant, but her husband has a good job."
or maybe
"She has been with me the longest but..."
It has got to suck.
You sit there with people's lives in your hands. But now it is affecting his family and something had to be done.

Now at my office...
Everyone at the office is suffering because you are overstaffed (we are overstaffed now because remember it was busy one year ago). Everyone knows what is going on. At my office they have vowed to do whatever it takes to keep everyone on.
We have reduced everyone 2 hours.
But when this not be have to do what you have to do.
You have four people doing what two and a half people can do.

I was listening to the radio the other day and this guy was saying if in this economy if you are laying off good productive people "you suck" at managing.
You shouldn't be laying off people that are making you money.
He said if you haven't trimmed the "fat" at your office already, "you suck as an owner".
(He really said this).
I guess it is that easy if you can tell your underling to fire people. Or you can tell your office manager to let someone go, but when you have to sit in your office and tell someone that you are letting them go. It is tough.
Because you already know that her husband is struggling at work and that the kids need tutoring because they are having a hard time at school. And that their air conditioner is on the fritz.
We are not IBM. We are not Microsoft where we don't know our employees.

I can tell you it has been hard here. Now you know I never worry about money. I never look at our check book at the office (and at home for that matter) but I find myself cringing when I have to sign checks every week.

I know I am rambling but...
I wasn't even going to talk about this today but I haven't been able to shake from my mind what my friend had to do.
He was all torn up over it.

Have a great Wednesday,
I will talk to you on Friday.


Anonymous said...

That's tough for your friend. I have a friend in the same boat. He had to let an assistant go, and it was really hard. Especially since he has a good relationship with everyone in the office AND he said there was another person in the office not pulling her weight (front office staff). So how do you choose? Youngest veteran? Less valuable? It's hard as an employer, but employees need to know that times are hard and they better be pulling their weight these days, too. If not...why? Do they think their job is safe no matter what? I think sometimes certain employees think this...but times have changed. Just interesting food for thought...

gatordmd said...

Great comment.


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