The Recession Comes to Our Front Door

In these tough economic times, we are seeing budget cuts and fiscal policies changing almost daily.  When the "economic downturn" came to my front door, I could not help but question how the economy is still being abused in the wake of these revealing times.

Not but two weeks ago, my wife returned to work from a long weekend of vacationing in Carlsbad.  At the end of her work day, she was handed a fax - yes, that's right a fax! - informing her that her position was no longer financially viable and that today was her last day.   I heard about it as we were in mid-IM conversation.  One second we were discussing dinner plans and the next, "they just let me go..."  

People get laid off every day, but she had put considerable time and effort into this practice and was above and beyond one of their greatest assets.  I know what you're thinking, of course he thinks she their greatest asset, he's her husband.  But considering the days that followed her dismissal, the comments from many within the practice were of shock and disbelief.  To this day, people are still shaking their heads.  She was also the ONLY employee to be let go in this move to reduce costs.  One has to wonder, was this really a result of the economy...

I'm not an HR manager, but I can recognize class when I can see it.   I have met the lead MD at this practice a few times and from my interactions with him, he seemed to be a man of integrity and honor in the work he does and how he conducts his business.  The manner in which she was summarily dismissed and discarded like an old pair of shoes is despicable at best. 

In stark contrast, I heard from a friend that the CEO of their company brought the employees together, acknowledging the tough economic times.  But despite these difficult times, he could not let ANY of his employees go.  It just simply was not the right thing to do.  Instead he proposed a pay cut across the board, including his own, understood if people could not stay due to the cuts, but was passionate that layoffs were not the answer.  Good workers are hard to find.  Now that's class.

If there is a silver lining, it's that we have taken a good hard look at our expenses and have made substantial cuts in our household spending.  It's actually quite liberating and cleansing, and even if she finds work soon, we are committed to continuing to cut our expenses.  

Perhaps those companies seeking aid from our government, and ultimately us, should take a note and reconsider executive bonuses and look inward to better their operations rather than to others for bailouts.

Note: Since I started writing this post several days ago, my wife has found work again.  It's not exactly what she wants to do, and has to work Saturdays, but there may be other opportunities on the horizon. 

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