33% of Nothing is Nothing

13 Apr

The topic of conversation around the coffee pot this morning surrounded a local large company that announced they were cutting 1/3 of the work force today. The controversy (or at least what we found controversial at 7am today in my office) lays around the fact that this company informed their employees 30 days ago that TODAY they would cut 1/3 of the work force. This company is a huge provider of local jobs. I live in a small state with rural communities so a cut this large is going to really make a dent in the local economy.

Image Borrowed from www.swordsandarmor.com

Image Borrowed from http://www.swordsandarmor.com

My horror with this situation is that even though they are only cutting 33% (and when I say only I do not say that 33% of the employees is trivial, it is not) about 75% of the employees are worried that they are one of the cut! So for a month, all of these people have been wondering “could it be me?”

It got me thinking (most things do but you want to only hear 33% of what I am thinking) what would I do if my company were to announce such a cut. Now granted, my company has about 50 employees so if they were to cut 33% of us, there are bigger issues. Would it prompt me to search and possibly get a new position at a different company? Would I wait it out and see what happens and hope that it was NOT me. Let the dice roll?

The economy is pretty effed up these days so who knows what the future holds for any of us. I guess the best thing to do is dust off your resume and keep it current so you are ready to go with it at a moments notice.

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2 Responses to “33% of Nothing is Nothing”

  1. stevebetz April 13, 2011 at 4:22 PM #

    Having worked in the biotech economy for the past decade, I’ve been involved in a number of lay-offs (or as we call them RIFs, for Reduction-In-Force) and I’ve seen them done well and done very poorly. To me, announcing a RIF only torpedoes morale and ensures that NOTHING will get done between the time of the announcement and the RIF.

    I think the best philosophy is the band-aid — quickly, without warning — and probably most importantly follow the rule of “Cut once, cut deep” — so that you don’t have to follow one lay-off with another.

    • middleofthebed April 13, 2011 at 4:32 PM #

      I totally agree with that mentality. I do NOT ever want to work in a place where I know that in 30 days 30% of my coworkers and potentially ME may be out of a job. How would you focus on anything OTHER than that. MY boss was in on the conversation stating that he felt like it was a good practice to give warning so people could prepare for lay offs and/or volunteer therefore saving others.

      His response was less than pleasing to me. You know since he is my boss and all.

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