Mrs. JD Needs Your Help!
Okay, this one is a bit of a rough one, and we need some extra input to make sure we have things covered.
Tomorrow, on tax day none the less, the company that Mrs. JD works for will be laying off 20% of their workforce in one day. This will be in excess of 100, and less than 300, people which is all I can devuldge at this time.
Mrs. JD will be sitting in on the noification of AT LEAST 20 of these lay offs, being there in a co-delivery role. Needless to say, this has caused some stress around the Dillinger household for the past two weeks as she has known well ahead of most.
We have covered the basics. We are going over the site plan for the building she will be reassigned to tomorrow ( BTW, how the Eff do you like that? :mad: She is on crutches and she has to go to a different building she is NOT familiar with to deliver this kind of news. Nice huh? ). We have brushed up on the things not to say: "I know how you feel" "I know this seems bad" etc, etc.
The company has taken what I consider to be adequate measures to make sure a situation doesn't occur ( off duty police in all the buildings, electronic passcard locked rooms and passages that will not be accessiable to anyone once they are notified, security cameras in all areas leading to and from the "notification rooms" ). It's not trained SWAT teams, but at least it's something.
What I am looking for is this:
Are there any LEO's, PhD's, Hostage Negotiators out there that can lend some "calming phrases" for a person who is not on alcohol/drugs, not on any sort of external chemical, but just found out they lost a 6 figure job in a market that has 10% unemployment?? ( No, Mrs. JD doesn't make 6 figures, if she did, I wouldn't be working :D )
I would appreciate any suggestions, but please stay on topic until tomorrow afternoon if you are going to post - I need to gather as much good information as I can on this sensitive issue.
Thanks for Reading!
"I have been tasked with......" might be a good way to start. Seriously, they are just going to spring this on the people? She might want to call in sick. After the first 10 people, she may very well be sick. If I understand you correctly, management wants your wife to be the Dr. Mengele of their "right-sizing".
Not to put too fine a point on it, but I'd not be in their employ when this goes down. Not from a safety standpoint, but from a "I Wouldn't Work For Such People" stance. Of course I don't know all the particulars, but to not even give your workforce a heads-up so that they can at least pursue other jobs is bastard-ish.
Man, that's rough... It's hard to help you since our cultures are very diferent (and I barely speak english... or I'm not articulated in english), but when I had to lay off to 8 people at the same time (3 of them was my friends and other help me to get that job) I try to fit in their shoes.... that's not easy, there's not easy way to see somebody in to their eyes and fire them... the best advice that I could give to Mrs JD is be sincere and honest... let them understand that is not personal, and she is doing just what she was asked for.... please, don't use words that can make them think that she is doing it to avoid her own lay off, because would be offensive to some people and easily can start a verbal fight("I'm more valuable than you" argument).
Because of my english and cultural aproach I only can offer you this words but I hope that god help them all.
...on the funny side.... BLAME OBAMA! (in-here work with Chavez:rolleyes:)
"It's not the end of the road. Things will turn around for the better."
"Don't give up. With your abilities and credentials, you should not worry."
"Best thing is to look at this as an opportunity. If I know you like I think I do, there is no way you will let this get to you."
"You are not a quitter. People like you don't give up, you only get stronger."
Or, the ever favorite:
"Loaded guns are on the left, and the whiskey is on the right." :eek:
(Last one was for those that are the most well adjusted)
This is one of the toughest things in which to deal. Everyone likes to think they are indespensible, but unless you own the company and make payroll everytime...
Losing a job CAN (for some folks) be akin to being told you have a fatal illness- with some of the same responses- denial, bargaining, anger, sorrow. acceptance. Mrs JD should anticipate any/all of these.
No pet phrases, other than similar to when you have to be the notifier of next of kin- and the "I know how you must feel" is very high on the AVOID list,
At some point you will have to use the term "laid off". Emphasize that this is a necessary financial action, and not due to a performance shortcoming of the person (anticipate bargaining attempt here if you don't)
DO have information on placement services, unemployment, resume services, COBRA, in a packet that worker can go thru. DO make eye contact with the person.
For you folks that do not understand- if a company has lost business, reduction in staffing may have to be- if the company is to survive.
I would hope with 6 figure employees there is some kind of exit package to help with the transition to a new job. Good to emphasize that if there is. Also having contact information available for employment help centers, transition insurance options and unemployment benefits would be positive items to include.
Bottom line is MRS. JD will be having the worst of what Iím sure have been a lot of terrible days. So lots of love and support from you will be the best for her. Maybe let her win at Wii a few times.
Seriously give her our best. Life throws real sh1t at good people.
If Mrs. JD is good friends with some, or really likes them, she can say, "They put me in charge of this list, and I almost refused at the risk of my own job until I saw your name. I realized that if I said no way, they would just get someone else to do it. I care too much about you to have to hear this from someone who does not know you or care about you and your family. I just could not do that to you."
I agree that a statement that tries to put her in their shoes is not a good idea.
"YOU HAVE NO F'IN CLUE HOW I MUST FEEL!!" is the start of that tirade.
This is not any help for Mrs. JD in her task but will help you in dealing with the emotional side of the aftermath. My daughter just went through this a few months ago and came home to her children and husband in tears for the entire week.
Have something special planned for her when she gets home.
1. Dinner and a movie either out or in.
2. Corny but flowers are always nice.
3. Buy her a special gift, nicely wrapped. It doesn't have to be expensive, just something other than an oven mit or that new pistol you want. In other words, something personal.
4. Invite friends to the house to play cards or have a drink or for dinner, but only if you are cooking or the group is going out to dinner.
5. Watch her favorite chick flick with her.
You get the idea...this won't be easy for her, she'll need a stress break when she gets home.
Thanks for all the responses guys.
There are good severance packages for all employees. The company has made several "semi hard" announcements about the state of the company, of accounts and things of that nature.
None of this will be a cold water shock to the system if the people have been paying attention, but, a lot of these people are long tenure employees with this company that probably aren't expecting the cuts to come to their level of the command chain.
I appreciate all the good feedback and will pass this along, as well as all the wishes for luck and positive thoughts.
dune - I think we are on the same page there, I already have tomorrow evening planned and have for about a week now. Favorite bottle of Patrone, favorite chick flick and one of her favorite meals that is DEFINITELY not on the diet plan. :D
I dunno' J.D., that's an extremely hard position to be in. Hopefully, she already has the skills and will handle it well. I would assume that she does, because otherwise, someone else would have gotten the assignment.
Life is hard and as we all know, life isn't fair. As distasteful as this particular job may be, the company is relying on her to get it done. That shows a great deal of confidence in the Missus's talents and skills.
As far as anybody going postal, it sounds like the company has done a fair job of security. It seems to me that any real violence will come well after the fact. By then, hopefully your wife will out of the fray.
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