Northwest Becomes Early-Line Favorite For PR Boner Of The Year
Every writer needs an editor, loathe as we often are to admit such a shortcoming.
But for that naturally adversarial relationship to have any chance of succeeding, both sides need to have a clue.
Suffice to say, Northwest Airlines is lacking in said clue. Ditto the chuckleheads at alleged "employee-assistance" firm NEAS, the company that wrote a handbook for airline employees being laid off on how to cope with their diminished lives now that they were being restructured.
Word that the handbook had such helpful hints as using old newspapers for cat litter, asking friends and family for hand-me-down clothes and pull stuff you like out of the trash, in order to save money, spread fast and furious for obvious reasons.
And what makes for great copy makes for humongous headaches for companies. NWA said they were sorry, although a company spokesman tried to pass the buck to NEAS, which didn't take the bait and clammed up.
What's both amusing and sad is that when you visit the NEAS Web site, it proclaims:
When life or work become a balancing act, a helping hand provided by highly skilled and compassionate professionals, not just technology, can make all the difference.
Forgive Northwest employees if they engage in a collective guffaw over that whopper.
And NEAS might have gone amok with its good intentions, but remember, it was Northwest that paid for this missive.
It's hard to believe that someone at Northwest -- which doesn't deserve much credit for anything nowadays, especially labor relations -- actually read this thing before it was sent out. Or, it could have been the latest episode of the airline giving its employees the finger during its extended stay in Chapter 11 protection.
Either way, it tells you something about Northwest and why it teeters with extinction. It doesn't deserve better. Their employees do.