Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dallas Morning News Show How Not to Lay Off People

Twisting In The Wind Can Be Worse Than Eventually Getting Pink-Slipped

I've been following the travails of what's left of the staff at the Dallas Morning News on the blog News Buyout 2008, which chronicles the latest reductions at what was once regarded as the nation's 10 best papers.
This was supposed to be the week when the grim reapers from Belo would swing the ax once more for the latest round of "involuntary separations," or whatever euphemism H.R. has cooked up.
So far, nothing, although some hints are given on how to read the tea leaves.
"Was an HR official seen in your department with an arm full of folders? Was the conference room's windows covered up with paper? Were cardboard boxes laying around today?"
Sigh. Having been through something like this before, it's the absolute worst way to lay off people. But it's the lawyers who control the process, and they don't give a rat's turd about morale. Still, how long does it really take to get all the necessary ducks in a row?
As one person on the inside commented on the blog:

"It's miserable. It's impossible to concentrate in the office (and the few chipper souls who seem to be oblivious to this don't help) and outside of the office you have brief moments when you realize you're actually not thinking about losing your job."

The ironic part, as one poster noted, is that the longer Belo takes to wring its hands over the cutbacks, the more expensive it gets. And isn't money, or the lack thereof, why you're doing the layoffs in the first place?

"The ONLY upside is that we all get to collect an extra week's pay that will be sorely needed after this shit shakes out. But the mental strain that the newsroom has been put under thanks to this delay almost makes that not worth mentioning."

I wish everyone at the DMN luck. Having been involuntarily separated myself back in July, I know the road that lies ahead is filled with potholes, regardless of whether you keep your job.

1 comment:

Ben Wright said...

As employees are shown the door, an employer is wise to hang onto their e-mail records. --Ben http://legal-beagle.typepad.com/wrights_legal_beagle/2008/10/retain-e-mail-of-former-employees.html