Friday, May 20, 2005


file under corporate irony or maybe just greed

So I was laid off at the end of February. Unlike most (nationally speaking), I was very lucky to recieve a generous severance package. That package ran out last week. Thankfully, my fiance is kind enough to carry me on her health insurance, so I'm in fairly good shape.

Why am I writing this?

The rationale for the never-ending rounds of layoffs (there have been two since December 2004, and another is planned in 2 months or so), not to mention that bonuses were not paid was that the company has having significant challenges meeting its commitments to the street ("the numbers"). The organization has laid off roughly 500 people world-wide. To provide a bit more background, the organization has, as most do, a dual bonus system: one for regular employees, and one for management employees. What's critical to remember about this is that regular employees have their bonuses determined on a per project basis. Management employees receive their bonus as a percentage of their salary, with a corporate performance match.

Regular employees received no bonus this year. Many recieved no raise as well. For employees like a friend of mine who worked for me, this is significant. He accepted a lower salary than he wanted because of the promise of a bonus that "was always paid."

Because of my role in the company, I was part of the management bonus program. As a result, I received the personal portion of my bonus in its entirety, despite being laid off. Senior management recieved substantial stock grants in lew of cash bonuses.

Here's the kicker: After laying off all these people, providing no raises for many of the remaining employees, providing no bonuses to all but the most senior memebers of the organization, raising the co-pay on the insurance policy while reducing the quality of care, the organization reported its best quarter in its history.

What's wrong with this picture?

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