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PEOPLE WATCH
Hurt, Inc.

by Casey White
February 6, 2003

Hurt, Inc._Casey White- This past Monday, I was forced by my corporation to inform one of my direct reports that he would be "surplused" in 90 days. Downsizing. Rightsizing. Resizing. Call it what you want. The corporate game is to balance the budget. Increase the bottom line. Adjust the workforce to meet demand. Forget about the 10 year plan. The 5 year plan. The one year plan. Don't wait until next quarter. It'll cost you more then. You gotta shake one loose now, or you might have to shake two loose next month. It's not a fun business in business right now.

He knew there was not enough work for the past year. And to some degree, he was psychologically prepared to hear this news. But it still hurts to put someone out of their job, and it still hurts to receive that news, no matter how plain the facts, or how understandable the business decisions. On Monday, his response was, "No, really," with a smile. "That's okay. I'll land on my feet."

On Wednesday, I spoke with him again. We were trying to go over any potential options of negotiating work for him in another group. His eyes looked more pained. The realities had hit home. Having to face his spouse and children with the news must have been hard. "You know, I really didn't get angry," he said, "until today, when I saw that our company was being fined more than twenty million bucks for past corporate sins."

Of course, the people that made those illegal business moves have long since moved on. But their mistakes are with us still.


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