Lemme tell ya the story of my life.
But first, let me preface by saying that tomorrow or Saturday I will post at length about this incident.
For now, please accept my abbreviated summation.
Someone I once worked with was laid off via telephone on Tuesday.
His absence has only been noted by his physical neighbors. He has faded into insignificance, ala Bartleby.
He was with our company at least 5 years. He has been easily dismissed in absentia. Told by HR that his belongings would be mailed. Our Human Resources fiends could not even summon the courage to lay someone off face to face. Isn’t this what you sign up for when you join HR? Isn’t this like a soldier collapsing on the battlefield and crying that he doesn’t have the heart to kill people?
I happen to share some of his interests, passions, whatever. I am in his contact list. Plus he knows I have the ears of a lot people in this company and I’m an avowed subversive based on my documented complaints. I don’t pull punches at work.
I got the “Deep Goat” insight. He was the Deep Goat.
And he filled me in on the nuts and bolts of this minor corporate drama.
I did what any good stooge does.
I immediately told the loudest mouths in the company. I spread the word.
(BTW, all you meek people reading. I don’t care. I live and breathe the bullshit I speak of. I will lose my job before I shut up, but I will not shut up, and no one wants to lose me. People live for money and shit. I live to deconstruct the system :) )
His treatment was an injustice. But it was not my place. I told a few key players with big mouths. Word would surely spread.
I was aghast at the execution. I believe that by working in the modern work place, we have all integrated the tenuous nature of our stability. Nothing is a sure thing and things will get more unsteady going forward, I don’t care what the Employment President tells us.
We have descended into a chronic state of under- and unemployment. This low level layoff was the epitome of modern corporate cutthroat, cowardly actions.
I lingered all day on the fact they couldn’t look him in the eye and tell him “bye.” Everyone I told was more concerned with the fact he got laid off and the legality of the actions. I didn’t care about that stuff. Technicalities bore me. I cared about the style and lack of personal accountability. All day long I thought about the lack of soul, heart and conscience required to lay someone off by phone, especially someone who had worked for the stupid company for years. I thought purely of the design, the manufacture of a layoff. People I spoke with today only worried about the trivialities of the layoff. They responded to it on purely emotional terms whereas I could see the company’s point of view, however I faulted the execution. In fact, I harbored harsh words for the cowards. I faulted the execution of our pussy HR department.
This is the dichotomy that has always severed me from people. I examine the structure but never feel. Everyone else feels but doesn’t examine or step back.
This is the way it is.