|Issue No 90||30 March 2001|
Heart of Stone
As the economy slows down and workers are laid off, this Tool is trying to make a buck teaching bosses how to tell people they're fired. Rosemary Foxcroft, welcome to the Shed!
Foxcroft is the brains behind a new service in turning bosses into bigger bastards. Her company DBM prides itself on being a "worldwide leader in providing strategic solutions that help align their workforces to meet changing business needs". We think this is a euphemism 'for shafting the little guy'.
She's come to our attention because she's sunk to issuing media releases in a bid to drum up business. A local hack asked us for comment and sent it over. When it arrived, we thought it was a hoax.
It starts with an attention grabber: managers who sack staff double their usual risk of a heart attack in the next week. We call that rough justice, Foxcroft calls it a business opportunity.
If the pretence isn't silly enough, the substance is downright naff. What follows is a series of down home advice for employers wielding the axe.
Little pearls of wisdom like:
- "Prepare the message: write a script you will use during the meeting;"
- "Prepare the materials: explain the rationale and prepare all severance information in writing"
- "Prepare yourself emotionally: Don't assume personal responsibility for the termination".
Foxcroft also offers a range of suggested responses should the employee happen to get angry. They give a fair indication of what's going on inside this Tool's head:
Why was I selected? Who made the final decision?
Suggested Response: The selection was based on a number of factors, including individual job skills, work experience, organisational needs, tenure and performance. These decisions are always difficult, but they were reviewed and approved by management.
What recourse do I have?
Suggested Response: Employees are always free to talk with a higher level of management. However, because management has already carefully reviewed the decision, it is unlikely that the outcome will change.
Can I continue to work for a period of time?
Suggested Response: No. We feel it is in your best interest and the organisation's that you utilise your time exploring employment opportunities outside the company. That is also why we have brought in an Outplacement firm to assist you I preparing for your job search.
Can I be re-hired?
Suggested Response: You are eligible for re-hire. However, the probability of that is unlikely. That is why you should concentrate your efforts on finding employment outside the company.
I want to talk with Mr/Ms "X" (eg the Manager's boss)
Suggested Response: Of course you are free to make an appointment to see him/her, but I must tell you that he/she is fully aware of the decision and supports it.
I can't understand why I can't be considered for something else?
Suggested Response: Before this decision was made, every effort was made to explore other options.
How can you do this to me after so many years?
Suggested Response: The reorganisation was necessary for business reasons.
So there you have it. In a world of almost unlimited management prerogative, Foxcroft proves that nothing exceeds like excess.
We can only hop the day is soon when she is summonsed to an office and told "The selection was based on a number of factors ..." Of course, we'd take another more direct tack. "You are a the Weakest Link. Your Are a Tool. Goodbye".
Interview: On the Up and Up
On the eve of new figures showing the slide in union membership may be bottoming out, ACTU secretary Greg Combet takes stock of the state of the movement.
Unions: Organising Theory
Labor Council’s Chris Christodoulou reports back from this week’s ACTU Organising Conference
Economics: The Failure of the Third Way
In his presentation to this week's ACTU Organising Conference, John Buchanan painted a dark picture of the emerging labour market.
History: Emblems of Unity
The Gregory J. Smith Collection of Trade Union badges was auctioned today in Sydney. Smith compiled a book on 763 of his remarkable collection which was published in 1992.
Legal: Della's Compo Plan
Labour lawyer Richard Brennan places the NSW workers compensation reforms under the microscope.
International: East Timor Goes Union
Workers in the fledgling nation have established their equivalent to the ACTU to build a safety net for workers.
Satire: Management for the Post-Industrial World
A new management fad is sweeping the post-industrial world, which has major social and political implications at the macro and micro level. We have called it "Purge Management Strategy" (PMS).
Review: Surviving The Temptations of TV Island
Cultural analyst Mark Morey rakes over the coals of American TV culture to find very little is there.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005