Monday, 4 August 2008

Keeping it professional

A bizarre end to the week. Farewell drinks with the blokes that we are laying off. Very amicable – they all seem understanding and tell me that ‘it’s just one of those things’. I feel somehow that it is right for me to make an appearance and buy a few rounds. I’m not sure if this is the honourable thing to do or whether it’s just to make me feel better. Either way I don’t hang around too long – it just feels too awkward and weird.

The truth is that in the three months that they have been aware of the situation, only two out of the eight have managed to secure full time work in the industry. So with recession looming it’s not ‘just one of those things’. This stoicism is praised as ‘being professional’ on both our parts. But I want someone to kick up and shout ‘this is fucking outrageous - after years of good work we’re finished just so a big customer can cut costs!’ Because that’s exactly how it is.

As a double whammy, at the same time one of the senior managers here has decided that now is the time to jump ship to a close competitor. He’s a good guy and we’ve always got along well. But he knows our business inside out and is now well placed to do us damage in his new role. Again we’re stoic and professional. We say we understand his reasons and wish him well. But I what I really want to say is ‘you’ve just stabbed us in the back at the very worst time fucker’.

All this ‘professionalism’ is seen as a good thing. Maybe it is because it keeps the lid on when we’re about to blow up. But it also feels like passivity and cowardice, a cop-out and an acknowledgement that nothing should be allowed to get in the way of keeping the greasy money making wheels turning.

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