It Seemed Like a Good Idea At the Time

Did you ever notice how people riding a train seem to think that everyone else around them is deaf? I have heard details of lawsuits, obviously confidential business information, employee issues that could get a company sued and more while riding the trains between Philadelphia and New York.

Sometimes they are one-sided conversations and you only hear the loud-talker on their cell phone sitting in the next row. Other times the conversations are full-blown discussions between two or more people who just don't seem to realize everyone around them can hear what they are saying.

Like the other day. Two well dressed men on their way to Philadelphia were having a conversation about the economy and their company while sitting behind me. It was the usual moaning and groaning – until the conversation turned to bonuses. One of the guys (Let's call him empty suit number 1) then asked, "Are we still planning on cutting out the year end bonuses for the staff?" Empty suit number 2 responded, "Absolutely! The economy gives us the perfect opportunity to get rid of some of these perks." Number 1 said something like, "Well, there's going to be some very unhappy people in a couple of weeks." Number 2 responded with a word I won't use here but then said they could look for other jobs if they don't like it.

After a bit of silence, Suit 2 said, "We can always send them a jelly of the month club gift." This was an obvious reference to the movie "National Lampoons Christmas Vacation." In the movie, the boss who made the decision to substitute a jelly club for the annual cash bonus because, "it seemed like a good idea at the time" ends up being kidnapped from his home and taken to the Griswold family home to face the music. Of course, in the movie, everyone ends up happy in the end.

Companies that use the economy as an excuse to take away compensation, perks, bonuses, etc. because they can get away with it now are knuckleheads. Your employees are your most important asset. That fact is even more important during a slow economy because you are going to be asking them for even more. And, you'd better believe that your best employees will assume you don't value them and will begin to look for a company that does.

When that happens you'll be saying, "It seemed like a good idea at the time."

1 thought on “It Seemed Like a Good Idea At the Time”

  1. Listen up management, you may think you have us where you want us, but we also know where the door is.
    Thank you, Bob, for another enligtening blog.
    Marie M.

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