This morning, I was listening to the radio and there was a Budweiser commercial on and it was all about how, even though Bud is brewed at 12 different places all over the country, every day they fly a sample to the brew master in one central location to so that he can make sure all our crappy beer has the same level of crappiness and you won’t be accidetally surprised to find that Bud Light suddenly has taste.
But I hope they’re FedExing those beers. The tone of the commercial, though, makes it sound like Budweiser has twelve private jets which make one round-trip every day to some central location (I presume St. Louis) to deliver one lone beer. And I couldn’t help but think, “People all over are losing their jobs and you’re talking about how great it is that you fly beer cross-country?”
It just seemed tone-deaf.
And then, over on NPR, they were talking about the lay-offs there.
And now Mrs. B brings up something that nags at the back of my mind:
The really shitty thing is, if Les Moonves or Katie Couric, both multi-bazillionaires gave up just one weeks pay, they could have saved these 40 peoples jobs.
And you wonder, why don’t they?
I want to say something. I’m not sure I can. So I’ll just pile on a bit. Thanks for this.
I wonder what the figures are here at Vandy, for Zeppos and some others. You know layoffs are coming, even if they’re only temporary until we can find some cash (they keep saying we’re not actually poor just cash poor and can’t get a loan). Or what if every tenured faculty member gave up just one day’s salary? What if they even delayed a percentage of their salary payments? I know some people have agreed to scale back on usage of their research budgets; however, I also know of some who will not – even though they know that it could save some jobs for groundskeepers, janitors, and even admin assistants. I will not continue to listen to them talk about justice.
If you or I gave up just one week’s pay, we wouldn’t starve to death (things might be uncomfortable: we might get behind on rent/mortgage payments or other bills, we might only be able to eat peanut butter sandwiches, whatever, but we wouldn’t die), yet we might be able to save 40 starving kids in Africa.
So why don’t we?
Yeah, except that misses my point. I don’t depend on those 40 kids to do work that supports my work. I don’t directly benefit from them having jobs.
What I’m asking is, if you sit at the top of the company’s payroll, and your company needs to reduce payroll, and if people who make your life easier are going to lose their jobs so that your company can reduce payroll, when does it behoov you to take a cut so that everyone can keep working?
Or doesn’t it, ever?
Having worked on announcements for several layoffs (or reductions in force as they’re known these days) — it’s never that simple.