Happy Holidays — You’re Fired!!!
I hope you had a fun and safe New Year’s. I was planning to do a different and informative article for the first column this year … then I read about Lillian Vernon letting go 100 employees a mere five days before Christmas. With no warning! Does anyone else find this to be a despicable act?
I’m not against making a profit, but as a direct marketer, I always seek ways to reduce costs rather than cutting staff — a last resort to me — to meet profit goals. Was it really going to kill a multimillion-dollar enterprise’s profits to keep 100 employees, who probably busted their collective butts to help Vernon make its holiday sales numbers, just a few more weeks?
Somebody is waaay out of line here! I know today we live in a pressure-cooker environment, doing business at light speed. Holiday season in retail and mail order, from September on, is intense. But come on, give people a break here. Did Vernon’s management really need to do this?
Many people already find the holiday season stressful, while traditionally it’s supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year;” a paradox of the times we live in. The last thing someone needs is the ax to fall on them during that time.
There should be some sort of moratorium on firings the last two months of the year. Let’s extend that out into the third week of January just to be safe. Add that to our list of best practices.
Rant over! Anybody think I could possibly be off base? Let me know.
Speak to you next week. Got comments? Post them below!
Jim Gilbert is president of Gilbert Direct Marketing Inc., a full-service catalog and direct marketing agency. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed at www.linkedin.com/in/jimwgilbert or you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.