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Cost Cutting

The time for input had come and gone and with it his opportunity to influence their decision. Not that he’d ever really had the chance. He had registered his concerns as he was instructed, knowing even as he made the appointment that he would be ignored. His input was irrelevant, the decision had already been made. He’s been here too long to be fooled by this sad and predictable attempt at making the employees feel like their concerns had been heard. It was all PR these days.

That was probably the worst part of the whole deal. Knowing that these decisions were being made in conference rooms by people that only cared about the bottom line. The didn’t even have any real long term vision. The only thing that matters is what will boost the bottom line today.How on earth did they expect someone to be able to do their work with the impending doom of whatever random change might save a buck today? And when were they going to get the new pens that had been ordered months ago? It was getting absolutely ridiculous.

But despite his misgivings he’d gone in and talked to his boss, a middle manager. He expected a canned script and wasn’t disappointed. All of his objections to this dollar-driven scheme were overridden with what amounted to “Thank you for caring, but we know better than you do.” Nevermind that he’d done the research saying that replacing internal employees with those contracted through an outside firm was bad for retention of those employees not outsourced. Ignore the fact that turnover at outsourcing firms was notoriously high and they’d be losing training time with each new person, let alone all the data that had never quite been written down. And who knew about the employees these new firms would accept.

At the end of all his carefully articulated arguments, his boss ended the session with platitudes and assurances of passing along his concerns while ushering him quickly out of her office. He watched through her side window and she called someone and started a loud and laughter-filled conversation. There really wasn’t any point in going through all of that, but maybe he could get to sleep at night by telling himself he’d tried. He was the one who had to notify those who were being let go and see the shock on their faces as they realized they weren’t immune to the cutbacks. That was swiftly followed by bitterness at him getting to keep his job. As if he enjoyed coming in to work with the new employees.

He looked up from his paperwork, halting that train of thought. It was time for the monthly staff meeting. The desks outside his office showed that all work had stopped - they were waiting for him. It was odd how strong their sense of time was. He stood and walked out of his office, watching as all the heads slowly turned toward him. The difference between the focus of their glassy eyes and those of the people he’d let go never got easier to see. They may be cheaper, but there was definitely something wrong with working around so much decay.

“Good morning.”

“Nnnnnnng” the zombies replied.

Originally published at my blog. You can comment here or there.


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