I have two neighbors directly across from me. The one on the right side, we call The Ghouls because they repair cars until the wee-smalls and someone once said, “Go to bed, ya ghouls!” and it stuck.
The other neighbor, on the left side does container gardening.
This neighbor lives alone. She bought a new Subaru Impreza in the past year.
She comes home every afternoon around 1 p.m. Gets her mail. Goes into her house. She and I are about the same age. I know this because the window of my writing room overlooks her driveway.
I find myself wondering where she works, that she’s able to keep her car and her home. Support herself.
She looks happy. Contented, even. Her employer hasn’t thrown her away (aka ‘laid her off’).
A friend called to tell me that [the company that shall remain nameless] wants to hire a receptionist/accounts payable clerk. I am neither qualified nor interested in being an accounting anything. This does not stop him from wanting me to apply for this poisontion (sic).
He obviously hasn’t seen their ad for a graphic designer yet. An ad I already know about because another friend told me she got married, is happy, and
escaped submitted her resignation.
I worked as a graphic designer for this company for nearly twelve years. They threw me away some months ago. They threw away nine other graphic designers before me. But hey, that’s just good business, right? They’re trying to survive as their publishing/advertising business is dying.
Back to the receptionist/accounts payable clerk ad.
I find myself wondering how someone is supposed to answer phones, greet customers, and pay enough attention to detail so as not to make mistakes doing accounts payable. But hey…it’s not my train to wreck drive.
Back to the other ad they’ve posted for a graphic designer.
They laid off another graphic designer a few months ago. Including the latest exit, they’re down to five designers. I guess they can’t make it with five, and so they’re advertising for a sixth.
It occurred to me that [this company that shall remain nameless] didn’t call the designer they just laid off and ask her to come back.
Call me naïve, but isn’t that what’s supposed to happen? You need someone for a position you previously laid off, you call the person you most recently laid off to come back?
Not this company. They put an ad in the paper for someone shiny and new. And likely younger. Someone who knows how important it is to dress like a character from Sex In The City when you design an ad for a customer you never see, someone who couldn’t care less in this rural town what you look like. It’s all about them, per them. It’s not about [this company that shall not be named].
But why listen to me? I only made a living and designed thousands of ads by
reading the minds of clients figuring out what was important to the customers I was designing for. Maybe they’ll listen to the fact that their customers are all going to radio because print ads are too expensive and don’t pull in enough new customers…but I doubt it.
I wish I’d thought to ask my friend why he wants me to apply to a company that’s dying in an industry that’s dying. One that’s also known locally for: (1) lying to and psychologically abusing their employees over the past five or so years (it’s always about power, not about what’s right); 2) having an office culture that’s built on the 21st-century equivalent of having the Sword of Damocles hanging over every employee’s head; 3) consistently laying off people at the end of every other quarter, just before the company owner/president arrives for his twice yearly report (from his daughter) on how things are going; and, 4) is managed by people who may be even more terrified regarding their futures than the people they employ.
On the other hand, maybe being mean is just good business.
On the other hand, maybe the Sword of Damocles is perpetually thirsty, but some of us have learned to never let it hang over us ever again.