Lot’s of hubbub today about Radio Shack letting 400 people know they were laid off via email. I expect it will make them the butt of a lot of jokes and put Radio Shack at the top of a lot of lists of stupid, heartless managers, as well it should.
It seems to me that the real irony is that the outrage is limited to Radio Shack, and that the only reason for the outrage is that these are management jobs. When production people are booted out on the street via a layoff notice nailed to the factory wall, nobody seems to give it a second thought. As Alfred Sloan said, "the core of the business is management", while production folks simply have to "accept the consequences of the business cycle". Sadly, I guess he was right.
Electric Boat announced layoffs of 170 people today. Quaker Fabric gave 225 folks the heave-ho. Intel plans to lay off more than 10,000 employees. Signature Fruit Company told 1,100 workers they were no longer part of the family for "reasons beyond their control". (I wonder who is in control of the company if it isn’t management?) 380 from Navistar are on their way to the unemployment office. And this is just this afternoon’s news. Does anyone think that any of these people had the courtesy of a personal, face to face explanation from their boss?
When management folks are treated with the same disregard for humanity, however, it is so outrageous it blasted all over the news.
We have a long way to go when it is regarded as business as usual for 170 people from Electric Boat to go home and give their spouses and children devastating news they got from reading their name on a layoff list, but we are morally outraged that 400 Radio Shack management people are given the same lack of respect.