Remember that "well-established" advertising agency that I used to work for? Well, they have once again inspired me to write about them.
I have a close friend named Emily that currently works for the agency as an administrative assistant. She recently told me that the accounting department she supports recently eliminated the only other admin besides herself. Not only was the admin let go, the agency completely did away with her position.
Why? It is all about the "budget" over there. Oh — did I mention that this happened the week of Christmas and her firing was along with hundreds of other people that week? Well, it’s sad but true and the saddest part is that this firing frenzy happens every year over there. Everyone knows its coming and just hopes it’s not their job on the line.
The worst part…are you ready for this…at the agency holiday party this year, they awarded each employee a handsome bonus, just as they do every year following the inevitable mass firing.
So what does this mean for my friend?
She basically took on the duties that belonged to the eliminated position. With no additional compensation, she is expected to perform at double the capacity she was at before. She went from supporting 35 to 65 people all in one day. In light of her additional work load, I suggested she listen to lots of good music to keep her daily sanity. She responded by telling me that her computer does not have speakers and the accounting department could not justify the cost because they don’t see a business need for them. The funny part about that is the company frequently puts important video messages on its home page for all to watch. I guess they think their own messages are not worth listening to. Does anyone else think this is ridiculous?
This agency was one that I believed supported a higher standard. What troubles me is that there are so many companies out there that do the same thing year after year. They fire slews of people to make the end of the year numbers look good on paper, but at the end of the day, are the numbers what really matter? I say forget the numbers! What about dignity and keeping the core values of the business intact? What ever happened to leading by example? What ever happened to doing the right thing? They have obviously lost sight of what made their company thrive for so many years. They were once the DIFF, and now…the anti-DIFF. Very disappointing!