Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Michael Bissell's Blog

Excuses, excuses

2009-02-17 13:52:55
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I don't want to imply that there is nothing wrong with the economy, but I'm increasingly getting the impression that some companies are using the economic problems as an excuse to do the dirty things they've wanted to do for a long time.

For example, Boeing has dropped it's employee wellness program citing costs. In reality, the wellness program is a good thing for the employees, but a pain in the ass for the company. With everyone fearing layoffs, Boeing can kill the program, and not worry about an exodus of skilled labor -- where would employees go in this market?

Then there's Microsoft's recent layoff of around 5,000 people. By far, the bulk of those layoffs hit the H1B employees -- foreigners here on a work visa. Microsoft has been using H1B employees for a long time, but it doesn't change the fact that there's a certain level of overhead involved, and the fact the Justice Department keeps tagging the Evil Empire for improper hiring procedures. Again, no problem getting domestic workers in this market, so dump the annoyance and blame the economy.

I've talked about the slow pay issue, that is, companies that are using the economy as an excuse to treat Net30 like Net-when-we-get-around-to-it. And now, I'm seeing organizations change their internal rules for how money is allocated, spent, and protected. Banks are sitting on huge piles of cash -- cash we gave them in the bailout -- but rather than putting it towards business growth, they're keeping it in reserve for when things get really bad.

That's telling it itself. It means the banks don't really believe it's really bad yet. Bad, sure, but no, oh shit bad. Not, "I'm going to throw myself out the window" bad.

In the meantime, the folks on the bottom are being raped by those who still have it good. Not because Boeing can't afford a wellness program, not because Microsoft is losing money and has to lay people off, not even because companies and banks don't have money to pay bills with. They're doing it because they have the perfect excuse to continue to be shortsighted and greedy.

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