Thursday, March 26, 2009

Have you been furloughed yet?

Furlough, it's a fancied-up word for unpaid time off. Before this year I'd only heard it used with military personnel. Maybe that makes me a member of the military. Okay, probably not. Whatever the case, my employer issued a memo about our mandatory week-long furloughs. Every employee, even managers, will be taking a week of unpaid time off. In the short run it saves money on staffing. It also, however, takes valuable revenue-generating folks off their beats and while their number obviously aren't that impressive lately, every dollar still goes toward that all-important bottom line.

I am glad that it's not just the "worker bees" taking this latest hit due to the circumstances around us but I also have to wonder how many more times this will happen this year and next year and the year after that? How long will it be until companies realize that most everyone is running negative numbers and that your employees are your most valuable resource? How long can even somewhat financially set "worker bees" take hits like this and continue to keep their heads above water. Do minimal cuts like these do more harm than good for the economy? Do they do more harm than good for the very companies making these hard, bottom-line decisions?

I'm happy to still have a job but I often wonder, even while trying to be optimistic as the stock markets begins to rebound and home sales start to improve, how long I will count myself among the ranks of the employed.

5 comments:

Hammer said...

Good luck I hope things get back to normal soon.

Beth said...

Even just one week with no pay can be very rough.
Hope this doesn’t occur on a frequent basis and that your job remains secure.

James said...

I suppose it's better than getting laid off, but that's like telling a paralyzed person, "Well you could be dead!"

A whole week though? That seems extreme...

Are you in the public sector?

Jules said...

It would be easier on everyone's pocket books if it were more like a day off every week... maybe you should suggest that to the company you work for instead.

Jacki said...

Here's hoping that you stay among the employed!