It’s Friday. A day that many of us look forward to. A chance for people to wind down the week and prepare for the weekend. A time to ENJOY. But not for everyone…

8.5 Million Jobs have been LOST since the start of the economic downturn

Unemployment as of February is at 9.7%

Roughly 14.9 Million people are out of work

Some people may be finding themselves included in these numbers on this day. As a manager, supervisor or an HR representative, you may be the one to inform them.

The numbers are disheartening. More so if you can put faces and names to the numbers. Increase that feeling when you can relate those numbers to people you personally know and console going through it.

It’s nothing personal. It’s just business.

A common phrase. An easy cop-out to dismiss ourselves from the thing that is actually happening on the other side of the desk that you sit. Someone’s life has being changed and in their own world ~ shattered. But it’s OK. They’ll be OK. Won’t they? I mean, how you can empathize, when it’s not you. I get it, doing so helps make it easier to look at things as just a number. We can’t attach ourselves to every situation. Doing so would make it impossible to cope with the job you hold.

Watching “Up in the Air” (Trailer) made me think about my own situation as well as many other professionals within our field that have been faced with giving the bad news. It’s not your, my, or our fault. I get it. But so many think it’s easy to focus on the numbers. To use that as a precursor to explain the situation to the employee as if it will make them feel “okee dokee, thanks I will be ok.” To chalk layoffs up to budgets. Decrease operational lines to save the factories’. To look only at the bottom line…

The Bottom Line

The movie and its true-to-life lay-offs only drove a point deeper. (Prepare yourself for a long-grammatical incorrect sentence) With the talk of “the traditional resume is dead,” “social media will replace typical recruiting practices,” to the entire approach of technology overstepping and replacing the way we have typically approached employee relations and business in the workplace… the bottom line is this:

Statistics cannot be used to show sincerity.

You cannot replace a human interaction with a transaction that is inhumane

Think about that as I leave you with the following. The words of an individual being laid off in the movie, which was played by the actual unemployed. If I had the clip it would be more powerful than the words on the page.

How do you sleep at night, man?
How's your family?
They sleeping well at night?
Electricity still on?
Heat still on, refrigerator full of food?
Gas tank full of gas?
Going to Chuck E. Cheese this weekend or something?
Not me.
No, my kids,
We're not gonna do anything.

What do you think? As difficult as it may be, I’d like to hear your thoughts, stories, frustrations and worries. I think that in times like this, sharing is almost as good as medicine.

Thoughts on Up in the Air ~ Adversity (Video)




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