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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rumor Patrol: Thursday Outplacement Meetings

The week of the staff reductions, which were implemented on that Tuesday, we conducted outplacement meetings on Thursday. We held two sessions, both conducted by members of the HR staff including me. There were no current employees present other than the HR staff. I stepped out for literally 20 seconds to check a voice mail message, during which time a presenter was speaking, so I can accurately say that I didn't miss any discussions during either meeting.

Those two meetings are now being cited with some authority by a person or persons in our current workforce as the basis for two pretty ridiculous rumors. The first is that there were comments made that indicate a third round of staff cuts coming in February. The second is that one of our departing sales reps got up and made an angry rant against the company. Here are the facts.

1. There was no discussion of additional staffing cuts. None. Zero. There was no question asked to that regard, none answered, no speculation made either on the part of the presenters or the attendees who were there to ask questions. This is a rumor at the Lakeview Place building (surprised?) and nobody who works in that building was in attendance. Whoever tells you this either made it up or heard it from somebody who heard it from somebody who made it up.

2. One of our departing Ministry Sales reps asked to speak, and from the back of the room told the group how generous the company was being with their severance. He cited neighbors on his streets who had been let go that week with no severance or benefits, and thanked the HR staff for their care and service during this difficult time. There was nothing angry in his tone or comments and it was a touching moment for those of us who had been working on this project for so many weeks.

That's all until the next rumor. As always, feel free to comment publicly on this blog or contact me privately at jthomason@thomasnelson.com.

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