I want some of their money back…

Yahoo finance listed 5 of the most overpaid CEO’s of 2008.  Some of these companies performed well while others didn’t. But still, it chaps my hide to read these figures.  At what point is compensation just too much? 

  • Michael Jeffries, Abercrombie & Fitch – total compensation of $71.8 million with a base salary of $1.5 million.
  • James W. Stewart, BJ Services Company  – James Stewart’s $34.6 million windfall came from value realized on stock options, which resulted in a $30 million jackpot.
  • Brian Roberts, Comcast Corp. – total compensation of $40.8 million (and I can’t get Comcast to come when they say they will.)
  • John Faraci, International Paper – total compensation of $38.2 million.
  • Eugene Isenberg, Nabors Industries – total compensation of $79.3 million.

How many employees did these guys lay off last year? How many of their remaining employees have affordable health insurance?  When I hear that universal health care is going to cost this country “too much” and then I read stuff like this, I want to spit.

Let them eat cake

good-luck-cake

That’s what she said.  Maybe those weren’t her exact words. And no, I’m not talking about Marie Antoinette. When the director of the training center where I’d worked for about a year called us into her office to announce that due to curriculum changes our positions would be eliminated, and that we’d be having cake at what would be our last weekly staff meeting, she might as well have been Marie Antoinette, telling the hungry, breadless French to eat cake.

This was my first layoff, so I hadn’t yet developed the thick skin that years of dealing with really bad bosses gives you.  I was taking it personally. I’d been a dedicated worker, had received great reviews and was loved by my students.  So while she was nonchalantly explaining the paperwork we’d need to complete before we hit the bricks, I was still wondering if I’d heard her correctly. I thought, “Let me get this straight, you’ve just told me I no longer have a job, and you want me to celebrate with cake?!”  Obviously this woman had never been laid off.  Surely this isn’t common.  Surely employers don’t dismiss you and then tell you that on your last day there’ll be cake in the conference room.  It’s not like I resigned, or got another job.  I was being let go, my feelings were hurt, and no amount of carb overloading would fix that.  Read the rest of this entry »

Another really bad idea from the bosses of reality tv, Workers vote on who gets laid off

really-bad-boss-stamp-of-approvalSomeone’s Gotta Go- We think its the execs over at FOX, but that’s actually the title of a new Fox network reality tv show currently in production. Each episode of Someone’s Gotta Go will feature a small business faced with lay-offs.  But instead of the boss deciding who’ll be let go, the company opens the books on everyone’s salaries and employees decide which one of their colleagues will get the boot. 

I don’t even know where to begin with what’s wrong with this scenario.  First of all, the world needs another reality TV show like Donald Trump needs more hair spray.  At this rate, we won’t be done with everyone’s 15 minutes of fame until around the year 2040.  Is America that celebrity obsessed that everyone has to become one?  Even worse than our celebrity obsession is the idea that network execs want to make money so badly that they are willing, even in this economy, to turn lay-offs into entertainment for mass consumption.   Over the past several months, I’ve watched heart wrenching news programs that follow families as they spiral into bankruptcy and foreclosure after a layoff.  Marriages end, children are displaced and people lose the sense of stability they’ve often worked their entire lives to achieve.  This is entertainment?  With unemployment levels poised to hit double digits – is this something we want to make sport of?

No word on whether or not the businesses that participate receive any sort of payment, but even if they do, for the bosses that own the companies involved, we think it’s a bad idea to sell your employees out for a little reality show fame and some cash.  And for the geniuses who came up with this really bad idea, poorly played indeed.  I hope this show gets laid off, and fast.

Learn more about the gem of a show here.