What's this blog really about?

You may notice a variety of topics here - from business, to charity promotion, even to local news, but the primary reason this blog was created was to alert readers to the hostile atmosphere and sexual harassment at The Danville Register & Bee. The readers and creator of this blog want a FULL FRONT PAGE apology in the Danville Register & Bee, plus the disciplining of those individuals involved. Until then, we'll continue to post regular updates. To tolerate THIS kind of behavior by a major media network is intolerable. And this isn't just ONE instance. Media General has been sued nationwide for racism and sexism, yet they CONTINUE to keep the offenders employed. Why? And why am I doing this? TRUTH compels me.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Perp walk or Professional?

When the Register & Bee lays people off, they put them through a sort of "perp" walk - shove a box at them, tell them to get their stuff and get out...making them parade through the workplace with their meager belongings in a box while everyone stares at them. Perp walk.

Last Christmas/holiday season, about a dozen employees - several of them with 30+ years of hard, loyal service, were laid off, given 15 minutes to get their stuff and shown the door. Their computers were locked down. They weren't able to get information and files that would have helped them get other jobs. Their jobs were moved to Lynchburg and they were never given the option of transferring to existing jobs at other papers. Temp employees were hired instead.

Thirty years of service and they were treated like criminals - given 15 minutes to get off the premises. I don't think they had police escorts, but other employees have had cops come in and walk them to the door, unnecessary humiliation and embarrassment. I didn't give Steve Kaylor the pleasure. He had to call me at home after I posted this blog and sent him the link. His voice quivered.

So, layoffs are inevitable. The question is, "Will you be a professional? Will you be compassionate?" Will you be kind and treat the employees you have to lay-off with some degree of respect and appreciation for the time they have worked for you? We all understand that layoffs are hard and frightening for everyone - particularly for people who may not be able to find another job. But you can do it with dignity. You can let people know you appreciate them and you can make it a not-so-public and not so criminal exercise, and by publicly acknowledging their contributions.

This year those same employees are remembering last year - and the way they were treated, embarrassed and cast off without a second thought. If you must lay an employee or employees off - do it with dignity and appreciation. Don't do it like the Register & Bee did it - with arrogance and paranoia and total disregard for its employees.

Merry Christmas to all those laid off, fired, abused and mistreated at The Register & Bee over the past year. Be glad you're not there any longer. Stock has plummeted from $75 to a couple of bucks....morale is low, quality is low, the few readers they have complain that it looks like children are laying out the paper....you escaped a sinking ship. Let's all be grateful. Advertisers are pulling out...notice there are no car ads....and it's only going to get worse.

What goes around, comes around.

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