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Next in Line ... Milwaukee

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Matt1735, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    That's what I'm trying to say, Moddy. No idea what I'd do in that situation...but I'll be damned if I just wouldn't say ANYTHING, even to those on my staff I may not have gotten along with as well.

    And PDB is dead on nails.
  2. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    That's understandable. Kind of reminds of Bill "Spaceman" Lee standing up for Shooty Babbitt back in the day. Not only was Shooty fired. So was Bill.
  3. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    PDP, that's asking a lot in these days in time. And Garry's not the only exec who has been through cut downs so its not fair to rip him for his actions and not rip the others.
  4. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    I agree with every sentiment posted about "being a human being". I know people at the J-S who were let go too and it's bullshit.

    On the other hand, having been through it myself from the SE side of things, I think you'd all be surprised at how touchy upper-management types, and especially human resource departments, are about these things.

    In many cases, they are adamant you have no contact with fired/laid off employees because, in theory, you could say something to someone that could get the company sued, even if you say it to them sympathetically or as a friend.

    So, in other words, yes, he could get fired for something like that, especially since every upper management/HR person I've ever been around is uber-sensitive to those types of things in the months after people have been let go. They practically cower in their desks waiting for a lawsuit.

    Don't misunderstand. I'm not defending that circumstance, I think it sucks massive balls when people are put into positions like Howard apparently has been put into under threat of losing their job. I think it's corporate CYA run amok.

    But it is real and it happens in all kinds of businesses, not just ours.

    The only end around I can think of around something like this is to go through an intermediary and let the fired/laid off employee know through them that he's sympathetic to their situation, but can't be outward about until things cool off.
  5. PopeDirkBenedict

    PopeDirkBenedict Active Member


    Name me other SEs who went through layoffs and never contacted the laid off staffers for a quick and gracious word and I'll rip them too. Garry is the only one mentioned on this thread.
  6. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    If you don't at least call and say, "Look, I know you probably don't want to talk to me, but I wanted to say I'm sorry about the way things worked out." then there is something seriously wrong with you.

    It's not an admission of guilt. It's called having a soul.
  7. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    No need to get into names PDP. You've been around. You know the papers that have undergone cutbacks.
    Bubbler has put up some excellent points that many don't think about.
  8. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    I think that's a fine idea. But he chose not to do that either. And then he hid behind the "but I wasn't ALLOWED" thing. Which, as you pointed out, is a very real concern. But still. Sometimes the human side has to come out.
  9. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    I've said it before, that is a poor excuse for saying nothing.

    If you are a manager, you know how to handle these things, or else, you learn, and just do the best you can until you do. That is the job, of a good manager, at least.

    And people will generally recognize and appreciate, profoundly, any efforts made on their behalf in such circumstances.
  10. Fran Curci

    Fran Curci Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure I believe the excuse that "HR told me to have no contact."

    One reason is that I've been at a paper that did layoffs, and nobody gave that advice, and it was a union shop.

    Anyone who gets laid off has to sign a promise not to use, assuming they want to collect severance. 99 percent of people want the severance.
  11. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Not to pile on, but through my backchannels (I need a different word for Pipeline, I think Moddy has it trademarked):

    Apparently Milwaukee has essentially two SEs: Howard (who gets the "glory") and an apparently very fine man named Bill Windler.

    Only one of them didn't join the staff for a beer that night. I believe the human half of that duo even bought a round.
  12. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Howard is the one who makes the decisions. I'm sure he had his reasons for not joining the staff for a beer.
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