Spiralling Corporate Crassness

Spiralling Corporate Crassness.

It was a highly unusual scenario when about a dozen employees of a middle-sized corporate organisation turned up, in drips and drabs, for therapy, over a period of 9 months. All had very similar bitter complaints of being dismissed unceremoniously by the company’s top echelons;  some were sent off packing contrary to legal requirements. Hardheaded business decisions, especially in the area of organisational restructuring exercises, are not the most pleasant experience to be confronted, especially with a toxic retrenchment regime, where the actual dismissal were principally in the hands of those who had no experience in this area nor the compassion to slip into their juniors’ shoes, and those with experience in the personnel division were forbidden to interfere with the process. Many of them had been with the company for over 7 years, a number over ten years when the company started up. The repercussions were wide-ranging and traumatic. None of them were told a reason for their retrenchment when they enquired, and it did not compensate them for their years of service. These are just a vignette of a few ex-employees below:

Jimmy was informed that he would lose his job as a copywriter after he returned from his holiday, about a week after news of the restructuring exercise had been announced. To his consternation, almost everybody in the company knew of his predicament, except him, when he was eventually told. The sad news had been leaked earlier! He went into a depression, and was on medication. He was married with three young children.

Gilbert, who held a Masters in Business Administration, was told by his department head to backdate his resignation letter 2 weeks earlier, to pack his personal belongings, and be ready to leave the office for the last time within 6 hours. He thought he had gotten his dream job in the Research Unit, and was thoroughly enjoying his work and collaborating in a team with his colleagues, but his boss never told him the reason for his retrenchment. He suffered a psychotic episode a few months later. He was married, with one teenage son.

Helen, a senior accounts manager in her forties, who was recently commended by the company for being an outstanding performer at their annual staff evaluation, could not believe that she had been told to go. “They just rewarded me for my work and promoted me,” she said incredulously, still in shock. She arrived with a moderate depression. And whenever she had to think about applying for a job or attending an interview, she would have an anxiety attack.

Thomas, an accounts manager, said that when he heard the news of the company’s restructuring, he had a premonition that he would be one of those told to go. Instantly, he felt as though a dagger was plunged into his back. Overwhelmed by very mixed feelings, He said he immediately numbed himself. He had no memory of what transpired after that, for the remainder of the staff briefing session with the company’s bosses. He also had no recall how he left the meeting and where he went, or what he did. He sobbed uncontrollably like a child for about ten minutes, his whole body shaking, as he attempted to describe how he felt at that session. His trust in the organisation’s directors had been totally unraveled. He was having nightmares and waking up in a cold sweat once in a while.