JournalismPakistan.com September 2, 2017
My friend has just been retrenched. He says he feels like a soldier in the Crimean war hiding in the trenches. Such a silly word, he says, I never came from the trenches so how can I be retrenched, why can’t they just say sacked or dumped or get on your bike, mate, it’s over.
Instead, they tell you they are letting you go. Go where? I don’t want to go anywhere, I want to cling to your corporate skirt and stay, bills to pay, loans to return. You get this image of yourself hanging out of a plane and the man holding your arm is yelling, sorry, gotta let you gooooooo-oooooh.
If it’s not that it’s a re-allocation of manpower resources. Now, that’s a fancy way of sticking the knife into your gut. What does it mean beyond moving the furniture? Means your desk has been given to someone else, here is HR to escort you out.
Occasionally they call you in and say you have been made redundant. As opposed to being ‘dundant’ all this time? That’s a really rude one, not needed like potato peel or used tissues. Re-dun-dant.
They trim the fat to create a lean, mean fighting machine and you are the fat they are getting rid of … unless, of course, you are deadwood in which case today’s your last day at office, start packing.
Downsizing, laid off, dismissed as if you were on parade, these are all nice, fluffy little euphemisms for being shown the door. The one that’s truly annoying is telling you that you’ve been discharged. As if you were a 12 bore shotgun, boom, off you go. It can get quite gruesome. Sorry, but you have been axed. Axed, I am not the wicked wolf, I am the nice guy Wattisname who sits in the corner doing everyone’s bidding.
Remember the pink slip. Now it comes in different colors but it says the same thing: You have been fired, canned, given the heave ho. And if your boss has some wrinkled dream of having been in the army he’ll give you your marching orders. Where’s the starch in the march when you take your ‘personal effects’ and wimp out of the office while newly minted ex-colleagues are suddenly too busy to wave goodbye.
You have been given your notice. Who came up with that one and what on earth does it mean given notice, notice of what? Hello, I am home darling, I got my notice? You’ve been sacked again. No, my buttercup, I have been cashiered and we don’t even have any cash.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
Pakistan Observer, November 13, 2016
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