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If you ever see your boss schedule a lifeboat meeting this is your time to panic. Lifeboat exercises are a management technique taught to well… managers, about how to layoff employees. In most cases, big high important people who don’t even know the names of the employees in your department are responsible for handing down the order to lay off x number of people. So for example… Brian, the big VP of some department on management and operations and technology and blah blah blah blah, manages Tom, Dick and Harry. He tells each of them they have to lay off six people in their departments. So, then we take Tom… Tom manages three departments, so he says to each of his managers that two people have to go from their group. One of the people Tom manages is Rob. Rob sits down with a pen and a pad of paper and maybe his assistant and says to himself…

If my company was a sinking boat, who would I need to save to keep the company alive?

So then Rob, takes his pad of paper and immediately Adam pops into his head. Adam runs the show, he can fix everything and we’d be lost without him. Adam’s name goes at the top of the list. Then Rob says, “OK, the second person we need to save is Catie because she does this that and the other thing, etc etc.” And Rob proceeds to make a list. Unfortunately Rob is completely partial to how he makes this list because he knows what happens to those at the bottom. He could like Dan over Dave and put his name over his simply because they get along. He could make Matt even higher on the list than Dave simply because he kisses ass better regardless of the fact that Matt is a complete moron. Eventually what will happen is a list is created of everyone in the department in order of importance based on their manager’s opinion. And then Rob takes his list, gives it back to his boss Tom and says, Lee and Carla are at the bottom of the list. Even though they do this that and have such and such a skill, we can pass their duties onto someone else because we can do without them the most.

And that my friends, is how people get laid off.

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