Letter From The Boss – Happy Holidays (pack your things)!

Here’s a letter I wrote last year, updated just a tad:

Dear Employee # 3352899238,

What a terrific year we’ve had at Acme Widget Company! The team has really pulled together and we expect it to be the best year yet! Here are some of our accomplishments:

  • We successfully installed our new accounting system – thanks to IT, Finance and Accounting, who worked extra overtime for six months to make this a seamless transition! You will each receive an extra turkey with your customary Christmas ham.
  • We finally updated our Policy and Procedure manual – this significant overhaul brings us up to date and current with industry standards, and compliant with federal regulations. Not the most exciting accomplishment of the year, but we recognize the thousands of hours that went into this project, and we wish to express a hearty “thank you” to all of our administrative team who greatly contributed (sorry, no extra turkey for you since this did not have an impact on our profit).
  • We closed deals with four new customers, which guarantees next year’s revenue and profit growth to exceed 60% of our targets – thank you to our sales team who went above and beyond (and sorry to Joe, who’s wife left him due to the strenuous work conditions)
  • We maintained 94% customer retention, in spite of The Great Product Glitch last spring – our customer service team really saved our hides after we realized problems with some vendors. Their quick thinking and excellent response to customer issues kept us out of legal hot water and helped us keep almost all of our contracts intact – we’ll have an end-of-year party in the cafeteria just for you next Thursday (it’s potluck).
  • We finally established our offshore office, and will begin operations on January 1 – this will result in saving millions of dollars, again, contributing to a very strong 2009!

We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to you as we realize you made a significant impact during 2008.

Unfortunately, due to circumstances that we cannot control, and our new strategy to move professional positions to lower-wage countries, we are terminating your position. This is not a reflection on your performance and we hope that in the future you would consider re-employment with Acme – after all, we are a family company, and you are part of our family!

Happy new year!


Your management team, where “open door” is our #1 policy!

P.S. We will be unavailable through January 7th, as we will be in Hawaii for our Executive Retreat (luckily we get to take our families with us this year!). Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays!

This tongue-in-cheek post is brought to you by JibberJobber.  I bet you get a letter like this one day, but if you start using JibberJobber to organize, manage and track your personal relationships you just might be more prepared to land your next gig than the next guy, who is completely ignoring his career management.  You aren’t ignoring your career management, right?

4 thoughts on “Letter From The Boss – Happy Holidays (pack your things)!”

  1. Hee. Even truer this year than in previous years.

    A few weeks ago, my husband and I sat down to dinner with five of our friends. We realized that the veteran among us had been with her current employer for… a year. And yet most of us had records of long, stable employment with a previous employer (three with small firms, one with WaMu, one with a college).

    We’re spending this weekend with four different friends. Two have changed employment this year, one has had to take a pay deferral, and the fourth is at a big ruthless mover-and-shaker company where anything can always happen without notice.

    Merry Christmas, one and all! Let’s keep on our toes. :-\

  2. All too true. But, why disturb the sleepers? You know the ones who believe it can’t happen to them. In their blissful naivety!

    Unfortunately, like history, we can only read the lessons when we are flat on our back. I’m on my back again! So my vision is very clear today.

    When you look at the state of employment affairs, we can no longer afford the national strategy of “employment at will”. With the aging demographic, as a nation, we can’t “afford” the rampant age discrimination at work in the marketplace. Like the ERISA laws that ended the “aerospace engineers get fired after ten years for cheaper workers” and “pension vesting cheating”, we need some type of gooferment intervention to reframe the employment marketplace.

    Also, the continued short term focus has destroyed the ethos that made America great. The psuedo-“liberal” political climate has led people down the path of “something for nothing thinking”, “personal gain at all costs”, and “bail outs galore from the public treasury”. We need to jail all the thieves and liars in politics and industry. That’ll really thin the herd. We need to shame them into good behavior.

    So in 2009, we — the vast unwashed — need to take off the “rose color glasses” and see the world for what it has become — a tough place to earn a living as an employee.

    Perhaps, the time of being an employee (i.e., the age of employee-ism) is over?

    Personally, I don’t see becoming an employee again without an employment contract. You just can’t trust them like you used to. Further, it seems that one has to have one or more web-based value creation efforts. Maybe it’s just establishing whatever a personal brand is. Maybe it’s just selling your rambling thoughts. Maybe it’s a just a “failed effort” that you learn from (i.e., my attempt at “letters to my children” dot com). But one has to keep “testing”. Failure is good as long as it is cheap, fast, and “boxed”.

    Happy Holy Days to all,
    the big fat old turkey hisself

  3. I like to think that this kind of behavior bites management in the buns later, and it looks like it does.

    Having lived through a few rounds of “right-sizing” before being given my ticket out in 1994, I suspected this was going on, based on what we “survivers” (employees who kept their jobs) did, but these are some of the findings from a recent survey done by LeadershipIQ:

    * 74% of of survivors say their own productivity has declined since the layoffs
    * 69% say the quality of their company’s product or service has declined since the layoffs
    * 64% say the productivity of their colleagues has declined
    * 87% say they are less likely to recommend their organization as a good place to work

    The reality is that most organizations may “down-size” the staff, but they don’t usually down-size the work. So fewer people are expected to scramble to take up the slack of the ones who have left and do their own jobs, too. Duh! It’s a wonder that any of these organizations survive after they’ve started this “death spiral.” Many don’t.

    The statistics above are from a Leadership IQ study (link below), released on December 16, 2008. Below is a link to the press release which contains the above information and much more. They surveyed 4,172 employees in 318 companies that had had layoffs at some point in the 6 months prior to the survey. VERY interesting!


    On that cheerful note…

    Happy Holidays to all and Best Wishes for 2009!

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