Saturday, December 20, 2008

County Layoffs Handled Badly

There is no good way to lose your job. It's a devastating experience, no matter how it happens. Our jobs are inextricably linked to our identities--to say nothing of faith in our own financial stability in the future.

Having said that, though, it's astonishing how badly Hamilton County has been handling the layoffs. People arrived at work yesterday to be told that it would be their last day. Vacate the building by noon, they were told.

For many weeks, the HamCo Commissioners have made it clear to department heads that layoffs would be necessary. Why was the decision made to keep specific employees in the dark about whether they were on the chopping block? Certainly, these employees--some of whom have served the county for decades--deserved to be treated with more dignity than this.

Perhaps Commissioner Pepper (whose presence on the blogosphere makes him the most accessible of the commissioners) can help us with the answer to this. Was this a policy handed down from the Administration? Or did individual department heads make their own decision? And either way, again: why do it this way?

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