The hardest thing an employer has to do is to call someone into the office and tell them the business isn’t making enough money to keep them on. Handing a hard worker a pink slip is tough because often the boss knows the employees and their families –their kids go to school together or they attend the same church. It is a terrible choice, but one that must be made to save the business — and the jobs of other employees.
The anguish of having to lay someone off can haunt an employer. On the other end, the hardest thing a worker endures is coming home and telling their spouse and children they lost their job.
Our family has been on both ends of this scenario.
My father was a master electrician, one of the best. But when home construction was down or a large construction project ended, he got a pink slip. For him, making that dreaded trip to the unemployment office was almost worse than getting a pink slip.
My family also owned the garbage collection business in our small town. When my brother and I were in grade school, we had to go door-to-door each month collecting a dollar for our weekly service. When there was a miners’ strike or massive layoff in the copper mines, our customers scraped for money.
Knowing that some of our friends in school had trouble even finding a nickel a week for milk money, it was hard to ask their parents for a dollar to pay for trash collection. But without that money, we couldn’t afford gas for our garbage truck.