So here's a story...we can say its a hypothetical...
Let's say that I have a friend, her name is Fancy. Fancy has worked at a great company for just about 10 years. She has had her ups and downs, its a love/hate relationship. Lately, its been much more hate than love. Some days, she feels like it is killing her.
Fancy is in sales and her sales are WAY down - like 70% down from last year, which was down quite a bit from the year before. Fancy has watched many decisions be made by the management team at her company. Most of these decisions made no sense. In fact, most of these decisions pushed customers away in a fashion that would make those customers never come back. Then the economy hit the skids - hence the 70% down.
Fancy has always expressed her concern and has always been told to just be quiet and do what is asked. Quite a challenge for Fancy. So, her attitude has gotten worse and worse.
About a year ago, Fancy's company announced that they were in financial trouble and needed to set the ship right. So they did a buyout offer. A very generous buyout offer. Fancy was not eligible. Many people were, some took the offer, some (for reasons beyond Fancy's understanding) did not.
Well, these buyouts didn't really help and next thing you know, the company is in trouble again. It is announced that there will be paycuts, furlough days, a portion of healthcare must be paid by employees. Then it is announced that there will be another buyout offer, but not for salespeople. But, if you wake up every day and say "I hate my job", talk to your manager.
Next thing you know, Fancy hears about sales people who have been giving some sort of severance/buyout and are leaving. Fancy really wants a buyout. So, she goes and talks to her boss and says "I'm interested". She is then told that she is not on the list of people they want to manage out. She does too good of a job and so they won't give her anything to leave. If she wants to leave, she'll leave with nothing.
Fancy doesn't understand this. She thinks about it for a few days and then decides she needs to talk to her boss's boss and see what he says. She gets the opportunity to meet with him and pleads her case. She is told that she is the type of employee the company wants and they will not pay her to leave. He also tells her that another buyout offer is being announced that day, but not for sales people - only for people who's positions won't need to be filled. Fancy says "I'm at 30% of my goal, my work could easily be divided amoung the remaining workers". He disagrees. After much emotional discussion and debate, Fancy leaves the meeting being told "I'll see what I can do, but can't promise anything".
Fancy feels good that she has at least been able to express some important feelings about the company and her work there. Later in the day, Fancy is at her desk, and the email come out with the buyout offer. As she opens it, she sees that over 350 people are eligible for the it, but not her. 40% of the company, but not her. It is all Fancy can do to not fall down on the floor and cry her eyes out in utter frustration and disgust.
How can you say that the kind of person you want to keep is the person who hates her job? How can you say that its better to pay people who are not performing to leave, yet not offer that chance to someone who is ready to go? Fancy's company is looking at possible layoffs in 2010, in order to reduce the workforce, why not let anyone who wants it have it? Fancy's job is not rocket science. She can look around her office and she many, many people who could do her job and do it well. So, why not let one of those people who wants to continue working there have it?
Fancy does not understand. At all. Any of it. At the same time, the truth is that Fancy cannot afford to just quit without any sort of severance. So, Fancy is screwed. It is ironic, really, so many people out there who really want and need a job, and Fancy has a good one and can't get rid of it.
Several years ago, Fancy was a manager at this company and she used to tell the people who worked for her "don't try to make sense of it...its non-sensical. You'll go crazy if you try to understand it". Fancy should take some of her own advice, but this is seriously effed up and there is nothing more she can do. Nothing. More.
But then again....this is all just a hypothetical situation.