It was a long and pathetic e-mail. The kind that described excuses and then concluded with “thanks for understanding” and “we appreciate all you do.” The details of the e-mail included the increase in product being purchased by the corporate buyers, paired with the budget cuts causing us to reduce associate hours, and the ever concluding statement “the company is struggling.”
“Like they have been for the last fifteen years.” I muttered under my breath.
I knew full well that this was the typical code for “we are trying to cut back expenses because we know Black Friday is coming and we have to pay you for increases in hours for the Holidays.” The company is not struggling. Our increase in sales numbers since the previous year, even as one of its smallest and most struggling stores, was proof that the more successful stores had to be doing just as well, especially in our region. Even our regional management calls were sounding more and more positive by the week, which made me wonder if our region was actually carrying the company…things sounded that celebratory on those calls. If we were struggling as a company so much, why was it our region was doing so well?
The e-mail felt more like a slap in the face rather than a pat on the back. The thank you was more of a bribe, hopeful that it would be enough to keep you from quitting. It felt just as fake as the lemons I set out on the blender table for “added visual interest.”In tune with the metaphore, even if the thank you was real, it would still be sour. Riddled with resentment that things were not going more smoothly. Condescendingly reminding us that the creative team was of only one person, who would have to take the brunt of all the visual work. A lot for only one person to do, especially with so many deadlines.
Happy holidays indeed.