Merry Christmas, You’re Fired
Two days before Christmas, all 20 employees of the Snarf’s Sub Shop at 600 West Chicago, in Chicago, received e-mails saying that their positions were being eliminated. According to the owners, the restaurant has persistently done considerably less business than projected, a complete overhaul of the menu and space has been planned in an effort to make the site more profitable, those plans somehow involve not just the temporary layoffs of all of the employees but their termination, and the reduction in traffic to the business over the holidays was the major factor in the decision on when to shutter the current restaurant.
Not coincidentally, three weeks before the e-mail was sent, the employees had made an organized effort to ask for better wages and benefits.
Here is the e-mail that the employees received:
1. Due to increased competition and losses, ownership has decided to consider remodeling and reconcepting the store at 600 West Chicago Ave.
2. The store is closing, effective tomorrow, December 23, 2013 for an unknown period of time for this remodeling and reconcepting.
3. All staff is terminated, effective Monday, December 23, 2013.
4. All staff may apply for unemployment, if eligible.
5. Return any keys and Company property to Will Ravert at 600 West Chicago Avenue on Monday, December 23, 2014 during normal business hours.
6. Payroll will be processed as usual this week and paid on Friday, December 27, 2013.
7. Keep an eye out for the grand opening of the new store.
8. Ownership appreciates your service and wish you well in your new endeavors.
No mention of any severance, of course; the closest that the owners come to expressing any concern about the financial impact on their former employees is to note that they “may apply for unemployment, if eligible.” How empathetic.
The timing and the general tone of the e-mail, as well as its having been formatted as a numbered list rather than a more personalized message, ought to be enough to convince a reader that these people are not just tone deaf but simply despicable. But if all of that was not enough, the last two items should certainly be enough: first, the owners have the gall to try to turn their just-fired employees into future customers, and then they close with a note of appreciation and good wishes that could not be more perfunctory or empty.
Merry Christmas, Say Goodbye to Your New Puppy
Yes, this actually occurred in Tampa. A single mother came home with her two young daughters to find the rooms ransacked and all of their valuables gone, including their television, laptop computer, and other portable items. The thieves carted off all of the wrapped gifts and a twelve-week-old Shih-Tzu named Honey.
The small family was so devastated that the investigating officers reached into their own pockets and asked others for contributions to replace most of what had been stolen.
The police should be applauded for their empathy and charity, and there should be a special place in purgatory, if not hell, for these thieves.
Merry Christmas, Go Frack Yourself
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is backing legislation to open the state to fracking wells, despite opposition from many community and environmental groups.
To give the governor some idea of what it will be like for residents of the state to live near fracking rigs and to have their water wells and general quality of life sacrificed to corporate interests, environmental activists with Rising Tide Chicago dressed up as elves and erected a scaled down fracking rig on Quinn’s front lawn.