A chat with a long time Friend of mine, has me composing this OT topic as a WARNING to anyone that embraces “PTO”, Personal or Paid time off benefits… to which associates have a number of days they are allowed to take off with pay. Associates have the option to use PTO at anytime, but with the understanding that after a certain time period, if they don’t use it, they lose it. My friend had been with her company for many years and had steadily moved up the wage ladder and accumulated about a months PTO time, which she decided to take, before the end of 2010. My friends company’s major strength is delegating responsibilities out to various groups that are then split into teams in product R & D applications. It’s not unusual for someone (Like my friend) to be involved with 1 or more of these team research assignments.
NOW enter the new world we are in today. They, like many others (Including my employer) have continued to trim their employee rosters and push the terminated persons work load onto remaining employees. (Something we can thank NAFTA for… but that’s another OT post) Use any and all means to trim access costs, in anyway or means you can find.
In 2 short weeks after returning from her PTO time, she noticed she had been quietly removed from some of the projects she had belong to. Where she was usually approached by fellow associates with questions or feedback on projects; hardly anyone did so as the week moved on. The usual high rate of emails had also greatly diminished. (She began to wonder, what’s going on here?) Finally at the end of week two, she was nonchalantly called into her managers office and the dreaded LAID OFF BOMB was dropped on her, effective at the end of the day! What she theorized was; while out on PTO, the company did a work around and delegated her job roles to various other associates. Less you think any company puts projects on hold, because various major players are off enjoying their PTO time… NOT! Realizing there was not a MAJOR issue without her presence and considering the associates that took up the slack were more than capable of doing her job… FOR MUCH LESS “COST”, she had become a victim of the new meaning of PTO… PREPERATION TO OBSOLETE / layoff TRAP!
While this can happen to anyone, it’s those employees that have been with a company for the longest time, with the rather HIGH wages (They rightfully earned and are entitled to, for the many years of company loyalty) that are NOW clearly fair game for this countries ongoing layoff onslaught that grows in popularity, everyday. So for those of you that have that PTO perk; THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU ENDULGE, less you find yourself in the PREPERATION TO OBSOLETE / layoff TRAP! :-(