The idea for the article came from a conversation with a manager who was having a tough time laying off a single mom. I'm convinced agonizing decisions about who to layoff goes on at every business that is downsizing. Although out loud, most will say the use a formula or specific guidelines because they don't want to get sued for discrimination.
One woman wrote this to me: "Having been laid off right when my career was finally taking off taught me that one thing "go drinking with the boss." Let's face it: my dedication to my job above my kids in long hours and not taking their calls until I was in my car, my giving away great ideas for upper management to take credit for, masters degree, my years of experience, my speaking two languages were not enough. When the top executives sat down with the junior HR person to make up the list of jobs "being eliminated" those left untouched were those who had taken the time to socialize after hours or have a drink with co workers, bosses during business trips and/or offered to have parties at their homes."
Based on her e-mail, I now ask you...how important do you think socializing is in the workplace setting? Do you think layoffs are strictly based on productivity or redundancies? Will you be spared if the boss likes you or cut if he doesn't like you? When everyone is equally as productive, how much emphasis do you think is placed on personal situations like being a single mother or family's breadwinner?