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Birthday gift -- a pink slip.

      Happy Birthday to me! My gift: a pink slip.

     My employer cut 175 jobs yesterday, including eight part-timers. I was one of those part-timers. Did my desire for work/life balance hurt me? Maybe. I'm fortunate though, the paper has asked me to contract with them as a freelancer.

     But, I certainly can feel the numbness that so many others have felt in the last year as they, too, receive pink slips. Maybe I will join the crowd and attend a pink slip party. Todayshow.com reports pink slip parties are popping up in big cities around the country. Hundreds of axed employees are shirking traditional job fairs and on-line applications in favor of happy hour meet-and-greets where one can down beers and discuss career prospects with recruiters and company reps. I love the way people are becoming more creative about job hunting.

     Meanwhile, my pink birthday gift came on the heels of a press release about a new study by FSU Professor Wayne Hochwarter who sought to find out how the financial crisis is affecting people in and out of work. His big discovery: People more stressed, downright scared, and starting to become less civil. 

  • More than 70 percent of both men and women in the survey confirmed that the recession has significantly increased the stress levels of employees in recent months.
  • More than one-half (55 percent) reported that management has grown increasingly demanding over this period.
  • More than 65 percent predicted significant job changes to occur within one year, causing employees to grow progressively more concerned about job status; 80 percent of employees reported being nervous about their long-term financial well-being.
  • More than 60 percent were asked to find ways to cut costs on a weekly basis.   
  • More than 40 percent of employees reported increased incivility (i.e., "backstabbing," "sucking up" and politicking) as a means to stay employed in the event of a layoff.

I didn't see the incivility in my workplace, but with pink slips flying in all directions, I'm sure it's out there. Have you seen it in your workplace?