Just when it doesn’t seem Corporate America can sink any lower…
Circuit City’s demise will leave 34,000 unemployed mourners, yet in its death throes, the company is asking bankruptcy court for $4.65 million to fund a contest to see who can shovel dirt into the grave fastest.
Less than 2 months ago, CC voided 40 of its execs’ severance and employment contracts worth $1.8 million by whining that they were “financially burdensome and unnecessary.” Now, those who remain and probably engineered that screwing hope to divvy whatever their grubby paws can grab.
To justify it, they’ve been kvetching to the court that their presence is vital because they’ve seen “a noticeable increase in employee turnover” since they announced liquidating. Well, DUH!
Do they think the captain of Titanic expected all the rats to stick around, rearranging the deck chairs?
To put this retention bonus idea in perspective, let’s do the math:
The 16 top dogs want $2.3 million. That would $143,750 apiece, unless the ones with the fanciest titles get bigger pieces. The company’s last breath is supposed to be March 31. Not bad for less than 2 months’ work.
Then there’s $3.9 million — $25,490 apiece — for 153 middle managers.
And they want to toss $750,000 in scraps to an undisclosed number of peons — for rearranging deck chairs.
Meanwhile, the thousands who have already been cut loose were lucky to get 60 days’ severance.
Circuit City has had its head screwed on backward about compensation since 2003, when they first decided it was good business to fire 3,900 sales people and eliminate commissions because their most knowledgeable and experienced employees were making too much money.
In hindsight, the word ironic doesn’t begin to describe management’s thinking.
Instead of a cushy bonus, what should be motivating anyone left at Circuit City is any paycheck at all while they continue to yank jobs and devastate their co-workers’ lives until no one is left.