SCall it Company (Red). Michael Dell is asking employees at his computer maker to take five unpaid days off and thus help the company trim costs instead of slashing jobs. Extorting your people by suggesting they take a small hit now as opposed to a larger hit later on isn't particularly original. “We’ve seen a slowdown in spending,” says a Dell spokesbot, “but the primary reason is to ... to better position Dell for long-term competitiveness.” That makes no sense: Skimping on five days of payroll may temporarily give the company's bank account a fillip, but it doesn't change its permanent cost structure. Then again, maybe Dell's strategy is to drive away employees who are capable of doing math.