Your stupid corporate cost-cutting tips are pouring in, like the free water you used to enjoy at the office. Today's cuts: food, water, light, computers, trash cans, and everything at Harper's Bazaar. And dignity:
I work for a large university with about 10,000 employees. For several years we have had a Staff Appreciation Day (SAD) featuring free pizza, drawings for donated prizes and all the corporate-branded post-it notes you could want. This year the university administration decided they could no longer afford SAD, so they farmed it out...to the staff. Now the staff have to put on their own appreciation day. Pizza no longer included.
Additionally, two years ago I received a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup as a "Christmas bonus." This year, nothin'.
Reese's is a premium brand!
Although I'm not employed, I overheard today a conversation at the Harvard Music building. We apparently lost so many dollars of the endowment that the school is holding meetings about cutting costs. They are encouraging the staff to scan everything instead of photocopying and using skype to make phone calls. The bathrooms have all been noticeable labelled with "dark is sexier" stickers.
Light is a luxury!
Our formerly booming agency has been shrinking for the past several months and we have many empty desks. Now, instead of hiring an external IT consultant to come in and fix our computers, it has been suggested that we just move to an empty desk and use the computer there. Hopefully our supply of empty desks with still functioning computers lasts us through the New Depression.
Complaining while you still enjoy desks? Unconscionable.
My firm no longer stocks napkins in the kitchen. We've also downsized from the tiny plastic straws to stir coffee to little splinters of wood. However, I walked in the kitchen the other day to get my horrendous Flavia coffee, and in addition to the Flavia machine there was a brand new Lavazza Blue espresso machine. I wonder how many napkins we traded for that.
Clean up with your clothes! They are now rags, anyhow.
I am a physician at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the largest hospital—and one of the largest employers—in the state. Last week the hospital administration sent us a memo explaining that they will no longer provide janitorial services to empty the trash, and all physicians will now have to empty our office trashcans into one central location. While there's nothing wrong with being a janitor, if we'd wanted to choose that career path we wouldn't have spent 200k attending medical school. Seriously—taking out trash from a HOSPITAL, without any safety training or protective equipment? That's just gross.
You doctors can use the hand-eye coordination practice! The following is a real internal Harper's Bazaar memo:
Thank you to everyone for your cost savings suggestions. We have already begun to implement many of them. Please note the following new practices/procedures:
1. WWD-As soon as our current WWD subscriptions expire (early 2009) we will reduce the number of subscriptions to three. Each department (Fashion/Beauty, Features, Glenda's office) will receive one copy which will be shared with everyone in their group.
2. Magazine subs/purchases-No magazine subscription will be renewed.. No one is authorized to purchase a magazine from the newsstand. —- will purchase one magazine each month from the newsstand (to ensure timely access) of every title that we need. These magazines will be kept in a library for you to check out (and return!) when you need them.
3. Messengers-There needs to be a 20% reduction in the use of messengers. Vendors need to send and pick up product. In the event this is not possible (a rare occurrence), please use your interns to do Manhattan runs (using the subway). If you don't have an intern please check with —- who will look into finding you one for this purpose.
4. Daily Priorities-Distributed via email. Please do not print them out as that would clearly defeat the purpose!
5. Cars-It is company policy to use taxis (subways during the day) instead of the company car service when traveling in Manhattan. Please ensure that this is the case as written explanation for company car use will now be required.
6. Overtime-Five hour per week maximum will be enforced. If work cannot get done within these limits, please use your overtime ineligible staff to achieve these functions.
7. Free art-Increase the use of jpgs instead of shooting product.
8. Color copies-I'm not clear why we are still having this problem after the dozens of emails Nancy and I have sent out about this, but people are still making unnecessary color copies when a black and white copy will do. We pay a lot of money for the special paper and toners required for color copying/printing so this practice must be stopped immediately. The system of color copying product as a means of documenting receipt should have already been stopped-please make sure you are using the digital cameras we've purchased for this purpose.
Thanks again for your help, especially during these challenging times. And please do keep those ideas coming! —
Aren't you glad you made all those suggestions? Finally, the hard times are even sending the bosses over the edge:
In addition to getting rid of our water supply — we now have to drink nyc tap water out of a very old faucet that seems to..flavor the water some form of lemon — the president of this finance-related company that I work at sent out this cheery email recently. It was the first we knew of his concern about dish washing, so it seemed extra...violent. Plus, we wish we could make the inference that our company is doing fine despite the recession if our Leader is worried about dishes. Sigh. And then there's the subject line: did he forget to type 'Here' at the end, or was this an attempt at a yo-momma joke?
Continue to send your tales of despair here.