Earlier we heard a rumor that struggling Conde Nast was planning to lay off its full-time receptionists. And we've received more corroboration that it's (kinda?) true! What sort of bootleg operation is this?
UPDATE: Another tipster tells us that Conde's plan is to keep receptionists on "editorial floors," and let everyone else go. If that's true, the toll on the magazine staffs (though not on the receptionists who do get fired) would be reduced.
Tipsters tell us that the receptionists—who sit on each floor to greet and announce visitors, receive packages, and answer phones—will have their last day on Friday. Sad! They're naturally some of the most popular people in the building, being the only ones with a professional obligation to smile at everyone and act civil and useful.
On top of that, this move is probably a part of CEO Charles Townsend's latest round of company-wide cutbacks, but it can't be saving Conde that much money—the receptionists are some of the lowest-paid (if not the lowest-paid) people in the whole building.
And what now? What will the visitors think? Sure, calls can be routed through the main switchboard, and packages can be handled by the central mailroom. But what happens when you arrange to go visit somebody in the Conde headquarters? Will they have a phone sitting on a desk on each floor, with a list of extensions to call? Will you just have to call before you get there and have them meet you in the lobby? It's a sad state of affairs. Any of the departing receptionists in question, feel free to email us with your personal story.