Newspaper Memo Demands Staff Stop Wrecking Bathrooms Amid Layoffs

There have been some tough times recently at the Daily Gazette newspaper in Schenectady, New York. Not only did the family-owned enterprise's management cut 10 staffers in layoffs this week, including five from the newsroom, there have also been some troubles with the bathrooms not functioning properly. But, as a tipster writes, the first problem may have helped precipitate the second:

[H]ere is an email sent to employees of The Daily Gazette in Schenectady... [Gazette General Manager Daniel] Beck sent out the email after the company laid off five employees, about 25 percent of newsroom staff, on Thursday. All of the employees were veterans, some with decades of service. The newspaper is going through some hard times and some workers there are apparently upset with management. The joint is non-union, so people cannot complain without getting fired. Instead, they have been jamming stuff into toilets, causing them to explode and such. Hence this memo.

Though the memo and its stipulations read as rather Draconian—video surveillance, regulations about where people can go to the restroom, etc.—a Gazette staff member told Gawker that so far the new rules are not being enforced. "Nobody really had any idea what the email was about in the first place," this person said. "People are still wandering all around the building, only now we make jokes about how we're going to get in trouble."

Stay strong, guys. And may you long go to the bathroom whenever and wherever you damn well please.

May 2, 2013

Memorandum

To: All Gazette Employees and Agents

From: Daniel T. Beck

Re: Building Vandalism – New Work Rules

As you are probably aware, The Gazette has been experiencing ongoing problems with blocked drains throughout our building. Unfortunately, it has been proven to us that these plumbing problems and other acts of vandalism to company property are being perpetrated by our own Gazette employee(s). They occur during evenings, early morning hours and weekends. Repairs and replacement of destroyed property has run into the thousands of dollars. Further, these criminal acts also threaten the health and safety of fellow employees. They cannot and will not be tolerated.

In response, The Gazette will impose the following work rules during weekday evenings and on weekends. Employees are not to leave their designated work areas before, during or after their shifts. Employees are to use the bathrooms associated with their designated work areas and not others in different parts of the building. The Gazette will also install additional video surveillance cameras throughout the building. If you need to leave your work area as part of your duties, check with your supervisor, who will escort you or will make other provisions. Failure to comply with the above rules will be considered cause for disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. Any employee found to be vandalizing or destroying company property will be immediately terminated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law with restitution of damages sought.

Additionally, a $1,000 reward will be paid to anyone who supplies The Gazette with information that leads to the successful conviction of guilty individual(s). It saddens me to think that a fellow employee would feel compelled to damage company property and inconvenience fellow workers and compromise their health and safety. I apologize for the necessity of imposing the above rules and any inconvenience they may cause but we cannot allow this to continue.

Thank you.

[Image via Flickr user danoxster]