Saturday, January 24, 2009

business as a$$

Many companies are issuing both internal and external communications stressing "Business as Usual" but their actions are ridiculously contradictory to their statements. According to many economists, we aren't exactly facing another Great Depression, but our current economy is sure as hell depressing, nonetheless. Personally, I'm experiencing a lot of anxiety when it comes to the recession since it's all new for me.

Due to the economic slump the health care industry (among many, many others) is laying off an obscene number of workers. Many view marketing and advertising as a luxury and believe it should be one of the first things to go when revamping and cutting budgets. Since marketing is my forte, I'm naturally nervous that my job is now more than ever disposable. (The topic of cutting marketing dollars to help save a business will be another post entirely because that is the most asinine thing I've ever heard. Marketing will help grow a business if done properly and with discretion and should reap a healthy ROI.)

Though I'm not an Obama supporter, I'm intrigued in regards to his proposed stimulus plan and the mass amount of change he's promised. I wish along with his plan that he would send xanax to all American citizens to help calm their nerves during this economic upheaval. I feel like Matt Leinart sitting on the sidelines waiting to get back in the game of life because I'm scared to spend too much money. I'm drinking beer instead of liquor most nights, going out much less, shopping less and avoiding malls in general, contemplating whether or not certain vacations are "needed", and most of all sitting at home every day making sure my resume is updated just in case.

At the same time these companies are declaring business as usual they are laying off high percentages of their work force, cutting back on employee benefits, retracting tuition reimbursement plans, revoking company matches for investment plans, cancelling holiday soirees, and much more. Companies are in "cut unnecessary costs" mode, but what upper management deems unnecessary and what may be vital to performing your job successfully can often times be two different things. For instance, many pharmaceutical companies are cutting back on the total amount of mileage that can be reimbursed and the amount on expense reports. We all know the best way for reps to get in the door (sad, but true) is to bring breakfast or lunch to the doctors and staff. In order to sell a lot, the rep must drive to many offices in one day. If upper management decides to cut back on the food tab, the reps don't have an easy way in the office anymore, significantly cutting back on their sales. If they are limiting you to a certain amount of mileage a day, you're stuck cold calling over the phone rather than in person which can result in a rapid decline of volume.

They say history repeats itself, and I think they're right. Think about the older generation folks you know. My grandpa, love him to pieces, has the tighest wallet I've ever seen. I think having lived through the tough times brought on by the Great Depression has left remnants of remaining cautious with money. That entire generation still operates under that scarred mentality that has only minimally faded away in nearly 80 years.

So like I said, business as usual my a$$. Barack, bring on the least until the economy starts to rise again.