Most of the time God,Pratt & Whitney or General Electric, will give you another turn in the Barrel.

These are my opinions and my opinions only they do not reflect the opinions of any of my family members or their employer. Note we NOW have NO employers.

Back from a 5.5 Year PCS from the confines of the far Southwest corner of Bundesrepublik Deutschland. The Federal Republic of Germany and Retired.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Words have meaning

The following statement is taken from a CNBC article.
“The Swiss Bank announced plans to fire 10,000 bankers last month, as it abandons much of its fixed income trading operation”
Should or could one construe or infer that the bank has employed for sometime and continued to employ for sometime some 10,000 underperforming bankers, and had just discovered that they underperforming?  If that were the case then the shareholders of the company would at first glance have a strong case against the management and board of directors for gross malfeasants.
What is your reaction when someone says that they were “fired”, versus “let go”, “laid off”.  Do the mean or imply the same thing.  Do these words have different connotations?  I suspect that many will agree that there are different connotations associated with the three cited passages, and that there could be a great deal of overlap between the latter two of them, but almost no commonality with the first.
Or could the statement have been as follows
“The Swiss Bank announce that because of recent changes in the market they were abandoning much of their fixed income trading operations, and therefore announced that reluctantly they were laying off 10,000 bankers.”
If brevity was one of the primary requirements for this article then the statement could have read as follows
“The Swiss Bank announced plans to layoff 10,000 bankers last month, as it abandons much of its fixed income trading operation”
Again what is the difference in connotation between “layoff” and “fired”.  In much of the world there is a big difference between being fired and being laid off, it has to do with ability to receive unemployment benefits, and or SUB-pay benefits.
Firing commonly refers to the involuntary termination of employment for cause, and in many cases to be dishonorable and a sign of failure the fault is the employee’s.
Laid off refers to the involuntary termination of employment usually not strictly related to personal performance but due to economic reasons, and or company restricting.
The most remarkable concern about the first quote for me is that an individual who graduated “Magna Cum Laude” from Columbia University could have produced it.  Have the academic standards at Columbia University slipped?
This is not the first time that I have encountered this type of commentary from this author, it is just the first time that it bothered me enough to sit down, take the time, and write a comment.

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