First the pep talk -- then the pink slips

Workers at the Daily Voice were promised good news last Friday, only to find out on Monday they've been fired without severance.

By Jason Notte Mar 8, 2013 8:24AM
Business hand receiving a pink slip -- Tom Grill, PhotographerGood news, everyone! We don't have to pay you anymore!


That's the two-part message employees of hyper-local news site Daily Voice received after CEO Zohar Yardeni resigned last Friday and set off a company cliffhanger that spanned the weekend.

 

The ending was a bit of a letdown, though, as a whole lot of people were sent packing.


After Yardeni stepped down on Friday, Daily Voice Chairman Carll "Two Ls" Tucker sent an email that employees understandably saw as a harbinger of great things to come.


The text, reported by The Huffington Post but leaked to Gawker, read as follows:


Monday morning we will share with you the news about where we're going and how we're going to get there. The news is good -- but you'll need to sit tight while we finalize our plans. Check your email about our company-wide phone conference early Monday morning. I am pumped about the prospect of working with you to build a great company.


Awesome, right? You'd be totally "pumped" to go into work with Carll on Monday after reading that too, no? But like lemmings who saw only the lovely meadow and not the jagged, lemming-corpse-strewn cliff beyond it, employees happily trotted into Daily Voice offices on Monday only to be fired without severance packages, according to the Boston Business Journal.


That finalized plan for a "great company" included closing all 11 of its Massachusetts sites and going through with widespread layoffs at 41 sites throughout New York and Connecticut. According to a tip received by Gawker, employees were given individual meeting times that appeared to be part of that "working with you" clause in Tucker's email but turned into individual firing sessions.


You don't want to say the employees should have seen this coming -- as they almost never do -- but the signs were there. Daily Voice and its Main Street Connect sites were built to compete with AOL's (AOL) Patch local news sites and even had a budding rivalry brewing with them, according to media industry blogger Jim Romenesko. Patch went through its own bout of layoffs, documented by Business Insider and PandoDaily. A story that ran on The Awl last month featuring a jilted employee's take on working at Patch was unkind at best.


Maybe the signals were there for Daily Voice employees to miss, but that's beside the point. Leaving work on Friday not only employed but with the boss promising better days ahead, a person would have to be a hardened cynic to come in on Monday with a box to pack up the desk.


Yet the Daily Voice employees' experience is yet another unflinching reminder about the inherent nature of business, an ideal predicated on the money-making notion that there are no human beings, just human resources.


More on moneyNOW

77Comments
Mar 8, 2013 9:02AM
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....no human beings, just human resources.....

ain't that the truth ?

Mar 8, 2013 11:53AM
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 Listed above is the labor participation rate just released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The media and the government are giving us the same sort of pep talk, telling us jobs are abound and all is going great with a 7.7% unemployment rate. I've heard all the arguments from the left that try to justify the lowest participation rate in modern history, but they are lame excuses designed to distract from the truth. The unemployment rate published by and referenced to by the media does not give a true indication of the state of the employment picture today. Everything this administration does is designed to mislead and create illusions of prosperity that are not based on sound economic principals. Manipulation of the housing and stock markets, along with continual revisions of key economic data that contained omitted or inaccurate data. It is evident that the labor participation rate contradicts the state of labor as portrayed by the media. 
Mar 8, 2013 12:51PM
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All I see in the comments are the blaming the current and previous administrations, but where is the blame for the trifling way this was handled.

 

That's just a cruel way and it not illegal, but it sure is less than honorable.

 

 

Mar 8, 2013 11:34AM
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HOW'S THAT 'HOPE AND CHANGE' WORKIN' FOR YOU NOW ?

Mar 8, 2013 8:35AM
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"First the pep talk -- then the pink slips"


That pretty much sums up Obama's 2008 campaign and first term as POTUS.

Mar 8, 2013 12:41PM
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Tucker is totally out of touch with his "human resources". He clearly lacks the empathy needed from a successful Chairman. Lay-off decisions are a necessary evil in business and must be handled with great care as they set the frame work for the company's future success. Good luck Daily Voice, you're going to need it.  

Mar 8, 2013 1:47PM
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Grainger (W W Grainger) is famous for this kind of crap. They will send in top management for a pep talk, then call on their cell phone on the way back to the airport and give you the real reason for their visit. Not enough balls to tell you to your face that you've been terminated.
Mar 8, 2013 12:59PM
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There is always trouble in paradise when the CEO of a company resigns......

 

Mar 8, 2013 3:52PM
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YeahI had that happen to me. Spent 3 months negotiating with a prospective employer, did my due dilligence & everything seemd to look good. Upon receiving an offer letter moved my family 1600 miles away from everything we knew. 80 days after getting hired we had a "Things are slow but we have alot coming up so Dont Worry" meeting, 7 days later guess who got let go....

Ultimately though, I was only unemployed for 9 days, found a better, substantially higher paying  job & have been here almost 4 years now.

Mar 8, 2013 12:31PM
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And OBAMA CARE hasn't even hit yet. Just you wait until 2014.

I think the Daily Voice was just trying to beat the rush in people being pushing out the door or put on 30 hours or less a week to avoid the costs of OBAMA CARE.

Wake up and smell the coffee. Do you think that there is no inflation? Most housing sales are to investors not John Q public. Do you feel richer today that you felt in 2007 when the Democrats took over the House with Nancy Pellosi ran the place?

Mar 8, 2013 3:55PM
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Good news??? We are drowning in debt, 16 million looking for work, sequestration proposed by the POTUS. What are you people smoking? The worst is yet to come. Bend over and kiss your azz goodbye. What morons. All hail the Emperor!

Mar 8, 2013 11:45AM
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............and the bad news is..........
Mar 8, 2013 5:02PM
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Those that study the history of the labor movement will see the connection with the way SOME big business treats worker now and when the labor unions started back in the day.  When workers are treated like disposable assets, they will react in a way that will cost the offenders in the long run.  Good employee relations are an under-appreciated element of productivity.   
Mar 8, 2013 3:30PM
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Just love Corporate America!

So silly.

Mar 8, 2013 3:31PM
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I wouldn't be at all surprised if, for the next little while now, Daily Voice Chairman Carll "Two Ls" Tucker will be looking good in Kevlar!
Mar 8, 2013 5:54PM
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The psychological contract which once traded job secuirty for employee loyalty has been forever breached.  No job is forever anymore. 

 

Just remember to wink and nod when they prattle on with the "but were a team" skit.

Mar 8, 2013 6:01PM
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Hmm, the CEO of our NY-based company resigned recently and we had a half hour webinar with his replacement, and we're supposed to get our one-on-one review and salary info by Monday. Now after reading this I'm a bit nervous but was already nervous when the CEO resigned/retired. I don't see how it could be legal to layoff people without severance pay, I don't think it is legal.
Mar 8, 2013 12:09PM
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The impact of the tax hikes is partly being offset by higher pay: Hourly wages rose 4 cents to $23.82 last month. Wages have risen 2.1 percent over the past year, slightly ahead of inflation.

From the headline MSN article about jobless decrease "whatta riot". You couldn't make this stuff up???Wait the black  ops (psyche ops) are. 

Mar 8, 2013 6:58PM
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Again, I say to you: The number of the very rich has risen and these very rich are wealthier. Corporate profits are at record levels.If you have lots of shares of stock in these corporations, you feel the good times are here. How many of you are in this category? Not me.
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