This meme originated as an email that began to circulate within hours of Barack Obama’s first Presidential election in 2008. The wording was a little different: according to Snopes, the first sentence began “As the CFO of this business that employs 140 people, I have resigned myself to the fact that Barrack[sic] Obama will be our next President”. There are other differences. The expected price increase rose from 8% in the original missive to 10% in the current incarnation, and the number of sacked employees jumped from eight to sixty. The bit about the annual company picnic is new too – a nice little slap in the face to the Obama-supporting employees who were supposedly laid off.
Whether this layoff really occurred or not, I shouldn’t have to remind anybody that these business tactics are illegal. You cannot discriminate against employees on the basis of political affiliation. Furthermore, it disgusts me that somebody thinks this is a good idea. It’s a terrible idea. Can the Obama-haters who cheer for this meme imagine how the situation would feel if it were reversed? What if, during the start of the Great Recession, a heartless employer had prowled his company’s parking lots looking for Bush/Cheney bumper stickers? Conservatives and liberals alike would have cried foul. So why is it “fair” when an Obama voter loses his job? How does that work?
And while I’m throwing out rhetorical questions: How come nobody suggests that the top-tier employees take a modest pay cut and eschew some of their exorbitant bonuses, thereby saving the jobs of at least some of the people they otherwise would have laid off?
Assuming for a moment that this layoff really occurred, I hope the money saved was sufficient to cover the company’s legal costs. I would hate to learn that this company folded under crushing legal fees and settlements, thereby costing the rest of its employees their jobs thanks to the whims of a petulant executive.