Category Archives: Recession

The Ethical Layoff

layoffs 3

How are the chosen ones chosen? Who gets to stay and who is set free to the churning waters and capricious winds of change? I’ve asked those in the hiring position to write about their experience, but I’ve had no takers. I want to insert something smart aleck about not having time between all that head chopping, but that’s not true. The folks I know who have been the ones to deliver the bad news, well it’s pretty traumatic for them too. They know they are changing the trajectory of someone’s life. They don’t sleep well after it’s all done either.

There was an article in the NY Times last week, “When Layoffs Are Immoral.” Randy Cohen, the author, brings up salient points about over-compensated execs, and “equitable methods” that should be tried before anyone is let go, he talks about hour reduction, company-wide pay cuts, etc. His argument is this; large companies must use their political clout to insure a proper safety net for those that have to be let go. That means, health benefits and unemployment benefits that are more substantial than the frayed safety net we operate now. To do anything less is unethical. Cohen gives examples of advanced democracies where this is practiced, health benefits are a given and laid off workers are able to receive 60 to 80 percent of their salary. Cohen notes that a CEO with a million dollar paycheck owes a more “humane management” to the folks who helped him earn it.

I agree with Mr. Cohen, the waters are shifting and I’m still afloat. My hope is that this administration will move us to a more ethical democracy, where the needs of many are considered and the culture of greed is finally dialed down.

Something spectacular is just around the bend…


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Distract, Distraction, Distracted.



I’ve always been easily distracted. An open window can be a portal to another time and space. I can watch the bees buzz and the wasps wing by for hours.  Sometimes it’s just the dishes or the laundry. Then there are times when I remember a poem I wrote many years, hard drives, floppy disks and thumb drives ago, and I want/need to see it, and I go foraging in boxes and journals for looking for it, for hours. And then there is life. 

A friend with a new baby called, I hope he’s not driving by the time I go see him. Life happens.

This is so incredibly intense, that I have to remind myself that distraction can be a good thing. We are on this journey and if you stare straight ahead at the road, you might miss something really great along the side. Like that 8ft ball of twine some guy keeps in his front yard that I keep reading about in Ripley’s. Talk about focus and dedication.

Right now, I’m distracted by a couple of things, graduate school for one, and some other personal things, but it doesn’t mean that I’ve lost focus. I’m having to glance at the side of the road, check out that ball of string and some other oddities,  I’ve stopped the car, but I know where I’m headed.  The theme from Mahogany just popped into my head. Do you know where you’re going to? Do you like the things that life is showing you? 

Something spectacular is just around the bend…

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Filed under May, Recession

Help A Mother Out–Point, Click and Give.



“If I look at the mass I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.” 

     Mother Teresa 


    Lisa Truong and Rachel Fudge created “Help A Mother Out” (HAMO) to share information, network, and inspire action. It might take a village to raise a child, but it only takes one of you to point, click and give to “help a mother out.” Truong and Fudge aren’t asking for thousands of dollars from the recession weary. Rather, they’ve streamlined giving into something that any Internet savvy wanna be philanthropist can do. Go to the website, point your cursor at any of the non-profits listed under “Amazon Wish List.” Click on the link, look over the list and give. Point, click and give, it’s that easy. 

     The friends were motivated to start HAMO after they attended a benefit knitting class at a woman’s daytime drop in shelter. A passionate appeal from the center’s volunteer director for basic things such as diapers and personal care items stayed with the friends after the event was over.     

     Lisa told Recession Daily, “I had no business starting this blog/campaign. [My] husband works a lot and I have minimal childcare. I work on HAMO stuff during nap times, after bedtime, on the weekends, in between family chaos.

    Lisa, a stay-at-home-mom with 2 small children candidly shares that she’s been,  “laid off so many times in my career I can’t even count…” She and her husband (who is employed by a small business) have learned to live frugally.

    Rachel chimed in, “The creation of HAMO was pretty off the cuff, although I think both Lisa and I were itching to have a project to work on outside of family/paid work. We did not, however, anticipate things taking off like this! We’re just two friends who’ve called in a lot of favors and networked our butts off.”

     Rachel works full-time as a freelance editor. She also worked as an editor at the nonprofit, small-budget magazine, Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, and served on its board of directors for 7 years. “My parents founded a nonprofit 25 years ago, so I grew up with the idea, volunteered, etc. I know my way around nonprofits and fundraising, but I’m no expert.”

   Microphilanthropy is a burgeoning movement in which donors make small gifts to a specific cause or action. It’s a paradigm shift in giving, from an emotional appeal to major donors, to a proactive request for everyday people to play a part in philanthropy and in this case,  simply meet basic human needs.

    Lisa talked about the creation of HAMO. “A year ago I was ‘off the grid’ with social networking. I was anti-social networking. Using the blogosphere, we have been able to meet and tweet some really interesting and like-minded folks. We have utilized Gmail, Google apps, Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, and WordPress.”

      Microphilanthropy works in conjunction with the wealth of information available on the Internet and the prominence that social networking has gained. By using charity information sites like Guidestar and social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter microphilanthopy leverages available information and the connectivity of an individual as a force for good. Simply, you choose your charity, you give, you ask your network to give and all of a sudden there’s a movement going on. A response to a cause.

     “HAMO was started less than 3 months ago and has grown organically. The only expectation we had in the beginning was to get our close friends and family to buy some diapers and personal care items and share news with them about tent cities. After starting HAMO and contacting agencies, a world has opened up to us that we think others should know about.” Lisa explains.

    “Right now we are focusing on our May Donation Campaign and getting the word out. Aside from donation bins we are not asking for cash donations for HAMO. We want to show people that they can make a difference in their OWN community and give them easy steps to do it by way of the wish lists or by donating extra supplies they already have.”

     Point, click and give, it’s that easy. No one said you had to give until it hurt, just a little bit, enough to help a mother out. 

     Something spectacular is just around the bend…     


Filed under May, Recession