Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or Trick

Halloween isn't a holiday and I should stop calling it that. It's one part mish-mash of Celtic superstition, one part Mother Church tradition (which has been pretty superstitious at times too) and one part American orientation for our kiddos, wherein we teach them to pretend to be something they're not and expect stuff for free. So I won't call it a holiday when I can help it, I'll call it a happy day.

People like me (and I'm hardly unique) have some really precious memories associated with Halloween. When I was about seven, I was only supposed to go up and down my street. But I got hooked up with the Mexican kids up the block. Their Uncle loaded us in the back of his pickup, and we went ALL over the greater Los Angeles area! Got a LOT of candy! Got home around 11:30 and Mom wore out a flyswatter on my butt. So everybody had a good time. I think at least one of my root canals can be directly connected to that candy haul. Lots of fun memories like that I associate with Halloween. But not this year.

We laid off forty people yesterday. That's a third of the production workforce. Laid off four of my maintenance men too. Sure, of course, these people were the lowest performers, with a few noteable exceptions determined by very un-business decisions. But very few of them were certified losers. They were mostly folks doing the best they could, trying to earn a living.

The housing sector has excess inventory. Words are such wonderful things. You can take heart rending moments, apply the correct words, and ABRA-CADABRA! It's just an excess inventory problem is all. The whole thing becomes with proper words, about as bland as the directions on a TV dinner box, or even as bland as the contents thereof.

Trick or trick. Not an altogether happy Halloween for me, nor those forty employees. Considering it objectively, I'd rather have faced Momma in her prime, waiting up for me with a flyswatter.

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