Sunday, March 7, 2010

My point still isn't clear? Seriously?

I received another email from my good friend Bill. He still thinks that I don't get it. But I'm thinking that maybe he doesn't get it because he is a very intelligent, complex marketing guy (and no, I am not saying that facetiously) and what I am saying is really very simple. (Like, "How many cells are in a single celled organism?" simple.) *If you haven't been following up to this point, you might want to start 2 posts back.

Lola (I hope I can call you that):
For the protection of Mr. Hendry (primarily his privacy rights), we can not disclose any information surrounding his employment or his performance.

But your assertions and understanding of the circumstances are simply incorrect.

My point of writing you is that you appear to be someone who wants to support our troops and those who serve in the military. And you should know that Furniture Row's record on that front is stellar. (That fact was even noted in Mr. Hendry's report from the Guard and Reserve Office.)

An example of that is when Furniture Row established in 2004 a very unique company policy to pay any Guard and Reserve employees who are called to active duty in a combat zone their average earnings prior to their deployment over and above whatever compensation they receive for their military service while they are deployed.

I could give you many more examples of how this (Vietnam) Veteran-led and managed organization has gone out of its way to work with and provide special consideration for military personnel.

That's not spin, those are facts. And, again, your assumptions are not based on ALL the facts.

We do appreciate your defense for members of the military, but your attacks on Furniture Row and its management aren't based on the same solid footing.

Best regards,

Bill McKendry
National Marketing Director
Furniture Row Companies

Bill, (of COURSE you can call me that)
Again, since this is clearly not coming across very, um, CLEARLY. Spin, Spin, Spin, Spin ...aside. I am not talking about FACTS (I thought this was clear due to the FACT that I used little to NONE of them in either article.) It is based on ONE FACT, and ONE ASSERTION a.l.o.n.e. And that is...Well no, I'm actually not going to say it again. I've already said it (like, a thousand times) which begs the question: Did you even read my last article?

Never mind, it's clear that you didn't or that you skimmed at the very most.

Let me give you a shiny new example and see if perhaps I can help you (finally) understand where I'm coming from:
You are spending your Sunday afternoon writing to a tired, pregnant, hormonal, (did I mention TIRED?) and often highly irrational stay at home mom. You, a big time "National Corporate Executive" are writing to me, a lowly SAHM. And you're clearly not listening very well, which tends to make me a little grumpy. You also continue to accuse me of not having my facts straight, which tends to make me more than a little (okay extremely) grumpy, because I feel that I have been VERY clear when it comes to "MY FACTS" and also "My Assertion" (which is less rocket science, less “spin,” and more common sense).

But I digress. The point I was getting at was this:
Is this a good use of your time?
(Answer: Nope.)
Is this how you'd like to be spending a lovely Sunday afternoon?
(Answer: I'm going to go ahead and answer “No.” on your behalf, since EVERYBODY knows that Sunday afternoons are for worship, walks in the park, baking hot cookies and eating all of them, piping hot, straight out of the oven, and snuggling with the ones you love in a big down feather comforter while laughing till you cry at re-runs of America’s Funniest Home Videos. Obviously.)


So, based on the big gigantic mess that obviously IS this situation, my humble question remains: Was this handled in a smart way?
(And my humble answer is still: Nope.)

You seem to think that I am blindly getting my hackles up in defense of our military (who I do love, honor, and respect), but I am simply not that awesome (or clueless.) You also keep saying that I don’t have correct information, and what I am saying to you is: I have all the information I need to know that this action falls under the category of “NOT SMART.” How can I possibly know that? Well, because a National Executive at Furniture Row is writing to ME at the expense of a beautiful Sunday afternoon!

If this firing was handled in a wise manner, we would have never crossed paths. THAT is my point. THAT is all I am saying. It’s very simple. I don’t need you to divulge the gory “secret” details of why Chris Hendry was fired in order to change my mind. It wouldn’t change my mind because the premise is the same.

Would you fire a woman (who was a lazy turd who showed up an hour late to work every day, and gossiped with other employees on the show room floor, and texted on her phone non-stop, and took 2 hour lunches, and lied on her time card, and blah blah blah, insert the worst things you can possibly think of HERE________________.) THE DAY AFTER she reported to you that she was pregnant?

Did you answer yes just now? If so, that’s why we’re in this predicament, now isn’t it?

Not smart. Even if she is a turd. Even if she is the biggest turd you’ve ever met (like…say, ME for example) because even turds have large extended families, hundreds of email contacts, and enough “spin“to fly a helicopter from here to Timbuktu. Welcome to America. I don’t like it any more than you do but hey, play the game or reap the consequences. That’s my point. Talk all you want about Chris Hendry’s poor employment record – or, you know, don’t. But it doesn’t matter either way. It’s just not smart business. (Which is why you are now stuck wasting your lovely Sunday afternoon trying to talk down a sassy stay at home mom who comes from a long line of lawyers, businessmen, politicians, and scholars ALL OF WHOM would say – “That’s just not smart business” even if the people fired were turds who had it coming.)

It’s not about military pride, and unfortunately, it’s not even about right or wrong (even though I FULLY agree that it SHOULD BE). Until we find ourselves living in a Utopian, ethics-driven society, it’s about smart business. Period. That wasn’t smart business, period. That’s ALL I said. I didn’t say that Furniture Row is evil and they fired Chris SOLELY on the basis of his signing on for military duty. I didn’t say that at all. You want to know what DID tell people that? The fact that Furniture Row fired him THE DAY AFTER he told them he had signed into the Reserve. (You know, why not wait two weeks…hello?) That’s what. Not me. It’s about how things look. It’s P.R. 101, not quantum physics. If you can’t see that, then I’m sorry. Look on the bright side. A lot of people will hear all of this mess and feel sorry for you guys for getting put through the ringer by a nutty, opinionated stay at home mom, and they will probably come in and buy ugly leather love seats and velvety recliners for that very reason. Worry not. I have like, 6 readers and a really big mouth. It’s not as bad as it seems.

As for me, this is it. As of Monday I am back to writing about lovely things like babies, sassy six year olds, awesome women around the world, and how wonderful it is that one of my best friends (like, on the entire planet) has found love with the most wonderful guy and how they just had a beautiful wedding, and it’s so great to see that they love each other so. very. much. That’ll be nice for a change – eh?

Bill, go enjoy the rest of your Sunday. And be sure and let the store managers know that my offer of consulting services in exchange for large bags of Chili Cheese Fritos stills stands. Hey, if we work together, we just might be able to save future Sundays from being wasted on needless, messy clean up. I say "Back to hot chocolate chip cookies and AFV!"

With love,


C Stevens said...

I get bill defending his company but he is getting a bit annoying. He is totally right - we don't know all about the case. We never will. We, the public, only know he was fired the day after he told the employer he enlisted.
I'm not going to shop there mostly because of Bill. Can't you just admit the timing was bad? It is because you can't tell the whole story, you must see it through the eyes of the public. The guy was fired the day after he announced he had enlisted.
If you are going to act as the spokes person for the company, you should know an apology can go a long way.
It was stupid to fire the guy, especially when the only fact your public will know is that he had just informed his supervisor he had enlisted.
Bill, you are the NATIONAL MARKETING guy. You should always know who you are selling to. Who is in your market? Lola knows her fan base. She has apologized to people when she knows/finds something she has done was stupid.
I'm not asking for you to share all the details. We want you to keep your confidentiality. You already know this (a man fired for "lack of focus") looks stupid and very unprofessional.
In this economic time, where everyone knows some one who has been laid off, it's a bad idea to fire some one for "lack of focus" when they just told you they had enlisted. Most of us can relate to the guy who just got kicked to the curb.

Aubry Macbean said...

I must not watch the same reruns of AFV because I don't find them funny at all. (I note this is not all that important as other things but I wanted to say it all the same ;)

Unknown said...

Lola, I adore you. Absolutely freaking adore you. I am Chris's sister-in-law, and I can personally tell you that this has been a very trying time for our family. I have been so frustrated with the whole mess, since I have received nothing but the same fluffy damage control emails from Bill, and since I'm a second year medical student living 2000 miles away, I haven't been able to do anything more to help than just send what I assumed were completely ineffective emails. I am so relieved to see that the word is spreading about this. To be completely honest, I agree with you. Who cares about the reasons why? Both sides can claim all they want, but with such stupid timing on the part of Furniture Row... Oy. Thank you so much for your brilliant words and your flawless logic.

Unknown said...

If I ever need a lawyer, dear friend, I want you.