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Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down – Downsizing Via Video Chat

Last weekend I saw the movie “Up In The Air,” nominated for a slew of Oscars, with a sobering view of the life of road warriors. Ryan Bingham, played by George Clooney, is more than just a road warrior- he spends his days firing people on behalf of their companies. When a newly minted Ivy League grad joins his firm and proposes a new whole new way of firing people using video chat, Ryan balks. He feels that people deserve be told in person when they are getting the news that they no longer have a job.

What about you? I’ve been downsized once, in 2001. My boss, with whom I had a pretty limited relationship, told me over the phone. Even though the conversation was awkward, I appreciated him telling me personally. If a face to face meeting isn’t realistic, I think a video chat is a reasonable way to make a hard conversation less impersonal.

I give it a thumbs up- but please, don’t hire Ryan Bingham to do it for you. At least have the decency to do it yourself.

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