“Hey, Bob! You’ve been shed!”

If you’ve lost a job, had a family member get fired or had friend see his or her position killed by the economy, I would imagine it’s probably one of the most devastating things to hit you. This has happened to friends of mine in the newspaper business, the guys I went to school with who took the factory jobs and other folks I’ve known for years. When media folks write about their own getting shit-canned, that’s how they report it and they’re not wrong. I took a new job this year and spent about the first four months after the bottom dropped out of everything being afraid of everything. “Am I using too much copier paper? Is that guy in the department who hates everyone planning something? How long will I be the low man on the totem pole?” It’s gut-wrenching, crippling, scary and freakish at the same time.

So, with that in mind, can we PLEASE have a moratorium on the use of the word “shed” in referring to unemployment losses? As in“The state lost 8,700 non-farm jobs last month and has shed more than 112,000 jobs since March 2008.” Shedding is what your dog is doing at this time of year, not what’s happening to your brother at Allen Bradley.

Apparentlythe butter industryis seeing some shedding as well…

And so is themotorcycle industry

And it’s not just an American euphemism either, aswe’re shedding over seas too.

I did a search for “shed jobs” and found that it is possible for a search engine to set fire to my laptop.Google, Pioneer andother big companiesare just leaving the unemployed all over the furniture as their summer coats come in. Unfortunately, Wall Street is apparently continuing to brush these companies and shake out more and more loose fur. I don’t know how bald they want these dogs to be, but they’ve yet to pat them on the head and give them a Milk Bone.

The more we move into soft language, the more we are likely to start to ignore the problems that are underlying the crisis. It’s a lot easier to hear that people are being shed, because it sounds less fatal than it is, just like it’s easier to say people have “expired” instead of “died.” The problem is, it doesn’t help us really use that fear and pain as a motivator to keep hammering on the jackasses who put us in this position in the first place.

People are crashing and burning all around us and I don’t think shedding is the word I’d use to describe it.

5 thoughts on ““Hey, Bob! You’ve been shed!”

  1. My preferred euphemism for layoffs is “let go.” I just have that image of a guy hanging off the side of a building, held on only by his boss. And the boss lets go.
    I’m in about as stable a position as I could be right now, but it’s still scary. Mr. BuggyQ’s business isn’t bringing in enough to cover expenses, so our savings is slowly dwindling. I know for certain that at my college we won’t be getting any raises this year–no COL, nothing–and that’s just the snowflake on the top of the tip of the iceberg. They’re talking furloughs, program cuts, everything. In my department we’ve working short-staffed for two years now, and with a hiring freeze in place that doesn’t look to be ending soon, I’m going to be doing 1 1/2 times the work for progressively less pay for god knows how long.
    All of which is to say, there’s a reason my anti-depressants aren’t quite keeping up these days. I wish I meant that figuratively…

  2. Ewww. Last thing I need is some company shedding into my butter. If only the new “coat” these shedding businesses were taking on included the employees that are now jobless.

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