[Originally Posted 11-Jan-2005]

I saw this rather disturbing article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel today.

Borland lays off 15 workers

Here’s what disturbed me:

[Aaron Feigin, vice president of corporate communications] said he did not know who the employees were, what department they worked in or their job titles, but said they would get severance packages and outplacement assistance.


“Finding out why 15 people were let go from an office when I have 1,500 employees may take awhile,” he said, noting the layoffs amount to a very small percent of the company’s worldwide staff.

Clearly, for a man who is supposed to be involved in company PR, he hasn’t got a clue in how to talk to the press. Here’s what I think happened….

[Disclaimer – these are only my opinions and are based on a satirical response to the outrage I feel for the seemingly apathetic response that layoffs seem to generate from the management of large corporations these days. So Mr. Feigin, this may not have actually been how things transpired, but it sure LOOKS that way from the SC Sentinel article – you might want to do some damage mitigation. Unless you, in fact, ARE a moron.]

Feigin was in Las Vegas gambli….er.. uh…. at a Conference – yea that’s it… and was down about 5 shots of scotch and few hundred at the Blackjack table when his cell phone rings…

Feigin: “*hiccup* Uh… Hello…?”
SC: “Hi.. Mr. Feigin, this is the Santa Cruz Sentinel – have you got a few minutes?”
Feigin: “Uh? Sure…?”
SC: “We’d like to get a few comments about the recent layoffs of 15 employees from the Borland headquarters. What they did the reason, for the layoffs, and so on. Can we get a few words from you on that?”
Feigin: “um…..”

At this point, what would you do? All I can say is I know, if I didn’t have a clear answer for them or some good PR spin I would say; “Call my office voicemail, leave me a number where I can reach you and when I return to the office I’ll answer all your questions.” But did he? NO… he gave half-assed answers and basically said; “Hey.. it’s only 15 pee-ons, how should *I* know?”

I hope Dale reads this and thinks about hiring a new VP. One who perhaps is a knows how to spin even when in the bright lights of Las Vegas….