Hate This

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
We just got word that the departmental budget is getting cut. I need
to do a round of layoffs but the timing is up to me. I’m dreading every
aspect of it. My saddest problem is that one of the young women
whose job is being cut is getting married in a few weeks. This is her
first marriage and she&'s been planning it for a year. Her fiancé
frequently comes to the office and is a nice guy we all like. Should I
tell her the bad news now (and possibly ruin some of the joy of her
wedding and honeymoon) or wait until she comes back? I&'ve asked my
women friends and they are evenly split down the middle.
Hate This
Dear Hate This
It takes a truly mean-spirited person to enjoy layoffs. And it takes an
even meaner meanie to ruin someone’s wedding bliss. But as much as
I’d love to insulate and protect her innocence and joy, generally
knowing bad financial news sooner is better than learning later. I’m
assuming, btw, that there’s really no option to for her to keep her job.
If you have elbowroom, even for several months, maybe things will
Assuming not, you don’t want to cast a pall on the festivities, but you
do want them forewarned. It’s simply too easy to splurge on any
holiday, let alone a honeymoon. BTW, it’s going to be tempting to sit
down with the two of them when you drop the news. But remember
she&'s the employee not him. And once you tell her, she’s bearing the
same mantle of hyper-reality that you are. So if it’s a sure thing, get it
over with so she has time to mourn and then recover in time for the
ceremonies. Stress that she’s on a callback list, that she’s eligible for
unemployment, and that you’ll give her a strong letter of reference.
Organize a nice gift from the department (maybe a gift certificate                                somewhere useful). But don’t let your squeamish stomach make things
any worse than they are.