Friday, May 28, 2004

What the huh?

Here's a headline that wouldn't surprise anybody -- unless they'd been listening to Kansas City radio over the last couple of weeks or so: More Layoffs Announced At Gateway Computers' Local Facility.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A series of layoffs is under way at Gateway Computers' call center in Kansas City, KMBC's Krista Klaus reported.

Up to 50 employees learned on Thursday that they lost their jobs -- and the layoffs aren't over yet.

A memo sent to dozens of local Gateway employees promised "mass layoffs" at the company's Kansas City call center by the end of the year. About 500 people work at the site.

The surprising part? Gateway has been running radio ads in recent weeks inviting people to apply for jobs at the call center. Now that it's clear those openings don't exist, I don't expect to hear those ads again any time soon -- not for the rest of the year, if this article is anything to go by.

I thought at the time there was something suspicious about those ads, featuring as they did ultra-chirpy "employees" gushing about how great it is to love your job. I don't mean to suggest that they weren't real employees, you understand. I'm making the charge outright.

So why did those ads run, anyway? Was Gateway throwing up a smokescreen to hide their layoff plans from employees? Or did they need to pretend for a while, for reasons of their own we may never know, that business was better than it really was? Goodness me, that kind of PR chicanery never happens in the tech sector, now does it? (blink blink)

I take a personal interest in these hijinks-related activities because someone I know recently bought a Gateway computer for use in a work-at-home job, and has had enough technical problems with it to regret that buying decision.


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