These are recessionary times. Almost all the industries are facing slackness in demand and are observing more and more non production days. Lay offs are common. The industries that are, strictly speaking, not facing any contraction or recession are also laying off people as a cost saving measure. Companies are also using more and more automation as also new technology such RPA (robotic process automation) and AI ( artificial intelligence) that is giving them leeway to reduce manpower. Lastly, several skills such as stenography, data entry, secretarial, clerical etc are getting redundant paving way for newly skilled or up skilled personnel. In short, people are getting laid off by dime and dozen.
Earlier, we used to bestow a lot of respect to early or premature retirement that’s the outcome of lay off. In rarest of the rare circumstances, lay off is employee induced in which case it’s called resignation. The terminology used for lay off was pink slip, severance, separation, disengagement, dissociation etc. The other day I came across use of another term, which is normally used for chickens and not human beings. This term is “culling”. I heard it in the context of a company’s another attempt at laying off workforce and it was said that the company was embarking upon another round of “culling” to reduce manpower.
Some employees are high performing, very smart and highly effective and these are like golden goose. Second set are those who lay eggs, but no longer golden eggs. There’s third set who lay eggs only intermittently. Lastly, there are old birds who have stopped laying eggs and these are generally the subject of culling. However, cullers may keep only one thing in mind – these old unfertile birds are no longer even table birds to be consumed as meat. Their meat is hard to cook, tasteless and hard to digest! Therefore, instead of culling them, they can be allowed to remain in some corner on minimal feed, awaiting their natural end!