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Futurefeedforward Cuts 18,000 Jobs
October 24, 2001
NEW HAVEN--Citing recent weakness in networking and telecommunications equipment spending and a market for IT products "softened by a general downtrend in corporate earnings and by increasing uncertainty about the near-term future," Futurefeedforward CEO Redroe "Red" Boudaine announced Wednesday that the company plans to "pursue the world's first trans-temporal corporate restructuring" in an effort to "return the revenue pyramid to an upright posture."
Noting that the company is currently in sound financial shape, Mr. Boudaine went on to explain that undisclosed financial events some 50 years in the future necessitate a pre-emptive restructuring. "Our proprietary temporal network affords us access to key information about future developments both inside and outside the company," explained Boudaine. "Today's announcement is just our management leveraging our own technology to make sound business decisions."
The bizarre plan calls for the Connecticut-based start-up to layoff some 18,000 workers who have not yet been hired. "The cuts come largely from upper management," noted Boudaine. "They're spread over about a dozen years and concentrated in our fast-food and consumer amusement divisions. Frankly, I was shocked to learn that we'll be entering the fast-food business at all and wanted to take steps now to keep us out of it."
The company broke the news to workers by mail, in many cases notifying parents that their as-yet unborn children, and in some cases grandchildren, are being laid off by a company they didn't even know existed. "It was pretty strange," admitted a Des Moines insurance adjuster who received a notice earlier in the week. "This letter said that my daughter 'Janey Marionatti' was being laid off by some computer company or something. I don't have a daughter. I don't have any kids. I don't even have any plans to get married. The severance package was attractive, though, and they offered a scholarship to 'retrain' my kid before she goes into whatever line of work she was going to go into. All-in-all it's a pretty nice way to lose your job."
Responding to questions about the restructuring, Futurefeedforward CFO Emily Efou emphasized the company's commitment to "progressive, fiscally sound labor practices, including job re-training and pre-emptive out-placement. This restructuring also allows us to take advantage of a paradigm-scale inefficiency in financial markets," noted Efou. "This gives us an opportunity to pay out severance and restructuring costs in present dollars. In the near-term that appears inefficient, but, once markets adjust to our technology and future dollars surpass present dollars in value, we'll be sitting pretty."
Asked about recent disruptions in the company's publicly-disseminated weekly newsfeed, Boudaine admitted that delays in the service were the result of "small-scale, sympathetic work stoppages by future-side employees" and sought to reassure clients and investors that the company remains fit and focused: "There's no need for any doubt or discomfort," exclaimed Boudaine. "Our vision is deep and resilient. I've got the future in my pocket. You know that all-seeing eye on top of the pyramid? That's me up there."
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