During the unrest in Baltimore, an unreported element was the revenge and score settling. The news people painted a picture of aggrieved brown people going into the streets to make their case the only way they knew how, but that was just the TV show part. Most of it was good old fashioned looting, stealing and pointless mayhem. But, a small portion was gang bangers taking the opportunity to settle scores, rearrange the map and make some points.
In every community on earth, there are people who have revenge on their minds and when the opportunity comes along to get some payback, they take it. It’s just a part of human nature. Fear of going to prison or fear of being found out keeps most of it under control, but in a place like Baltimore or Detroit, it does not take much to set off a round of score settling.
Revolutions, when they come, unlock all of those doors at once and you get a lot of bloodletting that has nothing to do with the revolution. Sure, the revolutionaries hold public trials, humiliate their former masters and hang enough of them to satisfy their lust for revenge. That’s just part of the deal, but the common people settle their scores too. The revolutionaries eventually have to reign it in which is when the revolutionaries start looking a lot like the guys they overthrew.
Anyway, I was thinking about that when reading this story.
SunTrust Banks in Atlanta is laying off about 100 IT employees as it moves work offshore. But this layoff is unusual for what the employer is asking of its soon-to-be displaced workers: SunTrust’s severance agreement requires terminated employees to remain available for two years to provide help if needed, including in-person assistance, and to do so without compensation.
Many of the affected IT employees, who are now training their replacements, have years of experience and provide the highest levels of technical support. The proof of their ability may be in the severance requirement, which gives the bank a way to tap their expertise long after their departure.
The bank’s severance deal includes a “continuing cooperation” clause for a period of two years, where the employee agrees to “make myself reasonably available” to SunTrust “regarding matters in which I have been involved in the course of my employment with SunTrust and/or about which I have knowledge as a result of my employment at SunTrust.”
The employees were informed of their layoff at the end of September, and the last day of work for some is Nov. 1. This is according to several of the affected employees, who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation.
The severance is seen by affected employees as a requirement to provide ongoing technical assistance as needed. The severance agreement itself says that this assistance from former employees “will be requested at such times and in such a manner so as to not unreasonably interfere with my subsequent employment.” An employee shared the severance clause with Computerworld.
This assistance can be by telephone or in-person meetings, and it may be provided without “additional consideration or compensation of any kind,” the clause says.
“How do they think this is acceptable?” said one affected IT worker about the clause. He said he couldn’t fathom how the bank can cut its IT staff and yet insist that former workers be available to fix problems.
You come into work and learn you will be laid off. That sucks, but it happens. Then they tell you that you have to train your replacement. That more than sucks. That’s humiliating. Then you learn that your replacement is a turd eater from the other side of the world. Now you’re pissed. Then some smug asshole from HR says you will have to agree to help the guy for two years on your dime.
Here’s a wild guess on my part, but if things get out of control in America, a whole lot of bank managers are going to turn up with their throats cut. Of course, this sort of spiteful treatment of Americans by people who no longer think they are Americans is common these days. The Cloud People who imagine themselves cut loose from the bounds of citizenship seem to take pleasure in humiliating the Ground People.
Thinking about it, I wonder if revolutions are not just the accumulation of slights and humiliations to a point where the damn breaks and they wash away the old order, leaving a vacuum for someone to fill. Those avant garde revolutionaries that end up in charge are not the vanguard. They are just the people smart enough to ride the tidal wave of resentments.
I don’t know enough about revolution to know and I don’t think much about it. I have my revenge fantasies like any other normal man, but those are for my own entertainment. It just seems to me that our betters are in a hurry to heap as many slights and humiliations upon as they can. It’s as if they think they are at war with us. At some point, the other side of that war is going to wake up and decide to join the fight. I would not want to be a SunTrust Bank manager when that happens.
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