The New York Post reported that J. Crew had laid off 175 of its employees, which is sad no matter where you work, retail or not. But it wasn’t the layoffs that made me feel disheartened as much as it was the employees who still had their jobs intact allegedly went out celebrating at a nearby bar in New York and posted celebratory photos on social media.
The Post reported that Alejandro Rhett, vice president of men’s merchandising for J.Crew, personally delivered the bad news to several workers who were among the 175 layoffs, then partied to celebrate the layoffs with other colleagues.
Personally, it brought me back to my days of working for a newspaper here in Connecticut, when we had a few rounds of layoffs; there was certainly nothing to celebrate. In fact, it felt more like a death, a stab to the heart of our newspaper. I couldn’t ever imagine going out to celebrate at a local bar afterwards.
While we weren’t a major brand of any kind, we wouldn’t show our former colleagues this kind of disrespect.
What these employees who still had their jobs didn’t realize is that they are not only representing themselves, but the brand they work for. It’s important to be conscious of this fact when making less than responsible decisions.
While what you do outside of work is your own business, you still need to be mindful of the decisions you are making.
In this case, Rhett isn’t just a regular guy going out partying and drinking, he is the “vice-president of men’s merchandising” for J.Crew. What will people remember about this? Is that someone or a group of people who work for a major retail brand celebrated the loss of jobs within the company. How does this look for J.Crew?
This is a black eye for a J.Crew brand which is already struggling financially. Bad publicity is not what it needs right now. These employees should have been aware of this fact before they went out and partied the night away.