Let's not give up hope on Ebeneezer Bailey

It’s tempting to view Trinity Mirror management’s decision to strike
staff Christmas parties from the calendar as a Dickensian fable. It’s
tempting to cast Sly Bailey in the role of Ebeneezer Scrooge. And it’s
tempting to see its hard-working armies of regional journalists as a
collection of Bob Cratchits, scribbling away in their ledgers, chained
to their desks, and fretting about supporting their Tiny Tims at home.

Well the thing with temptation is that you sometimes just have to give in to it.

Scrooge,
Christmas Carol fans will recall, had a rather dim view of the festive
season: “Out upon merry Christmas. What’s Christmas time to you but a
time for paying bills without money – a time for balancing your books
and having every item in ’em through a round dozen of months presented
dead against you? If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about
with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own
pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.”

Trinity
Mirror’s approach, while not being quite so lyrical, still has a
familiar ring: “A number of TM companies have decided that the usual
company contribution to Christmas falls within the definition of
discretionary spend and that it would be inappropriate to be spending
money at a time when they are under pressure to reduce all costs.”

Now it’s fair to say that not every employee will see a company Christmas party as a highlight of their year.

Nonetheless,
it doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect at least some degree of yuletide
reward for the work they’ve put in for a company in a year when they’ve
had to cope with cuts of their own – particularly when that company
makes profits of a quarter of a billion pounds.

But before we get
too downhearted, let’s not forget that Scrooge did ultimately decide to
change his ways. It took visits from spirits past, present and future,
but he got there in the end – and even put Cratchit’s salary up on
Boxing Day.

So who knows? Perhaps Monty’s Ghost might even make an appearance at Canary Wharf and help cause a change of heart.

It’s
certainly not too late for Bailey to suggest that her managers change
this decision. And then we’ll all be cheering come December.

God bless us. Every one!

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