Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Above Us the Waves (of job losses)

There is a kind of reverse one-upmanship to all the job loss announcements. It’s like a negative version of the market share game that so excites UK publishers. It’s as if as soon as one company announces cutbacks or a review or redundancies or salary freezes, three other companies have to do the same. In my mind it plays out like an old war film. One imagines the senior executives with binoculars up in the ‘bridge’ boardroom:

“Captain, HarperCollins say they may have to lose 5% []. Look, there goes another Production Director off the side now. What do you want us to do?”

The bow of HMS Random House plunged through the Atlantic swell, moonlight playing on its mighty steel hull.

“Hold your nerve, men. Steady as she goes.”

“Captain! In-coming Amazon press release re discounts!”

“Engine room, hard to starboard, now!”

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