The Slow Economy Blues (11/27/02)
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It looks like Apple's latest Switch ads may in fact be accurate representations of a certain mythical chimney-crawling gift-giver, at least mood-wise: Santa seems to be a little on the surly side this year. That's what we gather from a report at Mac OS Rumors which states that Apple employees who were hoping for a year-end raise this holiday season are instead once again getting lumps of coal in their stockings. Apparently Santa's little helper Steve Jobs just issued a memo informing all the Whos in Whoville that a salary freeze is in effect once again this year, and therefore raises are a no-no.

Then again, in this economy, it seems to us that news of a salary freeze is actually a good thing, for a couple of important reasons. First of all, while your pay isn't going up, it's also not going down. And secondly, if your salary's been frozen, that means you actually have a salary in the first place, which is becoming something of a rarity these days. In fact, the way things are going, if you're still drawing a paycheck of any kind by this time next year, don't be surprised if the Smithsonian contacts you about the possibility of adding one of your pay stubs to its "Stuff People Hardly Ever See Anymore" collection.

Unfortunately, it seems that not everyone at Apple was lucky enough to have his or her salary zapped by the Freeze Ray; some had their paychecks blasted by a phaser set on "kill" instead. While we still haven't found anything that clinches the recent rumor of as many as a thousand pink slips from the mothership, Mac OS Rumors does mention "significant recent layoffs in certain sectors of Apple." To any former Applefolk out there now seeking gainful employment, our thoughts are with you as you pound the pavement. We'd hire you ourselves, but our own budget is running on fumes these days, and something tells us you're unlikely to accept payment strictly in leftover Halloween candy.

Meanwhile, we've heard nothing regarding another ease-the-pain initiative like last year's half-price iPods for employees, but we're confident that those in the Cupertino trenches will receive some sort of comfort measure from their employers. Note to Steve Jobs: baked goods can cure all ills. Show us a company with low morale and we'll show you a company that never offered oven-fresh corn muffins to its troops. Mmmmmm, corn muffins.


 
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The above scene was taken from the 11/27/02 episode:

November 27, 2002: Apple releases a firmware update to make "Wind-tunnel" Power Macs slightly less deafening. Meanwhile, the company's employees face layoffs and salary freezes, even as Apple tries to steal a Department of Energy contract to build a 197-ton supercomputer away from IBM...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3865: Keeping Tinnitus At Bay (11/27/02)   As Thanksgiving comes hurtling at our heads like a twenty-pound Butterball shot out of a cannon, Apple is just in time to give those of you lucky enough to own its most recent Power Macs still more reasons for which to be grateful...

  • 3867: All About The Innovation (11/27/02)   We're going to kick off the long holiday weekend the very bestest way we know how: with another fascinating, edge-of-your-seat round of unconfirmed reports! Some of you may have heard last week that IBM is gearing up to build a couple of massive new supercomputers for the Department of Energy, as reported by The Mercury News, and perhaps you wondered just where the heck Apple is during this whole spiel...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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