Will Meinen | The Tattler
WASHINGTON, D.C. — 3-D makes everything more palatable. A new study released by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) finds that employees respond best to a firing if the news is delivered with 3-D video. The research was commissioned by a consortium of the largest employers in the country who are looking for more efficient and less painful methods for firing large numbers of employees.
“We created three experimental conditions,” explained one of the primary investigators. “In the first, the employee was fired by his/her supervisor and a human resource specialist. In the second, the employee was fired by a human mannequin with a tape recorder shoved in its mouth, and in the final condition the employee was gathered with a group of confederates (undercover research assistants) and shown a 3-D movie explaining their employment status and benefits package.”
To the surprise of the research team, the employees fired in the 3-D video condition displayed the lowest amount of negative emotional reactions, and the lowest immediate drop in global self-esteem.
“It wasn’t so bad being fired in 3-D,” said subject 15. “I had the cool wayfarer style glasses, I was with a group of people all having the same experience; they even gave us popcorn. It was like watching a summer blockbuster, but instead of aliens trying to take over planet earth I was being told that I no longer had employment and needed to clear out my desk immediately.”
“The coolest part of the whole video is when the cobra flew out of the screen while explaining my insurance options post-employment,” said subject 6. “At first I was totally freaked. Whoa, venomous snake! Then I got the joke, a cobra explaining COBRA coverage. So clever!”
After being informed that they would no longer be employed by company XYZ, the subjects were followed by one of the research confederates back to their desk to gather qualitative data on their candid thoughts.
“I was stunned,” said one of the undercover research assistants. “While they cleaned out their desk and gathered up pictures of family vacations, they prattled on about how cool the film was. When co-workers came by to offer consolation they maintained a positive attitude, often interrupting the conversation to relay details of the film. One of the subjects even asked if they could keep the glasses. You just got fired and you want to know if you can keep the cheap, shitty 3-D glasses? Incredible!”
The response to the other two conditions, human firing and firing by mannequin, yielded less positive results when compared to the 3-D movie condition, with the mannequin condition showing the least positive results.
“I wanted to rip that stupid mannequin’s head off,” said subject 2. “Lifeless bastard with pink colored flesh telling me that I wasn’t going to be able to afford my trip to the Blackhills this summer. Where do you get off? I’m seething right now as I think about him.”
SHRM plans to release the finding of the study in their August newsletter to members and subscribers.
“Nobody likes to be let go from their job,” said SHRM President Bob Cohan. “I think the findings of our research are going to make a difficult situation far easier for corporate America.”