They. Want. You. Back.

They. Want. You. Back.

Cue N’Sync here.

Oh, the treasure trove that is these days. Yesterday, they published an article titled, “Bosses admit they’d start with remote workers during a layoff. How to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.”

IMO, we’re moving from the dress rehearsals to the opening night of whatever this economic 💩 storm is about to be. Corporate America is emboldened and they know what’s coming down the road. Ya know, things like layoffs, hiring freezes, PIPs, and a demand that you RTO. I have warned you about this for months now.  So many Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck and have personal debt. I find it hard to believe that in a recession, most people will be able to say, “Hell no, we won’t go” for very long. I’m not saying it’s right – I’m just telling you reality as I see it.

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Transcription by  Please forgive any typos!

Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at And now, here’s your host, Sara Causey. Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. So here we go. I think at this point, we have started to move from the dress rehearsals, to the opening act, the opening night of whatever this economic poopoo storm is about to be standard boilerplate here. I’m not an economist, I don’t sit on the wef. I’m not a power broker, a hedge fund manager, etc. I don’t know exactly what’s about to play out over the coming months. I just know as a private individual reading the tea leaves, having lived through this movie a couple of times before the dot com boom and bust. And then the Great Recession of 08, kind of know what it looks like when the economy is about to take a massive, massive poopoo when we’re on a slow roll down a bad Hill. And that’s where I think we are. For a little while over the summer, I thought, ah, these commentators who say we’re in the opening act, I don’t think so I think we’re in dress rehearsal, I think people are still blocking out their spaces, picking out their costumes, putting any finishing touches on the performance. I think now we really are going into opening night or the opening act, things are moving, you’re being telegraphed information at a faster rate of speed. And I do believe at the risk of sounding cynical, or all tinfoil hat. I do believe it’s in the spirit of Will you were warned. I mean, we did put information out there. We told you on CBS News that the Fed was going to crash the job market. We told you there’d be a million or two people unemployed. I mean, we told you in the jolts report, finally, that unemployment was starting to tick up and there weren’t as many jobs added as we thought there was going to be I mean, we told y’all, didn’t we? Well, in that same vein, never, never a disappointing moment anymore on all We have published yesterday, October the fifth, we have bosses admit they’d start with remote workers during a layoff, how to make sure it doesn’t happen to you. I’ve been warning you guys about this. I know there are plenty of commentators out there that want to pump you up full of hopium. They want to tell you that there has been a true revolution in the workplace. The power has just gone so far away from corporate America, they’re never going to get it back. There’s going to be a mass revolution all across the country, all of these workers are going to stand up whether they’re unionized or not. They’re going to stand up and say hell no, we won’t go, we won’t go back to the office. We don’t want to be there. The genies out of the bottle, we know that we can work successfully from home, we enjoy working from home. So we’re not going to RTO just because you still have corporate real estate, I get it. I support that. I don’t ever have any intention of going back to a bullpen or an office. But on the other side of the coin, I’m self employed, I get to make my own rules, because I’m taking a hell of a lot of risks, to be self employed. When you’re a full time w two employee, and you’re living paycheck to paycheck, it’s a different experience. I know firsthand, because I’ve been that person. I was that person during the great recession as a matter of fact, and whatever I had to do to keep that job so that I didn’t lose my place to live or be unable to go buy microwave burritos at the grocery store. I did it. And I think now we have a large stew brewing up of people that don’t want to go back to the office regardless of generation. I think people want to make it into generational clickbait and say it’s only Gen Z that doesn’t want to go back to the office which is not true. Then at the same time you have other people trying to write puff pieces and outright BS saying that Gen Z wants to go back to the office that they’ve missed out on what it’s like to high five your co workers and a eureka I found that moment and other drivel like that. It’s just it’s corporate sponsored media putting out a very clear narrative, whatever it is they want to push. That’s what they’re gonna push that day Gen Z hates the office Gen Z loves the office. The office is nostalgic. Let’s all go back like Don Draper and madmen. It’s whatever. It’s almost not even worth talking about. When we have the stew of people, some of whom want to go back they’re highly extroverted. Maybe they don’t have a good home life. Yeah, I’ll say maybe they’re miserable at home. They don’t want to be They’re because they’re in an unhappy marriage. They don’t make their kids mind. Some of that some of y’all out there, I don’t know what you’re thinking with, with the way that you let the kids or grandkids run the household, because that’s just a hell no, that would not have flown, by and large in the 80s. And I just don’t play that stuff. Kids trying to talk to their parents and grandparents, like they’re grown and they pay some bills around the house. I don’t understand that at all. The lack of home training is insane. To me. That’s a different point. So you’ve got this stew of people. And so many of the people in the stew, are living paycheck to paycheck, they have personal debt, how are they really going to say, I’m going to dig my heels in and never go back? If you need that job in order to eat. If you need that job in order to pay your bills to keep the car from being repossessed to keep from being evicted. Guess what, you’re probably going to go back. I’m not telling you that it’s right. I’m not telling you that I support this form of whack. Oh, awful, crony capitalism. I don’t. I don’t. If we had anything resembling a free market economy or a free enterprise country, you would not have Wall Street fat cats going to the government asking for taxpayer moolah, you wouldn’t be happening. I don’t support crony capitalism. I want to be extremely clear. In that point. I’m not telling you. It’s right. I’m telling you, this is what’s about to happen. This is kind of like one of my prediction alerts. I feel completely vindicated by this article, because I have been warning you about this for months. They want you back, they want you back but in seat in that cube farm, and they’re going to do whatever they need to do to make that happen. Don’t you find it kind of interesting that there had been all of this fear mongering about that. But then once these mayors of these large cities said you need to be back cross pollinating downtown, once corporate America said, we really want you back button seat. Jamie diamond was talking about how he wanted to see the fall look more like the fall of 2019. He wanted people back in the office. He wanted people hustling and bustling downtown again. Don’t you find that just a little bit coincidental that when these movers and shakers decided you needed to be back, cross pollinating, and you needed to be back, but in St. All of a sudden, that wasn’t so important anymore. President Biden got on 60 minutes and said that we’re not in a pandemic anymore. Mm hmm. Gosh, what a coincidence, huh? Wow, you know, it’s almost like these Wall Street fat cats. And these power brokers and these huge NGOs are actually running things around here. I’m sure that’s just a coincidence, though. I mean, that couldn’t possibly be the case. be naive at your own risk. So we get in this article that quite frankly, this should not come as a surprise to you. The only thing that surprises me, is that okay, they’re out on Front Street. Now. They’re telegraphing this information to you saying, Hey, if you’re working remotely, your boss is probably going to look at you as the first person to punch out the door come lay off season. And by the way, we’re in layoff season, there was an article published I think it was yesterday, also in the New York Post about how Mehta is getting ready to trim people using pips. That’s another area where I’m vindicated. I told you, they would start using those performance improvement plans to help punch people right out the door, then they don’t have to pay you any kind of benefits or severance, they just say you failed your PIP and they kick you out. And that’s the end of it. It’s really, in my opinion, I can’t tell you what to do. In my opinion, based on my experiences, being in the job market for all of these years, it’s really a monogrammed invitation to you to go find another job somewhere else as soon as possible. That way, they don’t have to go through the rigmarole of shooting you out the door. That’s usually what it really amounts to. So in this article on, we find with the job market shrinking by over a million openings in August, there’s that jolts report where they’re finally starting to pull the curtain back and go Oopsy daisy, oh, goodness. Oh, our bad, huh? That labor markets just not as hard as we told you. It was so sorry. Many workers fear that it’s only a matter of time before mass layoffs start to hit the US in a big way. It is. Okay. I published a blog post the other day called slow roll down a bad hill. It was originally on my Patreon channel back in July. I feel like that’s what has happened. We’ve been on a slow roll down a bad Hill. I don’t get into these YouTube clickbait. You’ve got six days left. You’ve got one week. You’ve got one month until because we don’t know. We’re not We’re not hedge fund managers. We’re not power brokers. We don’t sit on the West. We don’t know. We don’t know what the agenda is. We don’t know at what point In the general public is going to be allowed to know that unemployment is a hell of a lot higher than any 3.7%. My opinion we don’t know. But it is coming. We can’t we can read the signs well enough to know that there’ll be a poopoo. Storm a brewing. remote workers are particularly concerned about potential layoffs turns out they may have reason to worry. Six in 10 managers say it’s more likely that remote workers will be cut first, according to a new report published Tuesday by presentation software company beautiful AI. Well, the report doesn’t sound very beautiful doesn’t. The report was based on a recent survey of 3000 managers across a wide spectrum of sectors including healthcare, finance, retail software and construction. Another 20% of managers are on the fence as to whether remote workers are more at risk for layoffs. The good news is that despite the grim reality, that the proximity bias is still very much in effect. It’s unlikely that there will be mass layoffs across the labor market this year. I will end quote long enough to say I would not bet the farm on that. We’re in q4, it’s October. So I understand somebody might be thinking okay, but you know, so who wants to have a big layoff around Christmas time? They’ll probably just let people write it out. Not necessarily. Not necessarily. I’ll continue to read. Yes, several major tech companies like snap, Netflix and Mehta have announced layoffs in recent months while other corporations put hiring freezes in effect. Companies are pulling back on job postings, yet they’re not resorting to broad layoffs yet, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics jolt report released Tuesday. This idea that the tech sector is going through mass layoffs is not playing out in the data says Leila O’Kane senior economist at livecast. online quote long enough to say really liable Have you been on layoffs dot FYI lately? Have you looked at the running till on LinkedIn of companies that are cutting staff? What data is it that you’re looking at Leila? In order to say that the tech sector is not having mass layoffs? Where’s that out? I’d love to see that data because it sure doesn’t match with what I’m saying. I’ll continue to read. Job openings are still at a really high mark of 10 point 1 million in August down slightly from the 11 point 2 million in July. Okay notes. Employees are still sitting in the driver’s seat. Hmm. And the labor market is still pretty tight, huh? She tells fortune. For context, the labor market went from having two openings per unemployed worker to about 1.7 openings per unemployed worker. So while openings are down, there still are more openings than people to fill them. This is not a sign that employers by and large have the upper hand and are feeling like they really need to tighten their belts and layoff workers. O’Kane says I’m not expecting there to be mass layoffs, really, in any sector in the next quarter in quote, several things, several things to unpack there. Number one, I think is really important to look back at who’s telling you the truth. Somebody makes a prediction and it comes true. Good. They make a prediction and it doesn’t come true. assess that. I would be very surprised if we see Leila Oh, Keynes predictions bear out to be accurate in the market. Not saying it’s impossible, just saying I wouldn’t bet my farm on it. That’s for damn sure. Also, I’m trying to think of exactly the best way to put this because I know it’s gonna sound super tinfoil hat. And I just don’t think there’s any way around that when we see this kind of puffery, because in my opinion, that’s what it is, hey, the labor market we’re gonna we’re gonna sit here and tell you that the labor market is taking a dump, but then at the same time, we’re going to tell you it’s still good. There’s still 1.7 open jobs per unemployed person. There’s still more open jobs and people to fill them. We still got Pete like Mitch Oh, Mitch McConnell, the turtle Oh, people are flush with cash. They’re just living Nana’s basement off those 2020 stimmy checks and all that rot in my opinion this puffery is being used as further ammunition it’s just corporate propaganda. The Fed has already told you they want to crash the job market the runaway inflation is being blamed on you. It’s being blamed on the the common working class person I go back yet again to to the cook and pink houses. It’s the simple man baby that’s going to pay for the bills and the pills and the thrills that kill that’s that’s it, they’re going to blame it on the average working class American person. You John pump too much during the Great resignation. He worked remotely. You asked for higher wages, you dirty little lemmings. You didn’t sit down, shut up and do what you were told. So now gestures broadly at this awful economy. It’s all your fault. Let us come in and fix it. Now even though we’re really the ones that broke the damn thing in the first place by giving out free money and printing up fiat currency like it was going on. If it’s not backed by anything, that’s why it’s fiat currency. Oh, and we shut the economy down and we put all of these other things out on the market that I can’t talk about because I would get banned and shadow banned. We did all these things. It’s really our fault. But no, we’re gonna blame it on you. It’s your fault. You did. It’s your fault. Okay, so they’re putting all this puffery out about the job market, how strong the economy still is how strong the labor market still is, how many people still don’t want to work? Because it’s used as justification for the Fed to crash the job market. If they came out in a puff piece like this and said the job market is in the crapper, you better get where you’re going to get and ride out the wave for the next couple of years, or you’re going to really really get steamrolled people would panic. Because I don’t think the average man Okay, all right, I’m gonna get hate mail. Maybe I sound elitist when I say this. And I really don’t mean to. But I think the average John or Jane Q Public that just reads snippets of headlines, they’re blithely unaware of what’s going on in the markets. If they read something like that, if somebody finally got in their face and said, You better get where you’re gonna get, and try to become integral to that operation. Because the economy is getting ready to go straight down the tubes, they would probably poop their pants, because they they’re not aware they haven’t been awake this whole time. They haven’t been prepping, they haven’t been getting themselves ready. They haven’t been trying as best they can to clean up their financial side of the street. They’ve been keeping up with the Kardashians or doing whatever in the hell it is that they’re doing. Other than keeping an eye on the markets and reading the tea leaves. So we’re going to continue for a little while longer, apparently, to get this puffery about how great the labor market is, yeah, it took a dump in August. And in September, you know, it’s kind of kind of getting bad out there. But not really, because the Fed still needs to keep hiking those interest rates and continuing to crash the economy. I don’t see any way around it. And with so many people living paycheck to paycheck, including high income individuals, you you will hear people say, between my spouse and I, we make 250k, we make 400k. But we live paycheck to paycheck, with so many people living paycheck to paycheck, being in a deep amount of personal debt, having overextended themselves financially on this, that and the other, oftentimes to impress people they don’t even like sometimes just to survive. When you look at how much it costs to have a child. When you look at how much it costs to have childcare, you look at how much it costs to have aging parents, if you have to have a home health aide come by if you have to have elder care for them while you’re at work, what it takes to just live now, in comparison to what it was like say in my grandparents generation. It’s a night and day difference. It is a night and day difference. So we have so many people, whether through their own fault of doing shenanigans in their finances or not through their own fault. With so many people living paycheck to paycheck, so many people with personal debt, I do not see some big nationwide anti RTO revolution taking hold. I think you will have pockets of people who are able to do it. Some of them may be unionized, some of them maybe not. But some companies will listen, some companies will say you know we have enough good people here that don’t want to RTO we’re going to acquiesce, a lot of companies will not a lot of companies will tell you you get your butt back in the office or it’s your job. Oh, and by the way, unemployment is higher than any 3.7%. I’ve been predicting that for months as well. We’ve gone from the carrot to the stick, at some point, they will tell you the truth or some approximation of the truth about unemployment, because it will be used as a threat against You mark my words, wait and see. Wait and see. That’s when it really go from the carrot and the stick I Well, we’re already gone from the carrot to the stick, I guess then I’ll go from stick to a billy club or something be like look, either sit down, shut up, do what we’re telling you to do. Or you can go out there with the 11 12 13 14% of people that are unemployed right now and crying for a job. You’re going to see bosses saying things like if you leave, I’ll have somebody here in five minutes that actually wants to be here. Because the tide is turning. And some people who have really only experienced the great resignation. They’ve only come of age in this period of time, where workers have had much more of the upper hand and corporate America has, I worry that they’re not going to know how to navigate those waters. And it’s not their fault. They just don’t have the life experience yet. They’ll get it but they don’t have it yet. Please understand, I’m not telling you this is right. I’m not telling you it’s moral. I’m not telling you it’s ethical. What I’m trying to do here is pull the curtain back and warn you as As best as I can what I see coming, and that’s what I see coming. These kind of halfway accurate halfway puff piece articles like we see on fortune of bosses admit they start with remote workers during a layoff. This may be the only morning that you get CBS news coming out saying the Fed wants to crash the job market fortune telling you bosses are saying they’re going to start with remote workers first. In my mind, if you want to make sure that it doesn’t happen to you, you have to become integral to the operation. I can’t give you advice, I cannot tell you what to do. I just know that for me, historically, that’s what has worked the best. It doesn’t become about personality profiles, and it doesn’t so much become who’s Suzy cream cheese, who’s sunny sunshine, it’s really more about who’s making money, who’s profitable, who’s doing what they’re supposed to be doing. And again, you know, I’m really I’m trying to stay on in this valley wick of quiet quitting, because it’s just it’s so ubiquitous, and everybody has a, an intense opinion about it right now. But it’s like if you if you juxtapose someone who’s like, for I’m here from eight to five, and that’s it. If you call me at seven o’clock, don’t with someone who’s like, you can call me anytime I value my job here. I like eating. I like paying my rent on time. So whenever you need something, pick up the phone, and I’ll answer it. Who do you think that the boss is gonna keep? I’m not telling you. It’s right. I’m not telling you. It’s ethical. I’m telling you. Gestures broadly at late stage crony capitalism, that’s where we’re at. I like to eat, I like to pay my bills on time, I like to know that I can take care of my family. So for me, there are times when I have to put the bid in my mouth and be a good little horsey. There’s times when I have to eat a dirt sandwich that I really don’t want to eat. But I have experience doing that. Again, I’m not telling you it’s right. I’m not telling you it’s fun to eat a dirt sandwich, I’m just saying the alternative suck worse, in my opinion. Now, some people may have a really good support system, they may be able to move back in with mom and dad or grandma and grandpa and say, well, this great recession 2.0 global financial crisis 2.0 It’s not really my time, I don’t want to eat the dirt sandwich, I don’t want to RTO I don’t want to deal with a boss from hell. So I’ll just move back in with grandma and ride it out for a couple of years. And then I’ll go back when conditions improve, some people may be able to do that. I don’t know. That was never an option for me. So I had to just like it or lump it can’t tell you what to do. If it were me, I would want to really, really, really, really, really get someplace that I felt like was stable, that an intolerable a place that I felt like made sense for my personality. And I could get along with everybody well enough to really hone in and say, I’m going to be the last one standing. I don’t care what happens around here, what what fate may await other people is not for me to judge. But by god I’m I’m sticking around, I’m gonna make it at this place. And you never know you, you may get promoted, you may get pay raises, you may find that you’ve really carved out a good niche for yourself when the dust settles on this thing. But I would not want to be unemployed. When we really find out the truth about unemployment. I wouldn’t want to have bad references, I wouldn’t want to have a lot of burned bridges left behind me, I want to do whatever I needed to do to survive this. Because that’s what it’s all about. And I think sometimes that’s what people that get so like, intense and passionate about quiet quitting. I think sometimes that’s what they forget. When you’re in that root chakra. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs survival space, you’re going to do whatever you have to do to survive. Point blank. Those of you who listen that are in the military, those of you who listened that have seen combat, you know exactly, damn, well what I’m talking about, you’re going to do what you have to do to survive, you’re going to be the one that gets out of that foxhole alive, you’re going to be the one that completes the mission. I mean, I don’t know how else to put it. If it comes down to you and your family eating or not eating, you’re going to do you have to do to make sure that your family survives this thing. I don’t want anybody to be blindsided. I don’t want anybody to not be prepared. We can’t prepare for every contingency. We can’t know what boogeyman is around every corner. And I don’t think it’s beneficial to be like Chicken Little. I do think it’s beneficial to wargame out how you’re going to survive this thing. And if we listen to and this report that a majority of bosses say remote workers are going to be the first ones to go if you value remote work. What can you do to say, I’m not going to let proximity bias work against me. I am going to be so deep in the cut of this thing. They’re going to need me way worse than they don’t need me. It doesn’t matter if I’m working remotely. It doesn’t matter. matter if I’m in the office, by God, I am going to become the glue that holds this thing together. That’s what I personally would want to do. I wouldn’t want to wargame out my strategy and know what I would do know what I would do in order to keep my job and really get in thick in that company and stay there. But also have a job loss survival plan. In the event that the best laid plans of mice and men went awry on me. What would I do? Where would I go? What would that first phone call be? It’s better to be prepared than scared. It’s better to have a game plan than not. I think back to that post I saw on LinkedIn that day where that guy was like, I never even heard of anybody doing a rescinded job offer. And it’s like, Where have you been? Where have you been? For like the entire month before? It happened to that guy. There had been stories all over the media, about companies pulling back on hiring and resending their job offers and how you needed to be careful. Don’t be that guy. Okay. I’m sorry for him. That sucks for him. I’m sure he went through hell, and I’m sorry for him. You don’t need to be him. Stay alert. Stay prepared. Stay safe and stay sane. I’ll see you in the next episode. Thanks for tuning in. If you enjoyed this episode, please take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and share it with your friends. We’ll see you next time.

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