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MSG to Employees Stranded by Sandy: Come in or Lose Vacation Days

We’ve read plenty of reports about companies using Hurricane Sandy as a promotional tool; but how are managers behaving? We assume that they’ve all been understanding and respectful of their employees during this extremely trying time, right? According to Gawker, the answer is a resounding no.

Managers at the Madison Square Garden company, a massive conglomerate including the New York venue itself as well as the Knicks, the Rangers, the MSG TV network, and several other venues, sent each of its thousands of employees an email message that will not earn the company any PR plaudits.

(When reading this message, remember that the island of Manhattan essentially still has no power below 34th street, which happens to be the very spot where Madison Square Garden is located–and that all traditional forms of transit have yet to return to operational status in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.)

A quick summary: The company understands that travel to and from the city is extremely difficult and time-consuming right now, and managers know that many employees are currently without power–especially those that live in New Jersey. But (and it’s a big but)…

“We recognize that many employees are impacted by the transportation issues as well as a lack of power, and that some are even dealing with personal damage and health issues. In the event that you need to make the personal decision that you are unable to come to work, you will need to notify your supervisor and take a personal or vacation day to cover the time off.”

In other words: Suck it up and get the hell out here or you’ll lose your days. How will you do it? Surprise us!

Will this be a big PR issue for MSG?

We can’t see it. Faceless conglomerates just don’t have to worry about this sort of thing too much, and a considerable majority of New Yorkers already hate Madison Square Garden (we don’t have any links handy; just trust us on this one). But it certainly does reinforce the popular caricature of big-name executives as heartless jerks with little concern for their employees, doesn’t it?

We’re disappointed about the postponement of Meat Loaf’s Beacon Theater show, but we understand, because we would do anything for love…but we won’t wait in a massive four-hour line to take a bus over the bridge into Manhattan. No, we won’t do that.

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