Florida CEO asked staff to go through Ian. She took it back.


Like Hurricane Ian approach On Monday, employees of a marketing company in Clearwater, Florida, gathered in a conference room to watch their CEO on the big screen.

Hurricane Ian, then a Category 1 storm that was expected to develop, was a “nothingburger” that was overhyped by the media, said Joy, CEO of PostcardMania. Gendusa, who has been addressing remote workers since the passenger seat of a car. Then she asked those who were afraid of the storm to raise their hands.

“It’s not going to be that bad,” Gendusa said in a video recording of the meeting obtained by The Washington Post.

“Obviously, feeling safe and comfortable is of the utmost importance, but I honestly want to keep delivering and I want to have a good end to the term,” Gendusa said. “And when it becomes nothing, I don’t want it to be like, ‘Great, we all stopped producing because of the media and [thought] maybe it was going to be terrible.

On Monday morning, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (right) had already warned that by midweek the hurricane would pose a “significant risk of life-threatening storm surge, high winds and heavy rain” on the west coast of the state and the Panhandle. Several schools and colleges had already closed in preparation for Ian.

Several PostcardMania employees, who spoke to The Post on condition of anonymity because they feared retaliation, said Gendusa’s comments made them feel undervalued and exploited.

His remarks come as the pandemic and burnout have led many to reassess their working conditions, sparking conversations about the Great Resignation and the Silent Shutdown.

Hours later, Gendusa’s remarks sparked a flood of comments on social media criticize company for urging employees to work.

The company has since announced that its offices will not open on Wednesday and Thursday, adding that it will also offer two paid days off for people working remotely or volunteering at a shelter, PostcardMania spokeswoman Jessica said. Lalau, to the Post in an email.

Gendusa did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post.

Hurricane Ian makes landfall in Florida in category 4

Ian made landfall in southwest Florida on Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 hurricane with winds up to 150 mph. It tied for the fifth strongest hurricane to hit the United States. Its winds and flooding would continue as the storm moved inland, the National Hurricane Center reported. As of Wednesday afternoon, more than one million customers in southwest Florida had lost power.

Several employees present at Monday’s meeting told The Post this Gendusa’s remarks made them feel like their safety was less important than the company’s profit. Even when officials ordered some to evacuate their homes, management expected them to work from the office, employees said.

“She’s in her car driving away from us and telling us to keep working,” an employee told the Post. “It was just wrong. I’m going to have to work and you drive your SUV, you take off.

Another worker added: “There was a huge disconnect between her and her employees. Not everyone lives in a nice place or a safe place like her.

After Monday’s meeting, some employees took to private platforms to vent over Gendusa’s remarks. Others, however, were so upset that they shared their displeasure with other colleagues from their desks.

It’s only Tuesday when the company sent a message informing employees that the offices would be closed on Wednesday and Thursday, staff members told the Post. But management told workers they had to work 40 hours this week. If there is a power outage and they cannot work on Wednesday or Thursday, they have to make up their hours before the end of the week, according to some workers. In response to a question about the 40-hour work requirement, PostcardMania’s spokeswoman shared Wednesday’s post from Gendusa.

On Wednesday, following the social media backlash, the company announced it was giving workers paid leave.

In an email Wednesday from company spokeswoman Lalau and shared with The Post, employees were told that Gendusa’s remarks at the meeting were his “personal opinion” and “not an official position of PostcardMania in any way”.

“Following Joy’s remarks, PostcardMania President Melissa Bradshaw took over the meeting and reiterated that making sure everyone was safe was our #1 priority,” Lalau said in the email. .

But some employees did not buy Gendusa’s attempt to reverse course, calling his statement dishonest.

“She speaks on behalf of the company,” one worker told the Post. “She is the business. She’s the boss.”

Even before the company agreed to give them paid time off, workers told The Post, most of them had already decided not to come to the office on Wednesday and Thursday.

A worker attempted to work from home on Wednesday, but encountered problems with the internet.

“Even if I wanted to work, I couldn’t,” the worker told the Post. For now, they stayed home, waiting for what Ian would bring.

“There is no business worth sacrificing for,” the worker said. “I would not give my life [or my belongings] for any business.


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