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Catering to the Single Unemployed Senior Manager

Profit from Downsized Executive!

Catering to the Single Unemployed Senior Manager

By Mark Swartz

Canadian Workplace Specialist

A seldom discussed casualty of the recent slowdown: senior executives who find themselves thick in the dating scene when they’re suddenly pitched into unemployment.

This is an issue that affects employers just as it does the unemployed VIP. That’s because it impacts the many services that cater to the whims of those accustomed to putting on the Ritz in order to impress their paramour. Preparing for the shifts in consumption habits might just be the key to thriving.

Downscaled Dating

Take, for instance, the upper crust online dating services. What will happen to such companies as SeekingMillionaire.com, Posh-Date.com or SeekWealthy.com when the formerly well-heeled are forced to remove their profiles, migrating (kicking and screaming all the way) to the less aristocratic e-Harmony or, goodness gracious, to the enormously popular but oh so working class PlentyOfFish.com?

Live theatre and symphony orchestra outings will become passé. The new chic? Scrounging take-out mini-burgers pour deux from Burger King. Then a raucous night of bowling and beer swilling. Sure it’s more fun than you’ve been able to afford in ages. But picture your local five star eatery vacant on a Saturday evening, where once a line-up of glitterati pushed and shoved to be seated – and seen. Hard times indeed.

Catering To The Nouveau Middle-Class Dater

Jobless senior executives, be they men or women, still strive to impress when dating. Knowing this enables you to accommodate their hardship circumstances with aplomb.

Let us say that you are one of those fashionable restaurants where prosperous lovers-to-be used to show up in limousines, sporting Armani, fur coats and diamonds galore. Now they arrive in pre-owned Ford Escorts, wearing jeans bought at Wal-Mart.

You can help by dimming the lights in your establishment to near total eclipse levels. This way no one can be clearly identified and their sterling reputation remains intact. Creating “value menus” may be helpful as well: no more pate de fois gras and scalloped oysters. Better to serve such staples as fish and chips or spaghetti (excuse me, “pasta al dente”) with meatballs.

When it comes to settling the bill, our former executive will surely make a flourish of grabbing the check and insisting on paying – just as if their former employer were still picking up the tab. Be ready to avoid an embarrassing scene. Simply call the jobless person’s bank manager beforehand to make sure the patron’s once flush Platinum credit card will at least clear.

And instead of proffering after dinner mints and imported liqueurs, tuck a couple of free passes to the next-door Cineplex Odeon into the executive’s back pocket. Who needs good breath and intoxication when money’s tight?

Cheer Up

It may well be that your profit margins become lean as Kate Moss’s waste due to the economy. But maintain hope. Now that billions of dollars are being pumped into our economy by the federal and provincial governments (trillions of dollars in the U.S.), an upturn is surely just around the bend. Soon these mavens of commerce will be gainfully re-employed. Their obscene salaries and perks fully restored. And they will flock back to your enterprise with abandon.

Meanwhile you may want to invest ahead of the curve. Consider selling your business and putting the proceeds into shares of dating services like SugarDaddy.com or SugarMommyDate.com. An upswing here is nearly inevitable.

Mark Swartz, MBA, M.Ed., is the best selling author of "Get Wired, You're Hired!" He is a professional speaker and consultant on workplace issues at www.CareerActivist.com.