He offers rules, principles for IP workers

Published 8:56 am Wednesday, November 25, 2009

To the Editor:

Dear employees of International Paper Co.’s Franklin mill:

My sincere best hope for you and your families as you prepare for another one of life’s trials. Advice at this time is about as welcome as bird poop on a pump handle, but just maybe I can help one of you.

Having myself experienced being laid off in 1974, and a reduction in force in 1990 and a military base closure in 1994, I think I may be able to relate somewhat to what you are feeling now. Here are a few things that I learned the hard way along the way:

No. 1 rule: Don’t wait for anyone to come to your rescue.

Principle No. 1: Develop a realistic, real-world action plan for you and your family and then execute your plan.

No. 2 rule: Go through blame and move on as quickly as possible.

Principle No. 2: Never, ever wait for anyone to come through for you at this time. Develop as many income options as you can for yourself now. Don’t wait. Don’t put this off. Your ability to create and produce is your best employment insurance.

Principle No. 3: Take complete responsibility. Inaction now in developing and executing your own written action plan can be a detriment. Don’t wait.

I do sincerely hope the best future for all of you and your families.

You all are certainly in our thoughts.

I think most folks feel that way about Franklin, but I found very few people better than yourself and family to help you go through this tough time.

In my past, I saw men and women who had created for themselves numbers of income options had fared the storm of pending unemployment and unemployment the best. It wasn’t me. I had to learn a couple of times the lesson of “putting all my eggs in one basket” the hard way.

Don’t go to straightening the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Jeffrey Sumner