J.C. Penney Hires Therapist To Boost Employee Morale

The therapist, brought in to help J.C. Penney employees deal with the company's traumatic year, reportedly offended workers by comparing the company's last 17 months to the 9/11 attacks.

J.C. Penney has had a tough year: Its revenues dropped by 25%; it fired its disastrous CEO, ex-Appler Ron Johnson; and it took some heat for a tea kettle bearing an uncanny resemblance to Hitler. Things have been so bad that the company recently felt it necessary to make a public apology in the form of an ad.

Its staff was understandably upset about the upper management shenanigans and the company's misfortune, so J.C. Penney's chief merchant brought in an organizational therapist to speak at the May monthly meeting in the merchandizing division. That's where everything went downhill.

According to Buzzfeed, the company's chief merchant, Liz Sweney, equated the experience of working at J.C. Penney over the last year to surviving a bomb explosion. The therapist then showed a short film called Boatlift, a traumatic, gritty documentary about the evacuation of lower Manhattan by boat after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. The idea was to ask J.C. Penney's staff members to choose their own right direction for their future at work, but according to Buzzfeed, employees found the presentation more offensive than inspiring.

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3 Comments

  • revamadison

    What JCP needs to do is go back to its roots.  Hire the people (or at least the type) that ran the organization in the50s 60s and 70s.  Get back into the catalog business they had then.  Put tools and other things that would interest men in their stores.  They dropped all that, and their business has dropped steadily since that time.  Look at your store now.  How many men are actually shopping in there?  Back then, men drove their women to the store, and they made separate paths to "their" favorite portions of the building, and shopped.  Today, the women come alone, and paw through clothing.  There isn't much else there, and frankly not many sales at the cash register either.  I was almost amused last week to get a mailing that they missed me.  Say What?  Of course they do - as they closed the two closest stores to me, about 2 years ago.  With institutional memory like that, do they really think I am going to drive a hundred miles looking for another one?  Another waste of time and energy is the continual TV advertisements on the nearest towns to me, all with no stores.  No wonder they are going broke.  All hail to the dummies who cant keep track of what they are doing, or where.

  • justnoticing14

    I hate to see them struggling like this. All efforts seem to only make things worse. I hope they figure out a formula that works soon!