Sunday, January 11, 2009

Pink.... For New Beginnings

The stats are out and apparently another 524,000 have joined the ranks of the downsized in December. The word is that the numbers of those who have received pink slips this year have swelled to a sixteen year high. Ouch! Apparently I am not alone on my reinvention journey.

It got me to thinking, why pink? Pink is pretty. Being told you are being laid off is hardly pretty. And a pink slip? It makes me think more of silk lingerie than a notice of termination.

According to Wikipedia, the term pink slip is an American practice of including an actual pink slip of notification that you no longer have a job in an employee’s paycheck. The claim is that the practice dates back to 1910.

Apparently there was no original significance of the color. Still, I wonder why pink was chosen and not blue, which to me seems more appropriate for the mood. Or dark grey. Or even black with a bold white lettering, something somber that invokes the darkness of the moment.

No, the slips have traditionally been pink. And in the spirit of good old American ingenuity, my guess is the color pink was originally chosen as a marketing decision. Pink is a happy color that invokes images of springtime and little girls' party dresses. So I am thinking the choice was a conscious attempt to try and package the news in a vibrant shade such as pink in the hopes that would somehow cushion the blow.

I did not get an actual pink slip. I got a folder with a week’s worth of reading material inside of it, all on white paper. And a conversation.

The color of the folder? You guessed it. A very pretty shade of pink. At the moment I did not see the significance in the color choice. Now, I like to think of it as for new beginnings.

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