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Have you ever been downsized out of a job? I have been. You know what I got for a severance package after working for a company for almost twelve years? I got a sweatshirt with the company logo that was one size too small, a cardboard box to put my stuff in and a letter of recommendation from my manager. I was told that I was being let go the day after Christmas. I was unemployed for a little over three months.

Contrast that with the plight of John Krenicki, 50, of General Electric,

The executive is a vice chairman of GE, but is leaving at the end of 2012 because the conglomerate is splitting his $50 billion energy division into three parts. His exit package includes an agreement not to join a GE competitor anywhere in the world for three years.

That sure looks and smells like he has been down-sized or re-organized out of a job. Now, when I was down-sized I did not have a non-compete clause even though I was a stellar lumber salesman. I am fairly certain that the reason there was no non-compete clause in my case was because all of the local lumberyards were going under because of Home Depot. There just were no lumber sales jobs available so I could not compete with my former employer if I wanted to. In Mr. Krenicki’s case there are evidently multiple large multi-national companies in the energy industry who are all clamoring for Mr. Krenicki’s services.

So GE, in their wisdom, has offered to pay Mr. Krenicki $89,900 a month until 2022. $10 million and some change over ten year because of a three year non-compete clause, and then when they stop paying him that money – he still gets his GE supplemental pension. This does not count the $14.8 million he gets on top of it in stock options.

According to PayScale.com wages range from $12.00 an hour for an apprentice electrician to $27.77 an hour for an electronics technician, or from $24,960 a year to $57,761 a year at General Electric. What skills does Mr. Krenicki possess that makes him so much more valuable that an electronics technician?

This is just another example of what is wrong with corporate America. No one should receive a $10 million dollar severance package for being let go from a job. Give him a sweatshirt, a box, and take care of his health insurance for a couple months. The $10 million you were going to give to Krenicki – split it up between all of the apprentice electricians, they could use the money.

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