The day after a Christmas season that can't save it, Bradlees files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Harish's manager calls a meeting at 10:00 A.M. to give them the news they already know: this time, there will be no saving the company. All 105 Bradlees stores will shut down, and more than 10,000 employees will lose their jobs. Thirty stores are to close in New Jersey, affecting more than a quarter of Bradlees entire workforce, 2,600 people. Unlike most of the workers in the 584,000-square-foot distribution facility where Harish works, he will be keeping his job for a few more days.
Because Harish's job involves reconciling vendors'bills, he is needed to settle outstanding accounts. He reports to work the day after the layoff announcement, unsure of whether it will be his last. It's an eerie feeling to be among the few survivors of a layoff, to look around and not see the familiar colleagues. Yet it's a feeling Harish is all too familiar with in this stage of his career. Because it's December, Harish knows that no one will be looking for new