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And you thought Mondays were rough

"May I have a word with you in my office?" The sentence, coming from the boss, can have ominous overtones. Especially if it's uttered on a Tuesday.

Fifty-five percent of layoffs in the United States occur on Tuesdays, according to consulting firm Challenger, Gray, & Christmas. IBM, Boeing, and AT&T, for example, all recently picked that day to fire workers.

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"Monday is a day for firms to take care of last-minute preparations and details before announcing the decision," explains John Challenger, CEO of the consulting firm. He says firms also try to minimize the effect on employees' morale by announcing the decision long before the weekend.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society