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Hey, you don't suppose they really are our greatest assets, do you?

Remember last March, when Circuit City fired 3,400 salespeople with the intention of replacing them with lower-paid workers? As it turns out, that wasn't a very good business strategy. The consumer-electronics retailer has struggled ever since and senior officials are expecting the company to lose money this year. This week, analysts downgraded Circuit City's stock and blamed the company's weakened sales performance on management's decision to fire its most experienced employees.

Now, in an act even more impudent than the March firings, Circuit City is asking those former employees to come back and help revive the company's sales. Circuit City spokesperson Bill Cimino told Reuters, "In a lot of cases, we've completely changed how our stores operate. We've got a better career path now for associates."

I don't know how many workers aspire to a path where the company fires you to save 51 cents an hour and then, with its back against the wall, asks you to forgive and forget the eight-month interruption they imposed in your career. As one analyst put it, at Circuit City, "execution remains a significant concern."

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