Stick figures used to explain cuts to federal employees

Federal government employees whose jobs are affected by the implementation of this spring's budget cuts have received a stick-figure diagram to help them understand what they may be going through.

'Insulting' diagram found in information packages used across several departments

Versions of this stick-figure diagram were included in information packages sent to federal employees affected by downsizing in the wake of the March 29 budget. (CBC)

Federal government employees whose jobs are affected by the implementation of this spring's budget cuts have received a stick-figure diagram to help them understand what they may be going through.

The one-page diagram, found in an information package CBC News has confirmed went out in several departments, uses stick people to help employees better understand the various stages of change. 

The diagram varies across departments, but the overall message appears to be the same. 

One diagram shows a stick figure packing a box, to depict a person leaving the job. Another shows a depressed figure with its head hanging down. 

There's a happy stick person, but also another that's confused and in denial. 

On each diagram, the last stick person standing resembles a marathon runner crossing a finish line, to illustrate acceptance and moving forward. 

Public servants who did not want to be identified described the document as "condescending" and "insulting." 

One person told CBC News that "civil servants know how to read and don't need stick figures" to explain what's happening. 

The Conservatives have committed to cutting 19,200 jobs over three years as part of an overall plan to reduce federal spending and balance the books. 

But it doesn't appear that the government spent money on the stick figures. 

At the bottom of the page, in fine print, the diagram is described as "a free resource from www.businessballs.com."