Companies help mobilized employees [p. 5]

Many companies are offering services to employees who have been called up for reserve duty. One company, Mercury Interactive, an American high-tech firm employing 750, has found itself with approximately 75 employees or 10 percent of its work force serving in the reserves. Iris Reshef, employee relations manager at Mercury, explained the company's desire to help its employees and their families. "This was an ad hoc project," she said. "When the war began, everyday another employee was called for service. So, we decided to be as supportive as possible. We didn't ask so many questions or plan so much. We just want to feel that we can take part of these efforts and support our employees." O. from a Modi'in received his call-up notice on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, his wife received a call as well. "On Wednesday morning, I had a phone call from his work," she said. "The woman asked if I needed anything. Then that same afternoon, a girl came from his office and left a large box of chocolates for us. It was a very big box for the whole family, and came with a letter from the company. It was really nice because it is something we didn't expect. It was really nice that they think of my husband and want to take care of his family." Of the 75 employees called up, a handful of families have accepted babysitters and carpools from Mercury. Reshef said that the company also gave the families the manager's direct phone numbers in case they needed something or just needed someone to talk to. She said that when the soldiers come home they will be treated to a massage or a day of fun with the family. "It was very considerate," said O.'s wife. "It makes you feel good to know there is someone you can call if you need to."