General chatter - They all got fired...

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01-12-2007, 12:07 AM
This isn't particularly about food. Well, I did skip my workout because of it, and go eat a bunch of greasy pizza but...

Over half the people at my work were laid off today. We came in today and people either had an email telling them to attend 'a meeting' or they didn't get an email. We couldn't tell at first if we should hope for an email, or hope we didn't have one.

The people with the emails were told to either attend a 9, or a 9:30 meeting. Bly then we had figured out that email = bad. So the 9:30 people sat around patiently to wait to be fired.

When the email people came back from their 'meeting,' many tearful, it was so heartbreaking. HR people were walking up and down the office giving out brown bags to people to pack away their stuff.

I feel so guilty for still having my job. I don't deserve to have it over any of the people who got axed. It seemed so random the way they chose who could stay and who would go.

My poor little friend who is 3 months pregnant, and whose husband hasn't found a job yet was in the email group. She was so distraught.

The nicest guy I've ever met was in that group too. He has four kids and his wife doesn't work because two of the children are disabled and she has to stay home and care for them. What are they going to do?

It makes me feel so expendable. I was kept, not because of the fact I work hard and do my job well. It was just the luck of the draw. None of us saw this coming

I really don't want to go into work tomorrow. The office is so empty.

01-12-2007, 12:17 AM
OMG, that is absolutely awful. I feel so bad for all those poor people. That is so rough, I really wouldn't know how to handle it. Strength and blessings to you and your poor co-workers.

01-12-2007, 12:42 AM
I have worked for corporate companies and I can see that this was a big corporation. It is just inconceivable that they would do this. I worked for a company that said that our whole department (about 180 people) would be laid off, but that we would get "bonuses" for staying on until the end............many of us stayed to find that we still had jobs, but the stress was unbelievable. I don't know how people can be so callous. I am so sorry to hear about your co-workers who lost their jobs. Is yours in jeopardy now? Good luck to you.

01-12-2007, 12:53 AM

A couple of years back - 2 weeks before Christmas, I was in the "email" group. What you described is exactly what we went through. We were angry, we were bitter, we felt betrayed and we thought the timing sucked but after we got over the initial shock, we picked up the pieces and started again. In fact some of us who thought that we should move on a while back were afraid to do anything earlier because bad conditions and a job were better than bad conditions and no job. Some of us thought everything was ok and pictured ourselves still working there 10 years from now - never saw it coming as you say. And some of us, with nothing else to lose anymore once we got laid off tried jobs outside of the "comfort zone" - new careers, starting a business they might have thought about but been afraid to try. And you know what - today those people, myself included - look back and say we're glad we got the email because we are in a better place today.

Truth is, it was harder for those staying behind. They had to pick up our work, they had to deal with a company they did not trust anymore, there was an air of morbidness that hung around for a long, long time. And some people felt just like you did - guilty that they stayed on when people who had more dependents like the guy with the disabled kids had to leave.

I saw your post on the main page and felt I just had to respond. After the shock wears off, they will dust themselves off and get on with life. Be a friend and a sympathetic ear to those you knew well and if you're the praying kind, maybe offer a few prayers that good things come their way soon.

It's a hard world - the new Corporate America - where bottom line profits come before anything else. Sorry you had to experience this.

01-12-2007, 05:49 AM
I've been through those major layoffs. It's horrible. My best friend at the company was let go even though he had seniority over me, the new hire. There is no way to feel good about that. It just woke everyone up to the idea that one always needs to keep one's resume up to date--there's no such thing as 'permanent' employment these days.

The only thing as bad as being laid off is being the person who has to tell people they are laid off, I think. I've never had to do that, but I saw what our supervisors went through.

I can't blame you for going for the pizza. People probably went for worse than that! The pattern of going to unhealthy food for comfort is one well worth breaking, though. And do get back to your workouts--you're under a lot of stress!

As happy2bme said, those who were laid off can move on, and it may be that good will come of this for them. I hope so.


01-12-2007, 08:20 AM
I'm so sorry AmberD, what a crappy day. :hug:

01-12-2007, 09:47 AM
Hi Amber!

I'm SO sorry to hear that you and your co-workers are having to deal with this! It's awful when you feel dehumanized like that and treated so poorly. I understand that many corporations and organizations are handling cost cuts this way, but it never seems reasonable to me.

I understand you turning to pizza at a time like this! Pizza is a GREAT comfort food! Let yourself grieve for those who have lost their jobs and also for all of you who will no doubt have even more to do now to make up for those who have been cut!

TRY not to feel guilty for still having YOUR job. Have faith that it will all work out in the end.

TRY to get some exercise- even if it is whacking a pillow or throwing A LOT of darts at a dartboard (both very good destressing activities!) Get out for a good long walk, and say all the bad things outloud that you want to say. I do this when I am stressed, and it REALLY helps me sort out my life!

Above all, take care of yourself now, too, even though you still DO have your job. The coming weeks will probably be tough, and you will need to be extra careful to stay healthy and calm as you can.

I'll be thinking of you and hoping all goes better tomorrow!

Hugs, :hug:

01-12-2007, 10:33 AM
That is so sad. What a lousy day. I've been in your position...where everyone around me was being let go in a major downsizing. I believe I was kept because I was one of the low people on the totem pole and they didn't have to pay me much. I understand the stress you are under. You will miss your friends and you feel guilty even though you've done nothing wrong. Please try to remind yourself, as Oprah always says...there are no accidents, only opportunities. There is a reason for everything that happens. You were meant to still be there at the company. I wish the best for you. Please keep us posted.

01-12-2007, 11:14 AM
I've been in a quasi similar situation.

When I started with my company (a large corporation), I worked in a building that had around 200 people in it or so. Things started shifted and news of impending layoffs came. The company offered early retirement to many with benefits for doing so as well as offering people jobs at other locations. They also brought in recruiters and job finding services. The building started to empty out so that we got to around 50 people. At that point, we moved into another facility. Then news of another round of layoffs came. People went through a similar thing where they either took early retirement or used the company services (or on their own) to find jobs elsewhere. Those that were laid off were given a pretty good severance package (some were paid many months of pay).

The site finally got to around 20 people and I decided to look for a change of pace and a job in another state. I didn't feel my job was in danger but I wanted a new environment. Everyone that I knew at that facility did pretty well for themselves. Although they liked working for the company, they did end up finding other jobs or doing other things they liked to do.

01-12-2007, 12:38 PM
The HR in the company must be really in-capable. There are lay-offs like this everywhere but its the HR's job to fight for human rights and atleast get some time for everyone to find other jobs...or help them find new jobs.
I work/study in a major university and our professor moved elsewhhere and the whole department had to shut because he took all his funds and projects with him.

We got a short 1 week notice..but our HR fought with the administration to get us 4 more weeks of pay and personally called various departments and spent ample time with each of us personally trying to get new and better jobs where we wanted. They also stood up for us to get a pay rise in the new jobs. It was around 20 of us in the department and we all are doing better than earlier now! :)

So I would say you all should form a union and request the HR to stand up for the employees...(you can start with a email chain and gather everyone who believes this should be done and then take the email scripts to respective authorities. I know this time is hard for them and they are not motivated to do much but this will really help on the long term!

01-12-2007, 01:04 PM
Unfortunately where I work, the HR department is allied with the employer and we have to depend on our union to help us out. And they aren't the best either, but it's all we've got. I feel for all those people who got fired; it's a horrible way to start the new year.

01-12-2007, 05:31 PM
dh and I used to work at the same company and they had a couple layoffs while I was there, including one that happened when we were on vacation in france. Communication was so poor that half the people thought we had been laid off and were shocked the next week when we were back. It was a shiftwork company and the production people had a shift engineer they went to for all problems. No one even bothered to tell them that their engineer got laid off. They are in the factory at 5 am paging and paging him and no one was answering. It wasnt until the main group started trickling in at 8:30 that they found out.

dh still works there and they have a layoff about every 6-15 months and it is always handled poorly. I can always tell when one happened because he comes home and watches office space.

The last one was the worst. They had just promoted a bunch of people a few months earlier and backfilled with new hires. Then when layoffs came instead of firing the new hires and demoting the people with 12 years with the company back to their old jobs, the newly promoted got axed because they had only "2 months seniority" at their current job. dh was in agony because he had championed and pushed for 2 of the people to get promoted and they both got axed. If he hadnt helped them, they would still have a job. That was office space for 3 nights in a row.

01-12-2007, 05:43 PM
Amber are you in northern california just a question cause my husbands company did the same thing today

01-12-2007, 06:21 PM
Amber are you in northern california just a question cause my husbands company did the same thing today

Where does your husband work? We've been watching some of this go on. Please PM me if you don't want to put it here.

01-12-2007, 06:25 PM
It is so disheartening when this happens.

I'm convinced that companies promote people just so they can ax them for having less seniority. I'm also convinced that they keep the new hires because it is cheaper. (Less vacation accrued, sick/personal time, etc).

Some companies complain that people are no longer "loyal" to the company and just job hop. Well DUH! Why should people be "loyal" when at any given time the AX can fall.

01-12-2007, 06:57 PM
CB i pm'd you :)

01-13-2007, 11:47 AM
Alright I guess I'm gonna be the S&*% happens person. I walk on constant egg shells with work because I know at any minute they could axe whats left of my department. Just over a year ago my company had well over 100 employees just in my office in our local division. Now there are about 15 of us. During the last round of layoffs (which they tastelessly always do right before Christmas....this year it was the same day as our holiday party) we lost almost an entire office of staff at one location. I was once a part time employee and when the choice came down on who to fire in my department they fired the full timer who had been there for 7 years and basically gave me his slot. I knew in advance.

In the end its terrible. Do I feel for every one of these people, yes. Do I know I could be next? Yes. Is there anything I can do to change it? No. In the end I know that I need to do what I need to do to keep my head above water in a competitive environment and accept that it could be me next and keep an updated resume and a list of networking contacts at my fingertips at all times. Most of the people I've known personally from our staff cutbacks have taken these events in stride....3 people all got hired to work at a prestigious Ivy league university making twice the money, one woman took the opportunity to start a family, the one who's job I took started his own business...and still meets us for lunch and comes to company events. All you can do is take it in stride, offer a shoulder, if anyone was close then offer any contacts you can for networking and keep on going.

I don't mean to sound harsh but binging on pizza, gaining 10lbs and not going to work and getting yourself fired too isn't going to give anyone their jobs back and in the end will probably just make you feel worse about the entire situation. Maybe try taking your anger and emotions out with a hard workout? My advice, be as supportive as you can to you coworkers in a bind and don't feel bad that you weren't in the hat that had the pink slip names pulled out of it by the notoriously soulless upper echelons of corporate America. You didn't make the call, it wasn't your fault, ultimately it won't do any good to blame yourself.

To anyone on here who posted who has been in this situation trust me I'm not trying to lessen the fact that mass layoffs are horrible and I don't agree with them at all.... trust me any day I know I could be at the back of the unemployment line the way my company downsizes, just simply stating that torturing yourself because of a situation that is out of your control won't fix anything.

01-16-2007, 02:34 PM
My husband's company had done this as well--nationwide. The really stupid thing is that he's been with this company going on twelve years. Every few years, they downsize. Then another few years after that, they are so short staffed, they can't effectively follow their growth plan. They spend millions of dollars a year training people only to cut middle management periodically, leaving themselves with big holes in their succession plans.

I could never be in the corporate environment because their business plans these days don't make any sense to me.