RE: FWD: Layoff logistics and etiquette

Subject: RE: FWD: Layoff logistics and etiquette
From: "Hart, Rowena" <Hart -at- SelkirkFinancial -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 08:21:35 -0700

Ahhh, layoffs. They keep getting better and better.

I've been through three layoffs in the past seven
years. My first experience was with the government.
I was on an 8-month contract and around the 6th
month the government announced cutbacks. The layoffs
were handled in a relatively decent manner -- even
though the team manager had also been laid off, he
was allowed to stay on active duty to inform his
team whether they had jobs or not. He scheduled a
specific time to meet with every person, regardless
of whether they were losing their job or not. It was
easier to get the news from someone who was also
losing their job, methinks. As a contractor, I was
expected to work until my contract expired. It was
weird working in a cubicle wasteland for several
weeks, and reviewing my work with some deputy-
something-or-other rather than my humble team
manager.

The last two layoffs were in private high-tech
companies. The first company handled it well, I
thought. Two large meetings were held first thing
in the morning -- one for people losing their jobs,
one for people who still had jobs. It was less
painful to hear the news in a room full of people
who felt your pain. The second layoff came as a
result of a buy-out. They tried the approach of
calling everyone in for individual meetings. If
you had a job they gave you your offer, and if you
didn't they gave you your severance. The problem
was, they used the same guy to escort everyone
getting a severance package. He became walking
"Death" -- you saw him walk by and you shrank away
in fear. When I had to walk to the "meeting" with
him by my side, I felt like I was going to my own
execution.

Personally, I liked hearing the news in a group.
It was somehow less personal, like there was
nothing wrong with me other than the fact that
the company couldn't afford my wage any more.
Hearing the news in a private meeting was by far
the worst experience.

Cheers,

Rowena

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