RE: Layoff logistics and etiquette

Subject: RE: Layoff logistics and etiquette
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <SGallagher -at- akonix -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 11:08:20 -0700

> This makes me wonder - what have the rest of you experienced in the
> wonderful age of layoffs? Any particularly smooth mass firings? Any
> unnecessarily grueling head-chopping? Any suggestions for how
> to improve
> the process, or at least make the process more endurable?

In my 18 years in the software industry, I've seen almost everything. I
remember once working for a small fish that was bought by a big fish and
they looked sideways at my history of short-term jobs. They wanted me to
stay forever -- HA! All was well for about a year and we geared up for
the great "documentation" release. 1/3 of the way through the cycle, they
laid off the east coast team (the big fish guys) and said they were moving
everything out west. 2/3s of the way through the cycle, they changed their
minds and informed the west coast team (me and my group) that we'd be out
of jobs the day we finished the project. And what a motivator that was!
Still, they gave good severance and outplacement support; but it hardly
made six months of he** worthwhile.

I've been asked, quietly, politely, ... "Sue, could you *please* look
for another job; we just can't afford to pay you anymore!" and I've
been escorted to the door. I've also worked in companies that didn't
lay off but had such an enormous attrition rate I felt as if I was
walking at the head of a parade and every time I turned around the
parade got shorter and shorter.

When the dot.bomb hit me, I was called in to a private meeting with the
CTO since my boss, the VP of engineering, had already been let go.

In the last round of layoffs I witnessed, everyone in *this* conference
room stays; everyone in *that* conference room goes. Boy, am I glad I
got called into the right conference room.

I've been on the blade end and I've been on the handle end; one's just as
bad as the other.

-Sue Gallagher
sgallagher -at- akonix -dot- com

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