RE: Layoff logistics and etiquette

Subject: RE: Layoff logistics and etiquette
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Sean -dot- Brierley -at- Jenzabar -dot- Net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 14:31:43 -0400

I've seen larger employers look sideways at an employee who has shifted jobs
every 2.5 or so years, yes. But, as this list reinforced, that's not
uncommon for technical writers in the software field. And, those larger
employers are _not_ promising the Nirvana of secure employment. With the
stroke of a pen, a manager-in-charge secures himself a six-figure bonus by
downsizing whole departments and projects.

The conference thing sounds cruel.

Here, in CT, the job market is slowed but not halted. I did notice the
STC-boston chapter web sites lists about 1/3 the number of full-time jobs
that it did three months ago. I work for a dotcom. We had a round of layoffs
in February. While 15% of the total workforce got the axe, slightly more
than 50% of the technical writers did. As far as I can tell, those who were
laid off at my location were told so by the head of the division, privately,
and one-on-one. They were told not to talk about the layoff, given 4-weeks'
severance, and given a couple of hours to pack up, with no restriction on PC
use . . . except for one I.T. employee.

Not nice in any event. At that time, in my group, product development, at
this location, we had about a dozen people. Two of us are left, the rest
have moved along of their own accord. For quite a number of months, much our
work has been done at another site, anyway, in accordance with a change in
product direction.

I really would like to see employers show loyalty to their employees, I just
suppose, for the most part, those days are gone. hakuna Matata.



-----Original Message-----
From: Susan W. Gallagher [SMTP:SGallagher -at- akonix -dot- com]
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
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
the great "documentation" release. 1/3 of the way through the cycle,
laid off the east coast team (the big fish guys) and said they were
everything out west. 2/3s of the way through the cycle, they changed
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
Still, they gave good severance and outplacement support; but it
made six months of he** worthwhile.

I've been asked, quietly, politely, ... "Sue, could you *please*
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
CTO since my boss, the VP of engineering, had already been let go.

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

Announcing new options for IPCC 01, October 24-27 in Santa Fe,
New Mexico: attend the entire event or select a single day.
For details and online registration, visit

Your monthly sponsorship message here reaches more than
5000 technical writers, providing 2,500,000+ monthly impressions.
Contact Eric (ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com) for details and availability.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: RE: Import by reference/copy into documents
Next by Author: RE: Layoff logistics and etiquette
Previous by Thread: RE: Layoff logistics and etiquette
Next by Thread: RE: Layoff logistics and etiquette

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads