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Having been in the business for a while, i've got some stories as well. The
best was a company that was doing some serious downsizing. Myself and another
writer were let go just after labor day. Because we were both 8 weeks from
our 5 year anniversary, we were both kept on salary for a full 2 months, with
full benefits, so we would achieve the next level of vesting for the
retirement fund. During that time we had office use if we wanted it, an
office phone and voice mail. The company even ended up selling me the
computer AND laser jet printer i used after my "severance" time was up. oh,
and they hired an outplacement firm for all the displaced employees. i remain
on very good terms with people i worked with there.
Worst one was a very small software company. Around 3 PM on payday friday we
had an all-hands meeting. turned out the company couldn't cover the payroll
till tuesday. Most everyone was in over the weekend, updating their resumes
and cover letters. layoffs didn't come until wednesday morning, exactly one
week before Christmas. No severance, no pay in lieu of notice, heck, they
didn't even pay us for the half day we were in the office on wednesday. A
couple of months later, the firm went belly-up. People who were still working
there came in and found the doors locked.
The last time i went through this nightmare was earlier this year. Again,
small software company, supposedly with a very viable product, but managed by
a man with an ego the size of texas and business sense the size of Rhode
Island. They lost a big huge deal in February, said it wouldn't affect the
business, brought on a new president about that time. then proceeded to fire
the sales staff. Then a 25% layoff - the first wave of which i was once. Two
and half months later, another 39 people laid off - that makes 50% of staff.
Now they are telling the remaining employees that everything is hunky-dory,
nothing to worry about, we're moving downtown the first quarter of '02. They
were fair with severance though. Everyone, no matter how long you'd been
there, got 2 months, and they paid for your Cobra for 2 months. But 6 weeks
before the first round, they were still hiring developers like crazy. And a
lot of the developers that were laid off had/have visa issues.
Makes you wonder.
jarnopol -at- interaccess -dot- com
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