Re: Layoff logistics and etiquette

Subject: Re: Layoff logistics and etiquette
From: Jo Francis Byrd <jbyrd -at- byrdwrites -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 15:23:39 -0500

The idiots who ran Heartless R Us (the outfit that I spoke of earlier, the one that laid off a manager and he found out when he called the sysadmin to find out why his password wouldn't work) announced massive layoffs - I forget the percentage they said, but when you consider only about five people in upper management left (voluntarily or otherwise), it amounted to about half the work force. After the fact, they discovered the numbers of the layoff came under the provisions of the Warren Act - the one that covers plant closings. Meaning they had to give us 60 days notice. Of course, we learned of the coming layoffs weeks in advance, so you can imagine the morale level - and production level - of the employees.

Well, guess what? They couldn't get their act together in time (gallows humor said they couldn't even fire us right!), which meant our termination dates were thrown into the next year. They came out slinging the axes on Veteran's Day, and they wanted us out as soon as we could get out. It was horrible. The halls were awash with virtual blood; an absolute massacre. However, thanks to the Warren Act, our actual termination dates didn't fall until late January of the next year (giving us a two month head start on job hunting), meaning they had to pay us for our next year's vacation - on top of the generous severance package and outplacement services they provided.

Some of us came out well, though at the time it was The End of the World. I ended up leaving that field and becoming a tech writer, making more money and having a LOT more fun doing it.

Well I WAS making a lot more money. The market's hell on contractors right now....

Jo Byrd

Janice Gelb wrote:

Funny you should ask: my company is going through its very first layoff right now, after 19 years in business. Unfortunately, they treated it like other company policy changes and decided to be up front and communicative about what was happening. Therefore, on October 8, they announced that there was going to be a layoff of 9% of the company, or 3,900 people. Guess when they're going to announce who gets laid off? By November 1...
You think 4 to 6 hours is agonizing? Try three to four *weeks*! People are very jittery, not sleeping, trying to figure out layoff strategies, and finding it extremely difficult to concentrate on their work.

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Re: Layoff logistics and etiquette: From: Janice Gelb

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