Layoff WTF



  • Our firm merged with another firm. There are similar systems on both sides, some more desireable than others. No big surprise. The powers that be finally decide who gets laid off.

    We (the 3 senior folks in the department) get called to HR to be informed that our boss has been tossed, and that we get to deliver the news as to who else gets tossed to the more junior folks. We also get to tell those who are getting tossed that they are expected to keep working for the next four weeks ("the severence period") because they are getting paid and the "project needs to get finished, and you are expected to work whatever hours are required in order to get the work done" (we are all on fixed salary, so the OT would be unpaid). Mind you, all the developers here do production support; we all have RW permission on the production DB and script directories.

    If I tell them to just concentrate on getting a new job and that I'll give them a good reference, I could get tossed. If I try to drive them to get stuff done, I'll be a jerk, and would likely get more sabotage than productivity anyway.

    Me and my peers decided that we'd just be straight with folks. Job 1: find another job (with us as good references). Job 2: if you need to go on an interview, just let us know quietly and take a long time getting that cup of coffee. Job 3: in your spare 9-5 time, try to get some work done. 

    I *hate* Corporate America!!!



  • @snoofle said:

    Our firm merged with another firm. .... I hate Corporate America!!!

    I agree. We've merged twice, and there have been other mergers within the umbrella. Our overlords have changed out to be other sub-owned companies, and we have a hard time keeping up with what our immediate chain of command is. They have yet to send us an org chart. They also keep promising that we are going to combine support systems, but here it is 2 years later since the initial promise and we haven't. Our immediate supervisor left yesterday to visit our 2nd level bosses in Canada, and I believe one of the topics is the support system. They better get on it, or I swear I'm going to write a replacement for the monstrosity that the initial CTO made me develop (Exchange + Outlook Forms).



    I told our sales guy how I have some difficulty explaining the ownership history and command changes. He said "I just say there's too much in-breeding going on."



  • "I want to create the bad news, but not be the messenger who gets shot."

    "Wait, let's create some rules to ensure that the messenger ACTUALLY gets shot!"



  • @snoofle said:

    Me and my peers decided that we'd just be straight with folks. Job 1: find another job (with us as good references). Job 2: if you need to go on an interview, just let us know quietly and take a long time getting that cup of coffee. Job 3: in your spare 9-5 time, try to get some work done.

    Sounds like you guys did the right thing. 



  • Nobody beats my company when it comes to merging... Stephen Colbert called us "the T-1000 of corporations."

     

    So much for divestiture... 



  •  I see where you're coming fro, but I've been on the opposite side of the story (got laid off and told to clear out of the building right away).  It was pretty insulting, as if I'd sabotage something.  They even made my manager follow me around as I said goodbye to people and packed up my stuff.

    When I got home I realized I was still logged onto the VPN and thought good and hard about doing something evil just because of the way they had executed the layoff.

    Reading this though, there really wasn't any other way for them to do it though. 



  • We are like the bastard stepchild of the group. We just had to endure a 45-minute "all-hands" conference call that bragged about the combining of some of the other "divisions" into one unified division, as well as all the nice stuff they are going to do (like adding "fun" to the workday). They listed off all the various office locations they have, as well as the worldwide satellite offices. Did they mention our complete (not satellite) office? Hell no! We are invisible! GD IT!



  • AT&T?



  • @rbowes said:

    AT&T?

    How did you figure that out?  Amazing!! 



  • Most definitely not AT&T.

    The folks in HR here are so f'g retarded... they just sent a memo to the three of us:

    "Since [project] absolutely must be completed before the downsizing (emphasis mine), the affected employees will be required to continue employment pending completion of the project."

    Ok, so what, as long as they drag out the work, they can keep their jobs? As long as there are bugs, they get to keep their jobs? WTF kind of code should we expect them to write upon hearing this? What if they just want to quit? "No, you can't quit; we will keep paying you in spite of what you do!"

    We had another closed-door meeting with the affected folks, read them the memo, verbatim, and just said to consider the source, and to take it for what it's worth.

    The sneers we got were somewhat scary. Fortunately, they know it's not us.



  • @snoofle said:

    Most definitely not AT&T.
    Not you, someone else.



  • @Lingerance said:

    @snoofle said:
    Most definitely not AT&T.
    Not you, someone else.
     

    See? This is where people actually using quoting properly would have saved a thread...



  •  My all time favorite way that someone was told.

    Years ago I worked for a company that went from 600 employees to 0.

    After one round of layoffs, the assistant to the human resources director, goes in to her boss' office and says, "I am working on the new org chart and am having a problem. I can't find my name." The response, "Sit down, we have to talk." 



  • @Rick said:

    After one round of layoffs, the assistant to the human resources director, goes in to her boss' office and says, "I am working on the new org chart and am having a problem. I can't find my name." The response, "Sit down, we have to talk." 

    She missed a prime opportunity - she could have placed her name in the place of her boss's name on the org chart, and then had a talk with him!



  • @AbbydonKrafts said:

    We are invisible! GD IT!
    Well, I hardly recognize you with the new avatar and all.  Was that part of the merger, too?



  • @boomzilla said:

    Well, I hardly recognize you with the new avatar and all.  Was that part of the merger, too?

    I decided to change it to something different. I'm going to make a habit of it.



    Nah.. they haven't even given new business cards to me from the previous merger. They still say "Systems Operations Technician" on them. It's been 2 years and I'm still waiting...



  • @AbbydonKrafts said:

    We are like the bastard stepchild of the group. We just had to endure a 45-minute "all-hands" conference call that bragged about the combining of some of the other "divisions" into one unified division, as well as all the nice stuff they are going to do (like adding "fun" to the workday). They listed off all the various office locations they have, as well as the worldwide satellite offices. Did they mention our complete (not satellite) office? Hell no! We are invisible! GD IT!

    IT workers aren't real people. They were probably only keeping track of offices that had people working in them.



  • @savar said:

    IT workers aren't real people. They were probably only keeping track of offices that had people working in them.

    We are all individual companies that were bought by the umbrella corporation. We've all kept our original names, too. The conference call was about merging some of the other entities together to be a division of the parent umbrella and rebranding the division as a whole. The new president (or whatever.. I didn't pay attention) was naming off all the places he was going to visit and in which order. The satellites were mentioned, but our fully-functional office was not.



  • @vt_mruhlin said:

     I see where you're coming fro, but I've been on the opposite side of the story (got laid off and told to clear out of the building right away).  It was pretty insulting, as if I'd sabotage something.  They even made my manager follow me around as I said goodbye to people and packed up my stuff.

    When I got home I realized I was still logged onto the VPN and thought good and hard about doing something evil just because of the way they had executed the layoff.

    Reading this though, there really wasn't any other way for them to do it though. 

    I got layed off once. After my boss gave me the talk, he escorted my back to my chair to clean out. When I reached out to the keyboard, wanting to logoff and shut down the computer, he quickly interrupted me: "Don't touch the keyboard now. We don't want anything nasty to happen, don't we?" Boy, did that feel humiliating. On my way home, I felt raped.



  • @TheRider said:

    On my way home, I felt raped.

    The way I was terminated in 2002 was so humiliating and downright mean that I actually cried once I got in my car. I've hated public companies ever since then.



  • @TheRider said:

    I got layed off once. After my boss gave me the talk, he escorted my back to my chair to clean out. When I reached out to the keyboard, wanting to logoff and shut down the computer, he quickly interrupted me: "Don't touch the keyboard now. We don't want anything nasty to happen, don't we?" Boy, did that feel humiliating. On my way home, I felt raped.
     

    I would have flipped the desk over and sent everything flying, and then calmy walked out after replying "No, I guess we wouldn't."



  • @AbbydonKrafts said:

    @TheRider said:
    On my way home, I felt raped.

    The way I was terminated in 2002 was so humiliating and downright mean that I actually cried once I got in my car. I've hated public companies ever since then.

    Public companies? This was a private company. Had around 10 folks working there. Boss and his brother owned the place.

    They did many computer projects, and I was hired for my computer degree. The others where physicists and chemists doing "a little programming as necessary". Their main business were small automation jobs using PLCs. Their original plan was for me to clean up their WTFs. But every suggestion I brought forward was cleaned out. The chemist boss turned down all of them, knowing better what had to be done. At some point, he couldn't stand my comments any longer, and that was the reason they fired me.

    Looking back, I consider myself lucky, for the job I found right afterwards was the best and most rewarding I ever had so far. The experience of getting fired that way was still humiliating. So much so that I considered putting fire to their offices. But then, that would have really ruined my career, so I refrained from doing it...



  • @TheRider said:

    Public companies? This was a private company.

    The one I went through was public and involved a conference call with me, my supervisor (who didn't even know about the termination beforehand), the general manager, and the HR witch in the NY office. She basically verbally abused me and then told the GM to take my key and access card, then escort me directly outside. Once the call ended, I spent a few minutes trying to convince him that I needed to get my wallet, keys, and medication out of the desk drawer. He actually tried to give excuses like "she told me to direct you out". He was an asshole anyways.



    They also had hired an old gun-toting security guard to escort me to the parking lot. Never before had they hired a guard, nor escorted a laid-off employee out the door. I was told through alternate channels that they kept the guard for 2 weeks after I left. They didn't use him on any terminations afterwards, either. Most of my personal stuff was delivered to me by my former supervisor. The rest was mailed to me 2 years later.



  • @AbbydonKrafts said:

    She basically verbally abused me and ...
    Excuse me for not being a native english speaker, but does that mean she insulted you? Or what do I have to imagine she said? Good golly!



  • @AbbydonKrafts said:

    They also had hired an old gun-toting security guard to escort me to the parking lot. Never before had they hired a guard, nor escorted a laid-off employee out the door. I was told through alternate channels that they kept the guard for 2 weeks after I left. They didn't use him on any terminations afterwards, either.

    You see petty corporate cruelty, I see someone who is so badass they had to hire a security guard to escort him out.  If I ever got that kind of treatment, I would be sure to ham it up for the fellow.  I mean, he's probably already worried he has a psychopath on his hands, so I might as well come out snarling and screaming obscenities.  Nothing that would get me arrested, just enough to intimidate the security guard and make him think that I acted like that all the time, thereby justifying his hiring in his own mind.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    ... and make him think that I acted like that all the time, thereby justifying his hiring in his own mind.

    So it is my job to make him feel needed? Ah-ha, that is what they payed my salary for all this time.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @snoofle said:

    Me and my peers decided that we'd just be straight with folks. Job 1: find another job (with us as good references). Job 2: if you need to go on an interview, just let us know quietly and take a long time getting that cup of coffee. Job 3: in your spare 9-5 time, try to get some work done.

    Sounds like you guys did the right thing. 

     

    Old response but still:

    To the corporation they need the following solved:

    1) They don't need people X and Y in 4 weeks.

    2) They do need people X and Y for the 4 weeks.

    3) They don't want to tell people X and Y in 4 weeks they they are laid off because they are actually trying to be nice.

    Think about it. To satisfy 1 and 2 all they have to do is not tell anyone till the day they are fired. And trust me I've seen THAT sort of thing happen.

    The (3) is actually something remotely nice being done to people X and Y.

     

    However the approach snoofle and his peers decided is nice, but remember to the corporation you guys are just cogs, if necessary they will screw you over for their needs. Its heartless but I don't know of any company over 20 people who are not heartless.

     

    Also your company is assuming that the workers are highly-moral and wont f-up using the massive privileges they have.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I mean, he's probably already worried he has a psychopath on his hands, so I might as well come out snarling and screaming obscenities.

    I'd probably do that if it happened again, but at the time, I was so stunned that it didn't really sink in until I was in my car. Also, it was my first "real" job, so I wasn't experienced with that type of thing. The previous jobs were either retail or grocery ones that I left on my own, or they were temporary jobs that I knew would run out. That was the first time I was really fired.



  • @TheRider said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    ... and make him think that I acted like that all the time, thereby justifying his hiring in his own mind.

    So it is my job to make him feel needed? Ah-ha, that is what they payed paid my salary for all this time.

    No, but you might as well give him a show, eh?  I'd love if people thought I was so dangerous I needed my own security escort lest I just snap and start kicking asses and punching holes in servers and reducing shareholder value.  Think of the bragging you could do..

    morbiuswilters:  Yeah, so I was fired today.  They contracted with a security firm so they could have me escorted from the building.  They've never done that before.

    Hottie at bar:  Wow, they must have been pretty scared of you!

    morbiuswilters:  Well, they sent three guys.  All ex-Marines, armed with Tazers and sub-machine guns.

    Hottie at bar:  You'd think the Tazers would have been more than enough..

    morbiuswilters:  Well, once you've "ridden the lightning" a few times you get used to it, it's really not much more than a minor itch..

    Hottie at bar:  Oh, morbiuswilters, do me now!!! 



  • God almighty, morbius! That was f'ing hilarious!



  • Now I'm getting really jealous at morbius... 

    And, thanks for correcting that typo. It looked wrong when I typed it, but I couldn't figure out what was wrong until I saw your correction. 



  • You should request the full Hannibal Lecter treatment. Make them wheel you out on a dolly.



  • @Cap'n Steve said:

    You should request the full Hannibal Lecter treatment. Make them wheel you out on a dolly.

    Ha ha ha, yes!  Maybe somebody should "trip" when they are being escorted from the building and sue the employer over it.  Then all terminated employees would have to be pushed out in wheelchairs, like in a hospital. 



  • @TheRider said:

    And, thanks for correcting that typo. It looked wrong when I typed it, but I couldn't figure out what was wrong until I saw your correction.

    Glad you didn't think I was a jerk for correcting it.  I know it's a common misspelling and wanted to be subtle about it without being called a Spelling Nazi.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Cap'n Steve said:

    You should request the full Hannibal Lecter treatment. Make them wheel you out on a dolly.

    Ha ha ha, yes!  Maybe somebody should "trip" when they are being escorted from the building and sue the employer over it.  Then all terminated employees would have to be pushed out in wheelchairs, like in a hospital. 

     

    Just step in the bathroom for a while and beat the living shit out of yourself.... then on your way out start screaming about how the guard beat you.

    Let THEM try and prove differently.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

     

    Just step in the bathroom for a while and beat the living shit out of yourself.... then on your way out start screaming about how the guard beat you.

    Let THEM try and prove differently.

    If they've got cameras anywhere, they've got them in the bathroom...



  • @bstorer said:

    If they've got cameras anywhere, they've got them in the bathroom...
     

    If that were the case, then you have enough of a lawsuit anyway.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @bstorer said:

    If they've got cameras anywhere, they've got them in the bathroom...
     

    If that were the case, then you have enough of a lawsuit anyway.

    Ah, but there's the jenius of the thing!  Do you want video of the things you do in the bathroom shown to a courtroom full of people?



  • @bstorer said:

    Ah, but there's the jenius of the thing!  Do you want video of the things you do in the bathroom shown to a courtroom full of people?

    Some of us are quite proud of what we do in the bathroom.  My record is 7 Kurichs.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @bstorer said:

    Ah, but there's the jenius of the thing!  Do you want video of the things you do in the bathroom shown to a courtroom full of people?

    Some of us are quite proud of what we do in the bathroom.  My record is 7 Kurichs.

    Well, sure.  But aren't you the least bit embarassed about the pink underwear?



  • @bstorer said:

    Well, sure.  But aren't you the least bit embarassed about the pink underwear?

    A little bit.  I suppose your mom will be wanting them back.. 



  • @AbbydonKrafts said:

    I agree. We've merged twice, and there have been other mergers within the umbrella. Our overlords have changed out to be other sub-owned companies, and we have a hard time keeping up with what our immediate chain of command is. They have yet to send us an org chart. They also keep promising that we are going to combine support systems, but here it is 2 years later since the initial promise and we haven't. Our immediate supervisor left yesterday to visit our 2nd level bosses in Canada, and I believe one of the topics is the support system. They better get on it, or I swear I'm going to write a replacement for the monstrosity that the initial CTO made me develop (Exchange + Outlook Forms).

    This sounds very familiar. Are your company's initials PTS, and the Canadian parent company name starts with C and ends with X? If so, I used to work for the Canadian company as a software dev for many years.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @bstorer said:

    Well, sure.  But aren't you the least bit embarassed about the pink underwear?

    A little bit.  I suppose your mom will be wanting them back.. 

    Actually, just give them back to me.  That way I can give them to her next Christmas, too.



  • @bstorer said:

    Do you want video of the things you do in the bathroom shown to a courtroom full of people?
     

    Does abso-fucking-lutely mean anything to you?



  •  Just our of interest do you guys in the US have any kind of satutory redundancy pay, or can you really be dismissed instantly?

    I got made redundant from my last job, and when my boss told me to leave immediatly I calmly told him I was finishing my cup of tea, and removing personal stuff from my works PC. He went and hid in an office after that.



  • @mrrooster said:

     Just our of interest do you guys in the US have any kind of satutory redundancy pay, or can you really be dismissed instantly?

    Most everywhere recognizes "at will" employment.  Unless you have a contract, you can be fired at any time, but you are also free to quit at any time.  Generally most people give at least 2 weeks notice for quitting or for laying someone off, but that's out of consideration.  Personally, I prefer it this way. 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Personally, I prefer it this way. 
     

    I agree 100%. Although unions of just about any type are very different as well.



  • @BrownHornet said:

    This sounds very familiar. Are your company's initials PTS, and the Canadian parent company name starts with C and ends with X? If so, I used to work for the Canadian company as a software dev for many years.

    Really?! I know a lot of the devs left because of the BA. The two I came in contact with were great guys, but I found out later that they left.



    Small world, indeed!



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    <snip me>

    Most everywhere recognizes "at will" employment.  Unless you have a contract, you can be fired at any time, but you are also free to quit at any time.  Generally most people give at least 2 weeks notice for quitting or for laying someone off, but that's out of consideration.  Personally, I prefer it this way. 

     

     Ah, cool, cheers. That's quite a different way to how it's done in the UK. I have to give an amount of notice (I think it's contract specific, but there might be a legal minimum) otherwise I can be sued for breach of contract, however I can't be layed off without statutory pay of some degree, which is n weeks notice (upto a maximum of 4) and then n weeks pay (at a maximum of 330 UKP a week, and a maximum value of n which is 12 I /think/), all tax free. 'n' being the number of years you have worked there. However most companies will offer more than this. (Usuallyyou will get a weeks pay, even if it's >330UKP)

     My current employer has just done the merging thing, and we've had the 'you might all be made redundant' talk, but I know I'll basically get 2 months pay pay as I've worked here 5 years, and it'll be tax free. (4 weeks notice, 5 weeks redundancy pay)

     I can see why the being able to leave at any time option is attractive, however I do like the level of protection I have in return for staying loyal to a company for a length of time. Just a different way of doing things I guess.



  • @mrrooster said:

    I can see why the being able to leave at any time option is attractive, however I do like the level of protection I have in return for staying loyal to a company for a length of time. Just a different way of doing things I guess.

    Hey, whatever works for you is great.  Getting screwed over after being a loyal employee is a disadvantage, but most decent employers won't do this because it's not in their best interests either, although it sure does happen to some unfortunate people.  The advantage is that you can leave any time you'd like for any reason at all and it's also easy for an employer to get rid of dead-weight employees, which can contribute quite a bit to improving an office.  Nobody starves in this country, anyway, the worst that most people probably have to deal with is shuffling some bills around and going into a bit (more) debt while they look for a new job.


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