"Your biting sarcasm wounds me, Madam..."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


My company laid off about 30 people today in my building alone, 3 of which were in my department.

I sat around all day just hoping that my phone wouldn't ring. We weren't warned and we didn't know how many they were cutting.

The girl in the cubicle across from me got the first phone call and when she came back into the office, crying, I helped her pack up her desk and carry her box out to the car. Neither of us knew that she was the first of a whole list of people being let go and we were indignant that she was being "fired" after eight years of service. No one in my group saw this coming. We didn't know that there were going to be layoffs.

For the rest of the day, people were walking around like someone had died. It was scary, upsetting and uncomfortable. Most of us stood around whispering about who we had just heard about being escorted out and who we were afraid was going to be next.

"Well, we KNEW that HE was going to be fired eventually," and "I can't believe they let her go. She was such a nice girl".

In the afternoon, the VP gathered everyone still left in the building to tell us that the horror was over and that we can all breathe deeply again. That we thank all of the people who left today for their time in the company and the work that they did, whatever their capacity. All of the changes that are going to be made now will be to our processes and not our personnel. Then he sent us home an hour and a half early.

But he didn't apologize.

In fact, it seemed like he was choosing his words so carefully as to not let an "I'm sorry" slip out that he was stammering a bit at times. I guess you're not supposed to apologize when you lay people off, but it seemed like we were owed one.

I am apprehensive about what is going to happen tomorrow, but I would like to wish the people who lost their jobs today good luck out there. As sorry as I am to see you go, i hope that i won't be joining you.

And for that, I feel ashamed.



  • That is beyond unbelievable to me. How is it possible that a company could be so insensitive and totally incompetent when it comes to layoffs? There are tons of consultants and experts out there who tell companies the best way to deal with such things, and it is not by springing it on the whole company without any warning whatsoever. I'm sorry you all had to go through that and I hope that those who were laid off were given good severance packages and are able to find new jobs soon.

    But everyone is relieved when there are layoffs and they specifically aren't laid off. It's nothing to be ashamed of.

    By Blogger Jess, at 3/25/2008 8:17 PM  

  • WOW. Rough day. I'm with Jess, though -- I can't believe that your company just decided to spring the layoffs on you guys. That seems so...WRONG. Hopefully things work out for the people who lost their jobs. I just can't imagine what that would be like.

    Of course you feel ashamed for being one of the "lucky" ones. But you should also be proud of yourself for being invaluable to the company...even if they do suck.

    By Blogger Cassie, at 3/26/2008 8:09 AM  

  • Yeah, the layoff thing sucks more than a little bit. Sorry you're caught in the throes of restructuring... I hope this is the last significant bump in the road for you for quite some time.

    By Anonymous TwoBusy, at 3/26/2008 8:15 AM  

  • Why don't they just lay off everyone at once instead of having it hang over everyone's head all day? That is torture. I am sorry that you are dealing with it, and I think being relieved is a normal reaction!

    By Anonymous -R-, at 3/26/2008 11:55 AM  

  • Jess - Apparently since we are "at will" employees, they really have no reason to warn us that we may not be here in a week. I thought it was pretty insensitive, too, and was really awful for the people that left. They did get decent packages, so at least most of them have time to get themselves together to find another job. Ugh.

    Cassie - I don't know if i'm invaluable anymore. In fact, since three people in my dept have left, i think i'm probably the most expendable person here now. Ugh.

    Twobusy - Yeah, was thinking of your post while this was going on. I had to hope that the people doing the firing were hating themselves yesterday. Because if they weren't, they're a bunch of bastards.

    -R- If they had gotten everyone in a room and explained it all at once, that might have been a little better. I don't know how these usually go down, so who knows. So crappy.

    By Blogger claire, at 3/26/2008 12:00 PM  

  • Claire, I felt HORRID composing the list of names ofpeople who were laid off as it was going down. I did it, because I wanted to see how many they let go, and how many WE knew.

    It is so sad this happened, and I am in the boat with you feeling releaved that it wasn't me/us. I still feel uneasy.

    I can tell you that my department is very solom, even though we only lost one employee (the other one is biding his time.)

    I think they should have gathered everyone in to a room and announced the lay-off would take place that day, then make their sweep. That may have been less frightening and would have showed more compassion as they could have addressed why this was happening.

    By Blogger Orelinde_03, at 3/27/2008 8:00 AM  

  • That is insane. It just seems cruel and unfair to not give these people some notice after years on the job.

    Also, do not feel ashamed. Really, you have no reason to.

    Crazy, no recession, my ass.

    By Blogger Christine, at 3/27/2008 6:15 PM  

  • HO

    that is so cold. cowardly, too. what kind of a snivelling sociopath dreamed that up???

    We are here, Claire. go ahead and be whoever you gotta be. I missed you. wanna rant and bitch? THATS WHAT BLOGS ARE FOR YOU SO CALLED ENGLISH KING WHO HAS THE BRAIN OF A DUCK YOU KNOW! (you don't have the brain of a duck, but the quote was worthless without it, so, yeah. in times of trouble, turn to Cleese.)

    Bring it.

    By Blogger FirstNations, at 3/31/2008 11:12 AM  

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