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View Full Version : A friend in pain tonight.



bamamick
02-03-2009, 06:38 PM
A good friend at one time, though we have drifted apart over the years. 28 years in the company that I work for. We rose through the ranks together, he actually rose to a spot higher than I did on the totem pole. He got up and went into work this morning just like he has for the last 28 years. At about 8am his boss called him into his office, there was an HR guy there, he was told that his position was eliminated immediately, and he was escorted to the gate and the parking lot. No chance to say goodbye. No chance to absorb what had just happened. Just gone.

I know that this has happened thousands of times in the last couple of months, but I will tell you this today, what they did and the way that they did it, it cuts deep into the soul. I have been sick all afternoon. Physically sick. Sure, we've all called him and talked to him. He is in shock, just like we are, trying to understand how a guy who was very good at his job, a thorough professional, a guy that 99% of the companies on earth would love to have as an employee, finds himself on the street tonight. It just doesn't make sense.

God, what a world. I just feel sick.

Mickey Lake

Chris Coose
02-03-2009, 06:45 PM
I read Tinman writing on the glories of capitalism this morning.

I am sorry to read this story.

elf
02-03-2009, 06:48 PM
He must have had quite a few company secrets in his brain for them to eject him that way. Did they let him get his coat?

Katherine
02-03-2009, 06:49 PM
I'm sorry for your friend Micky.

When I was laid off from my last job, it happened much the same way.:(

John Meachen
02-03-2009, 06:53 PM
There are huge numbers of people in this situation at the moment and they have my sympathy.The decision to release them is not necessarily a reflection on the person if it is done to fill a quota of people at a particular level.I can understand why they might be required to leave the premises swiftly if the shock might cause them to make a mistake or act in an irrational way.You have contacted him,which ought to show that he is in your thoughts,and your assessment of his qualities should mean that he has a better chance of being accepted for another opening than a less able man.
Your post hits fairly close to home as I was in a very similar position yesterday when several people I have worked alongside for periods from a few months to a few years were told that they were no longer required.They did have the chance to move around the building to say goodbye.

Hollingsworth
02-03-2009, 06:54 PM
He must have had quite a few company secrets in his brain for them to eject him that way. Did they let him get his coat?

Actually, this is a quite common practice in corporate America -- and often recommended by HR / legal. Don't want to give angry employees a chance to trash files on their computer or send angry office-wide e-mail to co-workers. It's pathetic. And don't ask me how I know this.

hokiefan
02-03-2009, 06:55 PM
He must have had quite a few company secrets in his brain for them to eject him that way. Did they let him get his coat?

Unfortunately Emily, this is pretty much SOP. When my turn came a few years ago, I was given a chance to collect my stuff out of my office, escorted by HR, and walk into the control room to say goodbye to the guys on shift. I was one of the lucky ones.

Cheers,

Bobby

Phillip Allen
02-03-2009, 07:07 PM
who makes up these rules?...lawyers?

carioca1232001
02-03-2009, 07:21 PM
Actually, this is a quite common practice in corporate America -- and often recommended by HR / legal. Don't want to give angry employees a chance to trash files on their computer or send angry office-wide e-mail to co-workers. It's pathetic. And don't ask me how I know this.

This policy may have had its roots in the corporate world of the US, although globalisation has seen to it that the far flung corners of the globe are also following suit !

Follow the leader !

hokiefan
02-03-2009, 07:24 PM
Mickey,

Sorry about your friend. Its not easy on the ones left behind either. Keep yourself and your family well. Best wishes to your friend, to you, and to everyone else out there in this difficult time.

Bobby

Dan McCosh
02-03-2009, 07:27 PM
Yes, that is the way they do it. There was a piece the on the other night on layoffs, and one woman was the guard who escorted fired employes out the plant gate. At the end of the piece, she was being escorted out...

George Roberts
02-03-2009, 07:28 PM
Life is tough for a lot of people. For too many.

People are escorted out because the firm is worried about possible damage to company property - stuff on computers.

Last time someone I knew was treated that way, I simply packed up my stuff and went home with him. Yes, people have left with me when I was first to go.

By went/left I mean quit.

JimD
02-03-2009, 07:34 PM
And I bet right up to the moment they canned him the bosses were all smiles and business as usual. Sometimes they do it to entire companies. Everyone shows up for work one day and the doors are all locked. Just like that. Sorry to hear about your friend, Mickey.

Paul Pless
02-03-2009, 07:35 PM
Sorry about your friend Mickey.
At about 8am his boss called him into his office, there was an HR guy there, he was told that his position was eliminated immediately, and he was escorted to the gate and the parking lot. seriously fucked up world we live in :mad::(

elf
02-03-2009, 07:35 PM
Watch your back, Mickey.

Windsong
02-03-2009, 07:43 PM
Best friend of 35 years. VP of his division best in his field, escorted out of his company after 22 years of overtime dedication. On his 50th birthday. Has 2 special needs teenage children. New house, 2 new cars. Sold everything move 3500 miles with family. Got new better job, built new bigger home in better community. Spends more time with his family. Slower pace of life. Was going to have an "accident" 8-months ago. Now all is amazing. You only see the "float" in front of you in your life's parade. God is in the blimp and sees the beginning, the end and all in between. Hang in there the next "float" is amazing.
GBY
Lars

ahp
02-03-2009, 07:47 PM
Do any of you remember being told about company loyalty? (Stop rolling on the floor!)

carioca1232001
02-03-2009, 07:49 PM
People are escorted out because the firm is worried about possible damage to company property - stuff on computers.

Why would an otherwise normal employee double as a potential candidate for causing harm to a company´s property or computer files ?

Has the company in question been less than fair in adhering to its contractual and moral obligations to its work force ?


Last time someone I knew was treated that way, I simply packed up my stuff and went home with him. Yes, people have left with me when I was first to go.

By went/left I mean quit.

Most people are left anaesthesised in such a situation.

To pack up and follow suit, that is, kick up one´s job and means of livelihood there and then, in support of a colleague that was sacked injustly........may not be the usual thing.

Bob Adams
02-03-2009, 07:54 PM
What a dirty rotten way to treat a dedicated employee.I sincerely hope he makes out OK.

Harry Miller
02-03-2009, 08:03 PM
Mickey, I am truly sorry.
In the past people like your friend often went on to a better job - one they never otherwise would have got, but now things are looking much worse. Good luck to him and to you.

Joe (SoCal)
02-03-2009, 08:06 PM
I literally can not stand corporate America. I'm in it now and I see how people DEVOTE themselves to the corp culture. I call it the Stockholm Syndrome :rolleyes:

Its a viciouse place that is never apart of who I am. I just take the paycheck and the benifits and make as much as I can - and trust me thats all they want from me, cause if I'm making money they are making more.

Screw em, I've seen this crap more up close than I would like.

Good luck to your friend and I hope he finds a job as an independent contractor.

htom
02-03-2009, 08:31 PM
Been there, had that done to me, several times. Second time I yelled "Goodbye, I'm terminated!" as I left the maze of cubes. Third time, boss took me out to lunch, and I didn't get to go back, and I knew exactly why: I'd refused to fire two guys who were superior workers, but who would meet the head count. I told him he could fire me, and a half of someone else, if he wanted.

"It's the way it's done", yes, and it should be stopped. Eventually it will be, and the consequences will be worse for everyone.

Chris Coose
02-03-2009, 10:03 PM
Scares the crap out of the survivors too, by intention.
They can do this all day to individuals.

Viva collective bargaining!!!
Viva labor organization!!
Stand with your brothers and sisters or you'll be next out the door.

I was one of them who tuned in, turned on and dropped out....... for good.

PatCox
02-03-2009, 11:13 PM
Mickey, sorry for your friend, and I am touched by your concern and your moral outrage, too. It speaks well of you.

These days, is anyone of us working for a big company completely free of the fear of this happening, any day, any moment, these days?

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
02-03-2009, 11:14 PM
Hopefully your friend isn't sick and kissing his health care goodbye.
People don't matter, money is the bottom line.
It's gonna get worse before it gets better guys.

Robbie 2
02-03-2009, 11:23 PM
Sad news Mickey....I think it is a world wide style of personal management as I have seen and am seeing it here too.(NZ)

StevenBauer
02-03-2009, 11:36 PM
The Corporate world expects unfailing loyalty from it's employees and provides the illusion of loyalty in return. But it is just an illusion. Sad times ahead for many. Sorry for your friend, Mickey. And I'm sorry for you, too, as you have to go in to work tomorrow and deal with them as if nothing happened. :(



Steven

PatCox
02-03-2009, 11:51 PM
It is us versus them, you know. If you get a paycheck, you're one of us.

Flitch
02-04-2009, 12:09 AM
I'm an HR guy in Canada and here severance pay is due in lieu of notice... Arbitral jurisprudence would suggest he would be paid in the neighbourhood of 12 - 24 months, and we often do salary continuation rather than lump sum, unless they are suggesting they had just cause?

Glen Longino
02-04-2009, 12:28 AM
Best wishes to you, Mickey, and to your friend.
May this be a a new beginning for both of you!

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
02-04-2009, 12:51 AM
I knew guys, that got let go like that, went home and hung themselves in the garage.
After 28 years, that's just so cruel.
Especially in today's economy!
The more I think about it, the madder I get.

PeterSibley
02-04-2009, 12:55 AM
I'm shocked ! Really ,I haven't worked in an office for 30 years ,looks as though it was a good idea .

My sympathy Mickey ,what a bunch of A$%H^&(s ! :(:mad::(

Clencher
02-04-2009, 02:46 AM
Mickey, great sympathy to your friend and you. I know what that’s like, I had it done to me once. In fact they got rid of 16 of us in exactly the same way at 9am one morning.

That day I’d put my car in for a service just round the corner from the office, so not only was I escorted off the premises, I was stranded 15 miles from home.

That was an unusual way to get rid of people in the UK at time, probably not now, and the worst aspect was that all and sundry assumed that to be sacked in such a fashion, the 16 of us had had our fingers in the till/fiddling expenses/selling confidential info or whatever, none of which was true but made it damned difficult to get another job.

To my undying shame, about 6 months later the same company phoned me up and offered me some consulting work and I said yes. I was desperate for the loot at the time with my twins both in University. I did get profuse apologies from the company and they admitted they had made a big mistake sacking us in that fashion, and I know for a fact they never did it again.

Best wishes to your friend and hoping he gets another job soon. It truly is an awful thing when you’ve devoted 20 years or more as a professional to an industry to get marched off the premises like a crook. Positive thinking is what’s needed. I got through it, reading some of the posts above others have too so I’m sure your friend can.

Tar Devil
02-04-2009, 08:36 AM
27 years for me when I was released. To their credit, I wasn't escorted out like a criminal. I was given plenty of time to say goodbyes, even given the choice to finish the day or leave early. I left early.

But still... it's not age discrimination. Of course not. They told me so.

I came out better. I hope your friend does as well, Mickey!

Tristan
02-04-2009, 08:49 AM
Kapitalism at work! It's the Amerikan way!

Rich VanValkenburg
02-04-2009, 08:59 AM
I understand how you feel Mickey. Not much you can do.
That's about the way it happened to me, but I had one days warning from a good friend who knew who was on the list. Didn't matter, I was there for 22 years, now the company is about gone, chapter 11.

I'm on the rough road now and may be living in the woods before the year is out. Somehow I don't see an end to what's happening out there.:(

bamamick
02-04-2009, 09:31 AM
Everyone has been so kind with their comments. Thank you.

Mickey Lake

24hacker
02-04-2009, 09:47 AM
The same thing happened to me - worked 2 months short of 40 years - and wham!! you are gone - no thanks - no goodbys - just pack you things and get the hell out!! No wonder there is no more loyalty.

Saltiguy
02-04-2009, 10:18 AM
True story. Remember Coleco, the Toy Company? Here's how they let executives go: Let's say you worked there and your office was on the executive row. When you went down the hallway you knew that your office was the 3rd on the left, just between Dick and Harry, so one morning you stroll in, walk past Dick's office, but there is Harry, sitting in the next office. Confused, you turn back, count again and slowly realize that "your" office is GONE! Although the offices appeared to be permanent, they were actually movable partitions that went clear to the ceiling. The night before, workers had enlarged the other offices and eliminated yours, so there you are - bewildered, humiliated and unemployed. BTW, your personal stuff was in a brown paper bag in HR

paladin
02-04-2009, 11:37 AM
I saw mine coming.....
I was approached by a company to design a new product for them. I estimated the time it would take, and the estimated expense, and my fee....they counter offered with a fixed salary of half my asking price, based on a per annum salary, and agreed to pay me the difference in full plus a bonus when the job was finished and the client accepted the product.....
The original estimate was 180 days.....I had a working prototype and built two "pre-production" units and travelled to the midwest with the pres. of the company to demo the product to the potential client. The client accepted the product, signed a contract and wrote out the first check for 250K to build the units.
We arrived back in Maryland on Wed...boss told me to take the rest of the week off...come in Monday a.m.
Monday morning I walk in the front door and am stopped...not allowed to proceed, handed a few personal things and told I was fired for attempting to steal company property......I walked out.....they had outsmarted themselves....
Quite by accident I had run into a former employee that had advised me that this was the way the fellow got rid of people, he didn't have to pay the unemployment benefits nor pay the balance of salaries etc.....
So I was careful not to keep the correct design onfo on the company computer...I never signed a non compete/patent clause with him.....he eventually was sued and had to return the deposit for the product, and I licensed the product to his competitor in California.
Right, wrong or indifferent, you can no longer trust employers to "do the right thing"....everyone seems to have a scam of some sort going or some way of getting rid of employees that they no longer have a use for...
About 3/4 of the way into this last product design I realized that something wasn't quite right with the program.....so I protected myself, and the potential "boss" got extremely violent when it became known that I was on to him....but it has worked out well with the new client...so far.....
I really sympathize with your friend. Some folks are not prepared to be stabbed in the back by their employers, but unfortunately, that seems to be the name of the game these days. I hope he finds new employment soon.

Spin_Drift
02-04-2009, 12:05 PM
So sorry for your friend Mickey.

It is really unfair to be let go like that, after he had put 28 years of his life into the company.

In my opinion they were unethical to do so. He deserved better than that...


IMHO....Sorry

.

bob winter
02-04-2009, 12:22 PM
Spinner, ethics in corporate America is a rare thing these days, as far as I can tell.

willmarsh3
02-04-2009, 02:36 PM
I'm so sorry for your friend, Mickey. The good thing is that this sometimes works out better in the end.

I havn't been laid off but I got a story. I was working for a large company that shall remain nameless. I was on 100% travel to the customer site in Columbus, Ohio but I came home on the weekends. To make a long story short the boss basically squandered the travel budget for the contract.

At my performance review in June 2001 just before I left they said they appreciated the extra efforts I went to in order to make the software work. They then told me (not asked me or offer any incentives) that when I got back from vacation that I would be traveling to the customer site in Columbus and not be allowed to fly back home on the weekend like before. I was to stay there for two months straight or foot the bill for transportation back home out of my own pocket. One other person got this treatment. Others on the team doing this contract got to retain their privileges for returning home on the weekend. I'm not knocking Columbus but I had no desire to stay there on the weekend when I had my life to live in Huntsville.

When I was told this I was gobsmacked. Thinking about it I quickly realized that they either wanted to get me to quit or they were going to try to get the largest possible margin they could out of me. I think the complete indifference to any personal circumstances is what galled me the most out of this.

So I changed jobs and I am much happier for it.

htom
02-04-2009, 02:37 PM
Karma sometimes works its way on these folk. The place where I refused to fire those two, because I thought they were critical to project completion, fired them anyway. Within six months just over half (nine) of the other members of the project had left and found other jobs, some in other industries. The project itself failed its delivery date. My boss was fired, and his boss. My design, my assistant, and the two fired people were taken up by a competitor, and in six months it was flying in prototype, early, under weight, and under budget.

John of Phoenix
02-04-2009, 03:32 PM
My BiL works for one of the nearby cities and they're facing a layoff in the planning department. Everyone in his department has to write an essay on why they want to stay employed. The losers get the layoffs. Unique.

My sympathies to you and your friend Mickey. Man, 28 years and then get treated like that. The value of loyalty has really hit the skids.

Chris Coose
02-04-2009, 04:20 PM
This is one of the most interesting threads I've read on the WBF.

Paul Pless
02-04-2009, 04:24 PM
My BiL works for one of the nearby cities and they're facing a layoff in the planning department. Everyone in his department has to write an essay on why they want to stay employed. The losers get the layoffs. Unique.you're joking, right?

TomF
02-04-2009, 04:32 PM
Mickey, I'm so sorry. This stuff makes me physically ill.

htom
02-04-2009, 04:34 PM
Probably not a joke. I've heard of similar things before.

Mickey, give your friend a call, he's going to want to withdraw and that's rarely good for him (or you.) Hugs to you both.

hokiefan
02-04-2009, 04:47 PM
Karma sometimes works its way on these folk. The place where I refused to fire those two, because I thought they were critical to project completion, fired them anyway. Within six months just over half (nine) of the other members of the project had left and found other jobs, some in other industries. The project itself failed its delivery date. My boss was fired, and his boss. My design, my assistant, and the two fired people were taken up by a competitor, and in six months it was flying in prototype, early, under weight, and under budget.

Its funny how these things work out sometimes. When I lost my last job after 22 years, there were four people in the organization I faulted for the way things worked out, aside from myself, as some of the blame does lie there. Anyway, two of those folks have since been asked to leave for other reasons, and the other two pushed to the side in some fashion. I've told my daughter several times that the "witches" in the world will eventually "get theirs". It is heartening to see some of it happen before I'm pushing up daiseys.:D

Cheers,

Bobby

John of Phoenix
02-04-2009, 04:48 PM
you're joking, right?
Not at all. No consideration for seniority either. It’s almost like resubmitting a résumé.

I’ve never heard of anything like it before. I can see the merit but there are drawbacks as well. A very talented planner might not be a Hemmingway.
htom, you have some knowledge here, what’s the word?

htom
02-04-2009, 05:36 PM
That's exactly how it was presented: We need to restaff to a lower level, so we want all of you to submit your current résumé to Human Resources, and we'll choose who to keep. If you don't wish to stay, you don't need to submit your résumé. Thank you.

(In one case it actually was an email, another time a general meeting, and once, the local newspaper ran a story about the layoff and reapplication -- the first they heard was in the paper!)

(All second hand; that hasn't happened to me or Spice.)

Joe (SoCal)
02-11-2009, 07:15 PM
Happened today in my office :(

One of the ONLY saleswomen escorted to her desk with human resources & her manager, cleaned it all out in tears and escorted out of the building. :(

1/4 reviews this week I expect more by next week.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
02-11-2009, 08:00 PM
Just as I was getting seriously into politics and community volunteerism, I left a job I had been in for 9 years... and worked very hard to elevate the company to a higher status, both financially, and from a marketing perspective. I thought I had been quite successful at both.

When I left, I realized that unless you are the employer, it's the finger in the bucket syndrome. The only person who takes care of you and yours, is you and yours. I no longer feel some kind of false loyalty to an employer. I do my job, and do it well, knowing that if it was him or me, and his choice, it would be me.

I'm sorry for your friend Mickey. Tell him things happen for a reason sometimes. I have enjoyed my life far more in the various things I've done than in that old job.

The Bigfella
02-11-2009, 08:28 PM
Micky - my experience of these things is that they most often work out for the best - but your friend may not see it that way from where he sits at the moment. Help him draw the threads together if you can.

I've been fired twice for being too successful. It made the boss really uncomfortable that I was doing so well.

Both times it was the CEO - one of an unlisted public company, the other a listed public company. The second one didn't even have the guts to do it herself - but I still have drinks with the HR Manager who did do it from time to time and chuckle about it.

The first one was a CEO brought in just before the '87 crash to help float the company. We had turned a $21 million investment in a services company into $67 mill in two years flat. He couldn't get any runs on the board after he came in, so those that had them had to go. The nature of slimebag politics unfortunately.

Same thing happened in the one a couple of years back. I went in to a listed company - share price 68c at the time - now well under 20c - I was running the outsourcing division. I retained the major clients - all of whom had told me when I joined that they were going - increased profits 45% year on year and got skewered because I made more than 50% of the companies profit with less than 1% of the staff. I still can't believe that I got told I was making the other managers look bad. (They were bad.... most of them had no concept of how proper people management drives profits).

Sure, I don't make the big bucks that I was making then. I could if I chose to bust a gut. Now I work when I want on what I want. I just did a month's free work for a government client (now I'm really worried about my sanity.... but I did it because some other clowns were going to cost the taxpayer over half a billion on a stinker of an idea). I'll get that free month back in paid work for years though....

My point Mickey - sometimes it happens for the weirdest reasons. It is often unjust, but it isn't worth worrying about the sh!tty bits - get him to look at what he wants to do and get doing it. First stop though, if he needs the dollars urgently, is any competitors or similar style of operations. Next stop is what would he have wanted to do if he knew that 28 years would end up with where he's at? What would he love to do.

Ed Harrow
02-11-2009, 11:49 PM
you're joking, right?


My old 'employer' when the company moved, we had to 're-up' as in re apply for our positions, slightly different, but just as sick.

I got mine while preaching the gospel of Helix Technolgy to the assembled masses (customers). No, I wasn't hauled off the stage with a cane, I got mine special, the next day, after ~20% of the place was canned the day before.

As for working in the industry - 'We have your signed contract that forbids you from working for a competitor for I forget how many years.' It wouldn't have mattered as they were all dumping employees, too. The best was looking at ages. Amazing how many were well north of 40. I was north of 50, with a kid in school, and over 20 years in an arcane field. Still, as I was walked out the door I hollered out, "Free at last, free at last, thank god almighty, I'm free at last." The guy who walked me out didn't quite no what to make of it. (Well he did a little latter, when he got walked out...)

AussieBarney
02-12-2009, 06:58 AM
And some people have expessed wonderment at my refusal to ever get involved with corperate life. I spent 20 years as an interstate driver. The HR policy was brutal but very up front. At least two ex-bosses of mine sacked me in similar circumstances and sucked their food through a straw for 8 weeks. Ya gonna be a tough guy, you want to be able to fight hard or duck fast. the choice is yours