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Lay Offs

My employer, a global, technology corporation, just laid off a bunch of people. At my U.S. location alone, ~400 of 800+ workers were let go — me among them, and my local manager, and others in my immediate group.

We were told back in July that a major round of layoffs were coming, but at the time we didn’t have any firm information about who or how or when. Then this past Monday, we had a big meeting — all global locations, simultaneously — saying that the actions would be starting this week. (This announcement was in the business news all over the world, so I’m not giving away corporate inside information.)

I’ve been caught in a corporate lay off before, so this wasn’t a traumatic experience for me as it I saw it was for many of my coworkers. For me, it was, “Crap, this sucks.” I sighed and went on with it. Some other people were angry and hurt. I saw it as just a impersonal risk of working in a large corporation — sometimes they have to make drastic adjustments, and sometimes these adjustments mean letting workers go. Some other people seemed to take this as a personal affront and offense.

I’ve been temporarily unemployed before, because of a lay off, the end of a contract, or between hustling freelance work. So, although I don’t like it, and it does suck, I realize it’s not the end of the world (even though I have a family to support now, and that adds a great deal more stress to the situation, let me tell you).

Last time I was laid off, the company was a privately owned institution, so the lay offs were unannounced — one day they just started laying people off. This time the company is a publicly owned institution, so the lay offs were announced many weeks in advance (but without details). The difference is interesting. I’ll get into comparing and contrasting the differences in the next day or two.


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