Goddamn it how dare you lay me off!!!!!

Okay, I know I have a low post count, BUT I NEED A FUCKING PIT RANT!

When I graduated college a year and a half ago, I had two job options. One, was to take a job that paid me frankly more than I was worth. The job was okay, at best, but it was not what I wanted to do.

The other job paid significantly less, below my market value. It was my dream job, and a job I didn’t have much chance at getting otherwise. I was always taught money isn’t everything…and while I still believe that is true now it is irrelevant.

When I got there, I discovered the company was well behind on its goals, and that their parent company was on their ass, and that they weren’t in great shape. No fault of mine, and several were laid off. The company got its ass in gear, cut a project, and began putting in 70,80 and 100 hour weeks. With a week left on our project, I actually worked a 31 hour day. The product has sold okay, but it won’t make back the money from the mismanagement of before.
It didn’t matter they said. They knew what we could do now and “trimmed the fat.”

Several months later we have three products in development. Oh, I’m sorry HAD!!! Two weeks ago our bosses went cross-country to meet with the paren’t company, and got those very same projects approved. We hired contract workers and this morning, with no notice, they just showed up and SHOWED US ALL THE FUCKING DOOR!

A few questions for our parent company:
Why did you keep us in business? Why not fire us months ago? Why waste money on new work, only to can our asses in a few months. What will we say to the contract workers, who were getting a chance they wouldn’t have otherwise, and were already working WITHOUT PAY! Why did you give us work only to fire us??? Could you please find your head, I believe its up your ass.

I got my dream job, only to have you rip off my head and shit down my neck. Now I have little or nothing to do! My experience is only applicable within the company, thanks to you. And if we have such potential, as you said at the firing interview, why not find other jobs for us.

Oh, wait, I forgot that your head is up your ass. Well oh parent company, I’m only 23, I’m smarter than you, and I will have my revenge.

Or I will delude myself and declare bankruptcy. One of the two.

Maybe I’m butting in where I shouldn’t, but if you’ll allow me, I’ll share some advice gleaned from going through what you did. A few times.

Note that all which is to come is from my experience and represents my opinions. Don’t ask for cites; I can’t supply them.

First of all, I’ve discovered that when it comes to figuring out what to do next, many companies for whom I’ve worked don’t seem to have a clue–unless it somehow affects the balance sheet, at which point, they will do whatever it takes to make the bottom line look good for this fiscal quarter or year. This means such idiotic moves as rushing a product to market before it’s ready (gotta post those orders to keep the dollar numbers up for the fiscal), and laying off workers to save money.

Never mind that in the next fiscal period, they’ll be spending big to repair the shoddy products or to hire new people; what matters is getting everything time-stamped for this fiscal period. And never mind that we’ll repeat this charade three months or a year from now; today is what counts.

Sounds like you were with one of these kind of places–rush to market to increase revenues and lay off to save costs. Not a good place to be, IMHO, but sometimes we have no choice.

In some cases, especially in the small high-tech startups I’ve had experience with, the people who run the place are engineers. And good ones too; they have, in most cases, succeeded in building a better mousetrap. But they are not business people, and have no idea how to run a company that, once the engineering is done, manufactures their designs, takes orders, ships products, supports customers, and accounts for revenues and costs. Moreover, they don’t want to admit that they don’t know and spend much valuable time micromanaging everything, and usually doing a bad job of it.

They also don’t know how to run the people in the company. Threatening an employee with termination if they don’t put in the long hours is not how you motivate someone. Neither is terminating them anyway when they do–but it is amazing how many companies of my acquaintance don’t get this. Then they wonder why they have a hard time attracting anybody good.

And you, as an employee, cannot expect much help from them outside of the bare minimum required by law when the axe inevitably falls. Because it will fall, occasionally on you, and you had better be prepared.

Keep your resume current and ready to be sent out at a moment’s notice.

Keep an eye on employment in your field, even if you are currently working. This will allow you to hit the ground running if you’re laid off.

Always be open to a better opportunity. In my experience, today’s employers have no loyalty to you; why should you have any to them?

Keep upgrading your skills when you can.

And if the worst happens–you cannot find something in your field in a reasonable amount of time after being laid off–don’t be so proud that you refuse to do anything else. Take anything as a stopgap measure while you continue looking for work in your field, as long as the work is honest and will keep the rent paid and food on the table.

Especially don’t think that you’re alone or not good at what you do. Many good people have had this happen, some of us multiple times. Trust me, once you’re prepared, it gets easier every time.

Good luck!

Ummm… O.K. :confused:

[hijack] My impression is that he worked 31 consecutive hours on the project, hence a 31-hour “day.” [/hijack]

My sympathies, rushtopher. Welcome to the world of the disposable employee. Everything Spoons said is (unfortunately) quite true. Employer loyalty and accountability is a myth told by our grandparents, IMO.

I got layed off once and had to get unemployment checks for 2 months. It’s a jungle out there!

Not so hard:

An attorney in New York City gets up at 12:01 am on a Sunday in October and begins writing a brief on his laptop. He works straight through the day, and catches a flight to Honolulu in the afternoon. He continues working on the way to the airport, on the plane, and after the landing, and finally finishes up at midnight Monday, local Hawaii time.

Since Hawaii time is 6 hours behind New York, the attorney has worked a total of 30 hours-- 24 hours from 12:01 am to midnight in local NYC time, plus the 6 hours he gained by traveling across 6 time zones going west. And because it just so happened that it was the last Sunday in October, he also turned his clock back an hour at 2 a.m. for daylight savings time. Ta da! 31 billable hours in a calendar day. (31.5 if he started in Newfoundland instead of NYC.)

Or, even better:

Attorney leaves Guam at noon local time on Monday on a flight to NYC. The flight takes about 12 hours, but crosses 10 time zones and the international dateline going East, meaning it lands at about midnight Guam time, but about 10 am Monday local NYC time (12 hours flight time + 10 hours gained through time zones - 24 hours for crossing the dateline going East = a net loss of 2 hours from departure time). If the attorney put in 12 hours-- from midnight to noon on Monday-- in Guam before leaving, worked another 12 hours on the plane, and then works 'til midnight New York time after he arrives, he’s put in 38 billable hours on the calendar day of Monday.

At a nice, even $200 an hour, that’s $7600 for a days’ work. Hey rushtopher, how about law school?

Rushtopher, you poor, deluded fool. Don’t you realize? Obviously, the company has the right to decide your future. That’s what you decided when you freely chose to let them hire you. If they gave you money, they own you. Company loyalty, workers’ rights, social security - these are crutches that the truly competitive don’t need. Companies aren’t there to provide jobs, they’re there to search for the most efficient and ruthless ways possible to wring profits out of the land. Obviously, if you were laid off, it means you weren’t competitive or competent enough. If you don’t like it, move to Cuba! I understand that Communism hasn’t fallen there yet.

[Note: This post has been close-captioned for the sarcasm-impaired. Svend for prime minister and Michael Moore for president.]

Matt, you just described Kmart.

I give the companies in the USA as much consideratiion as I have recieved. Do not rely on an employer in anyway, and don’t give them notice of a job change. They’ll just tell you leave now.

rushtopher, jump back out there; you’re 23, you’ll do fine. One thing you said resonated with me:

In an early job I held, I became a real expert on a particular product the company had. I mean, I was good. Later, I went to another department in the company, looked back and realized that the expertise I had was almost completely useless outside of the previous deparment and completely useless outside of that company. Ever since, I’ve always made sure that each job I take on will make me better for the job after.

The fact is that job security lies in your skills and abilities. If you are relevant to the marketplace, you’ll never want for a job. The more relevant, the more leverage you have in demanding higher salary and other perks.

Bill H. is exactly right about developing skills. In most jobs, there are usually opportunities throughout your time there to develop other skills; take on other responsibilities, help out co-workers (and thereby learn some of their skills), go to any seminars that are offered, do extra reading or take courses on your own, etc. I think a “big picture” attitude towards jobs needs to become the norm; we’re not likely to stay in any one job for our whole career, so go into each job with the idea of getting the most out of it for yourself and your career path.

That said, keep your chin up and don’t let the bastards grind you down (thanks, U2, for the most appropriate quote for modern work environments.)