My Past Workplaces are GONE!

A distressing number of the places I used to work aren’t there any more.

Some of them still exist, physically, but the buildings are empty, or someone else has moved in. The business I used to work at has either moved on or dissolved.

A lot of the buildings have been bulldozed, or gutted and then rebuilt.

Some of this is the normal life-and-death of old buildings, which is gonna happen if you hang around long enough. But a lot of this is relatively recent. If you figure it by the time I spent in them, more of my workplaces are gone than are still standing and active.

I’ve spent most of my career working for tech startups. My resume is a litany of carnage and devastation.

Permanence is so 19th Century.

During my years in the graphic arts, there were so many changes that resulted in companies going out of business. The few that remain aren’t doing the same type of work. If I ever need to use my resume again, there’ll be no way to check its veracity; I could just make it all up.

My husband’s resume is full of companies that no longer exist. One was acquired and renamed and 2 went bankrupt. A couple others are from so far back, he doesn’t know what became of them. The wiremill where he worked in Jacksonville is, as far as we know, an empty building. The wiremill in Fredericksburg is now, literally, a junk yard.

I went thru bootcamp in Orlando - that base no longer exists. I went thru avionics training in Millington, TN - the training command is now in Pensacola, and the base is greatly shrunk. I also had some training in Vallejo, CA - that base is gone. My first squadron was VS-41 at NAS North Island - the squadron was decommissioned in 2006. The Navy Supply School in Athens GA where I had some training also no longer exists. But the Pentagon is still there, so there’s that. And considering my Navy days encompassed 1973-84, it’s not surprising some places are gone now.

Veterans of the Cold War will be familiar with this, because of “Peace Dividend” and BRAC. My own military career was remarkably fixed – 18 years in two tours at one major CONUS Air Base which was a significant Unified Command headquarters, and 3 years in a mountain in Pennsylvania. The Army post I lived in during that brief interval is gone now, but the big base is bigger than ever. Having a large HQ is useful for ongoing survival in a closure-and-consolidation environment – things consolidate to you, not the other way around.

The first company I worked for went bankrupt. The second company shut down about three weeks after I left. The third company went bankrupt, and all the executive officers went to federal prison except the one who turned state’s evidence.

I have alibis for all of these.


I shall echo panache45. During my working years I held two jobs (of a total of four) worthy of putting on a resume. By the time I was 45 both companies were out of business. After I retired, when I contemplated looking for work again, I would look at my job history and say “This could be bogus and there is no way to prove it.” Sure, the companies can be proven to have existed, but there’s no one around to verify if I ever worked there.

I used to work with a fellow who - by the time he was in his 30s - every previous employer and school he had attended was closed.
Since then he has done better, the newspaper we both worked for is teetering and he worked for New York State (insert joke here).

The restaurant that I worked at for my first “official” job (i.e. not mowing or other teenager labor) is some kind of doctors office or something now.

My first real job out of college was for a company that’s been defunct for about a decade.

I did a couple of short stints (3 months or less) at a couple of companies that are also defunct- one a mobile home manufacturer, and another was an online dating site.

Since then, I’ve worked for companies which are still going concerns.

As I kid I mowed lawns and did neighborhood yard work. Last time I was in the neighborhood, all but one of my customers’ houses had been torn down and replaced with a McMansion with no yard.

My first paycheck job was in college in the on-campus pizza parlor/pub in the student union building. It has been gutted and replaced with a food court holding a bunch a franchise outlets. I think my oven was where the new Carl’s Jr. resides.

4 of the 6 companies I’ve worked for since graduating no longer exist. Dot-com startups and aerospace during the Cold War. The parking structure for my first office building has been converted into airport parking for LAX.

I’ve had eight jobs in my life.
Three are gone.
Two the parent company still exists but the location I worked at is gone.
One relocated and has expanded past the original business. Same industry, though.
Only the last two are still as they were when I worked there.

This thread is depressing!

Off the top of my head I can think of 7. Sure there are more, but don’t want to think about it anymore. :frowning:

Of the past places I’ve worked at full-time, none are still in the same location where they were when I worked there.

  1. Company was purchased by Unilever just before I left (1996). They relocated to a different office building here in Chicago about a year after I left; five or six years ago, Unilever moved all of the jobs out of Chicago entirely. The office building where I worked is still there, but has been subdivided into small, “boutique” offices.

  2. Company was purchased by Pepsico just after I left (2000). They, too, relocated to a different office building in Chicago, and are still there now.

  3. I left in 2011; the company moved to a different office space (in the John Hancock Building) two years ago. The offices where I worked were recently converted into a hotel, and I’d love to see what my old office space looks like now.

  4. Company appears to have recently gone out of business entirely. The building (in the far SW suburbs) is very likely still there.

Edit: And, when I was in high school, I worked at the True Value hardware store which my family owned. We closed the store just before I graduated from high school in '83. The building was then a roller rink for many years, and is apparently now used by a Fundamentalist Christian church.

I once went on a StreetView hunt for houses I’ve lived in, and at lest four of them are gone, replaced by freeways, parking lots or stripmalls, in Milwaukee, Seattle, Baton Rouge and Huntsville AL.

One former workplace is now a historical site – the Bear Flag Building on Cannery Row in Monterey CA.

The Burger King where I had my first job in 1978 is now gone; the entire block has been redeveloped and upscaled. The hospital where I had my second job, and my first “office” job, is still there, but the part of the building where I worked has been renovated, and the offices are gone, subsumed into a new wing.

The AMC movie theater I worked at in the mid 80s later closed down when they opened a new multiplex 300 yards away.

I worked at a Tower Records in the SF Bay Area in the early 90s. That’s gone too. But we still have them here in Japan. :slight_smile:

The two dot-com companies I was with after college are now gone.

My first job was working on a farm. The owner retired and has since died. The buildings are still there but it’s no longer in operation as a farm.

I worked at a plastics factory when I was in college. They’ve long since closed.

Surprisingly, even some of the prisons I worked at have closed.

One counter-example. Way back when I was around twelve, I was offered a job at a local used book store. I didn’t take the job because I would have had a difficult time getting there to work every day. But that used book store is still in business almost fifty years later. I guess I missed out on a possible career.

My resume is a graveyard. Drove past one and pointed to a pile of gravel. “That was my parking space.”

The entire town I lived in outside Cleveland is a cloverleaf.

I wonder what the ghost that lived in the basement is doing.