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Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:21 AM

It's bad enough being fired, do they have to be so cruel?

Our family is in crisis once again. Laid off AGAIN.

Last week, hubby was called into his boss's office. She coldly said, "We're making some changes" and just fired him. He said he was shocked and the boss said, "Really? I'm surprised you're shocked" implying that he had been a horrible manager and that he was stupid for not realizing it. This truly was a total shock.

My husband worked at this company for three years. He came to this company highly recommended. He got the job through connections. They created a position for him. He has a college degree. Prior to taking this position, he had two other companies fighting for him to come work for them.

Prior to working at this most recent job--hubby worked for a high-tech start up. The company (and hubby) survived five rounds of layoffs. Due to financial problems, they asked my husband to take a 20 percent pay cut, but he refused. He was all ready working 80 hours a week--to make up for the laid-off workers who were never replaced. When he decided to quit, they begged him to stay. Before that job, he was highly respected and worked the same job for ten years. That job begged him to stay too--offering to double his salary.

My husband is an honorable, wonderful man of such high integrity. He has such amazing technical skills and he is the kindest, most gentle man I've ever met. He deserves so much better. I'm not saying that he was perfect or that I knew everything that happened at work. However,they didn't have to do this to him. He was so shocked after the 30 second firing--that he just left. He forgot to take the pictures of me and our kids from his desk--which I'm sure are in the trash by now.

He is so demoralized. Corporate psychopaths need to learn that there is a right way to treat people. Even the vacuous clowns in the movie "Up in the Air" had some semblance of decency. They treated the employees like they were human beings. My husband was treated like a criminal--as if he had raided the corporate coffers or never showed up. He never missed a day of work in three years and has two months of vacation built up.

My husband deserves so much better. If anyone has any bits of wisdom, personal stories they'd like to share, or coping strategies that they'd like to pass on--I'd sure appreciate it.

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Reply It's bad enough being fired, do they have to be so cruel? (Original post)
CoffeeCat Nov 2012 OP
Brickbat Nov 2012 #1
CoffeeCat Nov 2012 #3
Brickbat Nov 2012 #11
NotThisTime Nov 2012 #2
CoffeeCat Nov 2012 #12
Tigress DEM Nov 2012 #4
CoffeeCat Nov 2012 #13
Tigress DEM Nov 2012 #29
Kookaburra Nov 2012 #5
CoffeeCat Nov 2012 #14
OLDMDDEM Nov 2012 #6
CoffeeCat Nov 2012 #20
OLDMDDEM Nov 2012 #23
OldDem2012 Nov 2012 #7
davidpdx Nov 2012 #9
magical thyme Nov 2012 #17
CoffeeCat Nov 2012 #21
JackN415 Nov 2012 #8
lunatica Nov 2012 #10
Helen Reddy Nov 2012 #15
CoffeeCat Nov 2012 #25
Tommy_Carcetti Nov 2012 #16
Lydia Leftcoast Nov 2012 #18
TwilightGardener Nov 2012 #19
CoffeeCat Nov 2012 #26
blogslut Nov 2012 #22
CoffeeCat Nov 2012 #27
RepublicansRZombies Nov 2012 #24
CoffeeCat Nov 2012 #28

Response to CoffeeCat (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:26 AM

1. If he can, tell him to get a copy of his personnel file when he picks up his desk stuff.

They hadn't put him on a performance plan or anything? That is indeed shitty. I'm sorry.

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Response to Brickbat (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:31 AM

3. He's had three reviews...all glowing

He's had three reviews since working there. The latest one was last month. He was reviewed by his boss and by 10 of his people, who work under him.

His reviews were terrific. I read the reviews.

No warning. No written warnings. No identification of problems prior to this.

Just an invitation into his bosses office and a big punch to the face.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 09:28 AM

11. Then he needs that file. If there's no record of poor performance, that helps him.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:30 AM

2. I am so sorry, but keep your chin up and tell hubby to do the same....

A recent story, a friend who had been laid off at several different companies over the course of 20 years was laid off again, he was again in the gutter. Well you know what? After a few weeks he started getting his resume out, he went to 2 or 3 interviews, and he got a great job, a better job than the one he'd had. He's making more money with better benefits. He was out of work for one month. It may be they found someone to take your husbands job for that 20% less, if a company decides they want to go in that direction, and they can get away with it they do. From what you describe, I don't think your husband will have trouble finding work, and tell him this reflects on the company not on him. No warnings? No nothing? They just say they are changing things and he's gone? This on them.... Your husband is going to do fine... He may even find a better job than the one he had, so keep your chin up and know there is something else out there, and maybe right around the corner.

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Response to NotThisTime (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 10:28 AM

12. Thank you for that positive, uplifting story...

...and for your encouraging words.

They are like a Tylenol Extra Strength to a migraine.

Again, I appreciate you taking the time to spread such positivity.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:32 AM

4. Is his boss one of those who would be "making changes" because they fear results of Obama's win?

I think tech support is under Communication Workers of America Union, but since he's a manager, I'm not sure.

Maybe there is a lawyer offering "free initial consultations" who could look at this case or the local ACLU.

Otherwise he'd definitely have a claim for Unemployment Insurance and I'd recommend he get that, just to underscore that he was fired without a legitimate reason. It will help further down the road. They have to provide a reason to deny him Unemployment and I doubt they have any legal justification and it will help any lawsuit he pursues.

Even if it's an "at will" employment state, he can probably sue for severance pay due to the lack of notice given and all his vacation time accumulated.

Good luck.

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Response to Tigress DEM (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 10:30 AM

13. We are confident that we will get unemployment...

...and we are grateful for that.

I don't think we're looking to lawyer up. This is an "at will" state and they can fire for any reason. They don't even have to have a reason.

Thank you for your thoughts and wishes of good luck. Means a lot.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Reply #13)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:49 PM

29. Mostly for the lack of notice and lack of respect, not to mention severance pay.

You don't have to "lawyer up" just get a consultation to see what this looks like from a legal perspective.

It's always a CHOICE to pursue or not to pursue that course, but it helps underscore that your husband is the wronged party in this instance and HIS rights were the ones violated.

Often when someone is "let go" there can be the assumption that it was "their fault" and not a corporate ploy to deny him benefits he deserved. If a lawyer says it's true, then it isn't "sour grapes" it has legal legs to stand on and is in fact a case.

It helps mentally when you're looking for work to KNOW that and not doubt yourself.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:43 AM

5. I'm sorry you're dealing with this

I don't know why companies have to be so unnecessarily cruel. I wonder if his manager's coldness was a cover -- her way of coping with something that is painful for her, or even her way of telling herself "it can't happen to me" even though she knows full well it can.

They need to cut back on work force and let some employees go? Well, that's a shame, but they can always be kind. What purpose does it serve to treat people so poorly? Are they trying to set up a reason for denying him unemployment (perhaps by saying he was fired for cause)? They should keep in mind that the pendulum eventually swings back in the other direction, and it always does. If they believe at all in reaping what you sow/karma/whatever, they're better off being kind.

Is the company is a financial place that they had to cut back, or is this more of that "if Obama wins I'm letting people go, starting with anyone I know who voted for him" kind of thing? If it's the former, than your husband can then your husband can take comfort in the fact that this reflects more on his manager's pathetic people skills than on his performance. If the latter, then, I know it doesn't feel this way, but he's better off.

One more thing. Would he be willing to go to those companies who were wooing him before and talk to them. If they wanted him then, and still have a need, then they may still be interested in him.

Regardless, I wish you both peace and good fortune in the job hunt.

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Response to Kookaburra (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 10:33 AM

14. Thank you so much...

...for your kind words. I do believe i karma. As you said perfectly, this was "unnecessarily cruel."

Even if someone was not suited for a job--or even if they were screwing up--shocking them like that, one week before Thanksgiving--in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon--is unnecessary. It just didn't have to happen like this.

I think, in the long run, hubby will realize that he is better than this and now that he sees what they're capable of--I think he knows that they probably did him a favor. I think those realizations will come with time.

It's just hard when it first happens.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:57 AM

6. coping strategies

On June 1, 2010 I suffered a stroke that laid me up for 30 days. In that time frame I did everything I possibly could to make sure my company knew I was on the mend and would be back as soon as possible. I went back to work on July 5. After one week I was laid off. I know why and they know I know why. I could sue them and waste money trying to make things right, but why? I should not have gone back to work when I did and realized this on the last day of work. I immediately went on disability for 90 days and found myself recovering to the point where I was ready to work again. I picked my self up by my rear end and surfed the internet (indeed.com) for jobs. I applied to over 500 diffeent ads and knew that some were simply recruiters trying to lure me in. But, my old boss from a previous job knew what happened to me and asked if I could work for a three week stretch to help him with budgets. I said yes. On November 1 I was back at work. In my third week I interviewed with a recruiter that said there was a company in Arlington, VA that needed someone for six weeks (I am a controller/accounting manager by trade). I said yes knowing my three weeks were going to be up. Thanksgiving week I went to work for this company. Six weeks came and went and they kept me working. After the ninth month my work there ceased. One week later I interviewed with another recruiter who had a temporary job opening right next door to where they were located in Arlington, VA. I got the position one day later and have been here ever since. They hired me after three weeks. While I don't make the money I did before, I do not have the expensive commute I had before and take the Metro to work. Forty wonderful minutes for me to read a book and get lost in it. Yes, I make less, but I have peace of mind and have a small amount of numbness on my left side to show for my battle with healing from the stroke. More important to me is that I am happy. My wife and I are on a schedule again and I love it. I love her for her support through all of this.

I've gone on a long time here, but what I have to say is to keep your chin up. Your husband is better than the way heu was treated. It's okay to be depressed about what happened but he should NOT let that discourage him from looking for work. There is a guardian angel out there looking for him. I found mine, or, I should say the angel found me. I was convinced I would never work full time again as I was 64 when I was looking for work. Trust me. He will be okay and you will be too. This will work out. Your husband has nothing to be ashamed of and for all the grief his old company has caused him, you are both better for it. Chin up and happy searching.

It would be wonderful if you would keep me informed of your husband's search.

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Response to OLDMDDEM (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:41 PM

20. Wow, you have been through...

...quite a journey yourself. Thank you for sharing. I am glad that you landed in a good place, and that you are happy and have the support of a wonderful wife. You deserve it.

I think you are right, and I told my husband the same thing--that if they treat him that way--they don't deserve him. It's so true.

My husband isn't perfect, and I'm sure mistakes were made. We can all improve. However, his boss was worthless as a mentor and never provided any guidance or leadership. I think good things will come from this, and I know that hubby will land in a good place.

Thank you for taking such an interest and for being so kind.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Reply #20)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 01:50 PM

23. We are all here for you and your husband

You never know who a DUer is. It could be your husband's next employer. Realistically, we are a fraternity of people that believe in basically the same principles. One of those is that we are here for you. Everyone wants to help someone who is down. If we were all perfect, we wouldn't be having this conversation. Wherever you are located, tell your husband that he needs to make sure his new job (the one at hand now) is to find another job. Get up at your regular time and hit the internet. I did this and had great results. A friend of mine lost his job due to the government contractor he worked for losing a major contract. We worked together via email, etc. to get his resume readable and acceptable to give to prospective employers. It took about three months, but he found work and is making more than he was before. I'm thrilled for him. I got an email that had three words in it "We did it!!!" That's all I needed to see. I know your husband can do this and he will find work. Being patient and being positive are the key.

Good luck and stay in touch.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:58 AM

7. I recall a lay-off "event" at the old MCI Telecommunications HQ in downtown Washington, DC.....

...late one Friday afternoon before 5:00 pm, HR and security made a floor-by-floor sweep laying off people by stopping by their offices, handing them a box, waiting for them to fill up the box with their personal effects, and then escorting them out of the building. No prior notice, no nothing. Lovely, eh? I'm very sorry to see things have not changed over the past thirty years.

Bad news? It's right before the Holidays and it really sucks to be laid off at this time of the year.

Good news? The job market appears to be heating up and your husband sounds like he has very good technical skills and a college degree.

Some quick tips for your husband:

* Take the next couple of days to clear your head and then start calling all of the people you know in your field of expertise and start networking for job leads. Even if some of those people have no job leads, they may know who does. Network, network, network!

* Bring your resume up-to-date for those potential employers who know nothing about you or your work history.

* Call your former manager (as reprehensible as that may be) to find out what kind of reference she intends to give him. Get it in writing if you can. If she doesn't respond within 24 hours assume she will not be giving you a good reference. To verify this, have someone else (a friend in another company) call and find out exactly what she says. Line up another reference withing the company that will give you a good reference.

* Line up 3-4 other good references who will be able to respond quickly when potential employers call...keep them in the loop as to when they might be getting calls and from whom.

* Check your finances and see if you can cut back on anything now, and what you may have to cut back on later if the search takes more than a few months.

Tell your husband good luck and happy hunting!

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 09:10 AM

9. I'm curious about what happened with the MCI layoffs

and the way it occurred. I'm not trying to sidetrack the OP (who I am sorry to hear suffered a layoff in the family), but I think from a business ethics standpoint this is a really lousy way for companies to handle what is a very stressful situation. I'm studying for my doctorate in business and hearing a first hand account of how things are dealt with is helpful. It might make for a good case study if it already hasn't been done. If you can elaborate on the situation at all I'd appreciate it (If you don't or that in anyway would endanger your reputation, I totally understand).

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 10:46 AM

17. these days, large corporations generally walk people out the door

to ensure there is no sabotage.

Notice, if there is any, consists of a final pay out.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:42 PM

21. Those are excellent tips....

...and I am sure others on DU will find them helpful as well.

It's good to be reminded of these nutsy-boltsy issues that need to be handled (such as references). When you're in shock, it's easy to forget some of these important reminders.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 09:04 AM

8. Very sorry to hear. My best wish to you and family

 

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Response to CoffeeCat (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 09:18 AM

10. If he's anything like me he needs a really good cry

Whether there are tears or not. He needs to grieve first because if he bottles it up and thinks he needs to just move on it'll come out in other ways which could be very unpleasant.

He needs to rant and rage too. What happened to him is a true slap in the face and it came out of nowhere like a sledge hammer and he has done nothing to deserve it.

The reason it helps is because it's a direct way of dealing with all the pent up emotions. He can just let it all out, because I'm sure there's more shitty things that boss has done. And it's also the fastest way to get past it and feel better and get back to normal.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 10:37 AM

15. ((((coffeecat)))) ((((Mr.coffeecat))))

 

My best to your family. May you rise above this challenge even greater and stronger than ever!

Knowing the shenanigans the corporate world has in store for so many, I am encouraging my daughter to be a Jill of many trades, being her own boss, and creating her own niche in this world.

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Response to Helen Reddy (Reply #15)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:45 AM

25. Thank you so much...

...for your supportive words. I think that is great advice that you have given your daughter. Avoid the corporate world if at all possible. If you can freelance or do contract work, you can avoid the ruthlessness of some companies. Best to you and your daughter!


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Response to CoffeeCat (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 10:38 AM

16. I was once told, "We're going in a different direction."

I gave the company a solid four and half years of effort.

The "different direction" that replaced me lasted less than a year.

I took a small moral victory out of that one.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 10:53 AM

18. "Corporate psychopaths" is right

Part of the problem is that more and more executives have never been rank-and-file employees. They are the children of executives who majored in business, got MBAs, and went straight into management. They tend to be the type of Republican who says, "If you want more money, you should get a better job."

At one school where I taught, a woman who was hired to teach Human Resources Management was fired after one year because she taught that employees work harder and stay longer if you treat them well and that if sacrifices are necessary, they should include the top executives. Some of the students complained, and the rest of the business faculty agreed that her human-oriented approach did not fit in with the overall number-oriented approach.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 11:01 AM

19. He pissed off someone there. Maybe someone felt his/her own job was

being threatened and decided he had to go. There are mental cases everywhere I've ever worked, or cliques, or backstabbing assholes. Usually you can see it coming--they cut your hours, give you shitty assignments or busy work, you are cut out of the social loop, you work more weekends than other people, etc. I am sorry for your husband, I hope this doesn't shake his confidence--he's got a great work history behind him, and hopefully future employers will see that.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #19)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:47 AM

26. His boss was inept...

His boss was not a mentor or a leader. There was very little communication there. This boss was hired after my husband was hired.

I'm sure those dynamics had a lot to do with what has happened.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:48 PM

22. I'm sorry that happened.

I hope that before you know it, you and your family are in such a wonderful place this bad time will be nothing but a faint memory.

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Response to blogslut (Reply #22)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:48 AM

27. Thank you so much for reminding me of that...

...when you are in a bad place, sometimes it is hard to see your way out. I know what you say is true and it's just good to be reminded that life will go on and that we will be ok.

Thank you.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 02:58 PM

24. Was this after Tuesday? Was he getting the 'firing liberals just to get back at America' treatment?

 


The uncooperative self absorbed sociopaths are a dying breed.

They are in their last throes.

I am sure he will find work as tech skills are always in demand. Hang in there.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 08:57 AM

28. Just a quick update...

My husband has had three people--employees who worked under him--email him and communicate that they will miss my husband and that they would love to give him references. They have expressed shock and disbelief that he is suddenly gone.

Right now, I am just fuming. I am having a hard time sleeping. I am so angry at the two people in this company who did this to him.

My husband came to this company--while other companies were fighting over him. The company that he left was begging him to not leave. My husband took a paycut to work at this company that just let him go--because he thought it was a great opportunity.

I still can't get over it. My husband never missed a day of work. He worked hard. I wish all of you could meet him. He has such integrity and he is such a decent, gentle and intelligent man. To call him into an office--tell him that "changes are being made" and to be rude and nasty about it--was just so unnecessary. My husband was in complete shock and he managed to say, "I am just shocked this happen" and his flippin incompetent jerk of a boss's retort was, "Oh really? I'm surprised you're shocked!" There was no prior discussion that any problems were jeopardizing his job. Just BOOM!

And the employees who work under my husband--What kind of message does this send to them? You can be gone in the blink of an eye, peasants! These people are incompetent, brutal and they treated my husband like a criminal who had robbed them blind. No warning. No notice. Just leave---on a Wednesday afternoon.

I'm sorry if I'm going on and on about this. I suppose we're still grieving and adjusting. It's hard to see my husband so thrown off kilter.

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