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Anyone ever been fired/laid off or had to fire/layoff others?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by burntfrijoles, Mar 23, 2018.

  1. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Question: how does a bank fire a programmer?

    Answer: with a security team. "Remove your hands from the keyboard, and step away from the desk." Good thing I grabbed my personal Sennheiser headphones quickly. I never did get back a couple desk trinkets.

    I was consulting on a multi-year project, creating a new brokerage platform. All fifteen or so contractors were let go the same way, at the same instant. A year in, the project was cancelled because of a merger, and I guess the bank was afraid us programmers had secret code that would empty the vaults or steal a penny a day from each account, or something.

    (Like we'd wait till the last minute to set that up... :twisted::D)

    It was actually the best thing that ever happened to me, because two weeks later, I was available on short notice for a waay cooler project, that wound up running four years. One door closes...
     
  2. Teleguy61

    Teleguy61 Friend of Leo's

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    I have avoided getting fired, mainly because I have worked for myself for most of my adult life. It's a mixed bag, of course.
    A bunch of it was being a bandleader, and I had to fire people--I didn't like that.
    For over thirty years now, my business is me, myself, and I--and I am comfortable with that.
     
  3. Frontman

    Frontman Tele-Holic

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    As a young and irresponsible person, I was fired from a couple of minimum-wage jobs. I wasn’t happy about being fired, but I couldn’t argue that I hadn’t deserved it.

    Later on, when I did some hiring and firing, it was still not a big deal, the employees were young and irresponsible, as I once was. But they shook it off well enough, low-paying work is not hard to find.

    Some years ago I quit my job in law enforcement, and went to work for a company in Japan. I liked the work, the management, and the opportunities the company offered. Unfortunately, it was one of the casualties of the 2008 financial crisis. It closed it’s doors in the middle of the night, leaving mysel and a few thousand others suddenly and unexpectedly unemployed, the day before payday.

    It’s tough to be unemployed in a foreign country, where you don’t know the language well, and in a economy where no one is hiring.

    But I shook myself off, and put all of the money I had into making a small ecommerce business. Being unemployed, I had plenty of free time to make it work.

    Eventually, I incorporated my own company, and when my work visa expired, I was able to sponsor myself to get a new visa. Next year, with any luck, I will become a permanent resident.

    Being one’s own boss sounds great to most people, but it can be a lot of work. There are worse things than being laid off or fired.
     
  4. jaybones

    jaybones Friend of Leo's

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    Sure, I've been laid off before. Mostly from the seasonal jobs up here, part of the territory.

    I've also been fired before, first time was when I was 16 working at a marina without a manager. The other employee was a friend of the family and would show up for work and lie on a float getting a tan in the little bay the marina made.

    Boaters would complain to the owners (who came up on the weekends) that nobody was minding the store during the week. She threw me right under the bus, the owner came in one day and gave me my walking papers.

    Handed me my last check with the memo writing that said "final pay after being dismissed for cause". So I couldn't file for unemployment or take legal action for wrongful termination.

    Guy was 5'5" and was poking me in the chest getting in my personal space. Probably hoping I'd shove him back (or slug him) then I'd be in trouble.

    Another firing came when I was driving the island taxi here. Was my third summer driving, and I'd been there the longest.

    Early in the season there was a sobriety weekend and I'd asked for (and gotten) approval for the weekend off.

    I was the only driver (at this point) and the owner said he'd gotten a fishing charter for Saturday morning. Had to cast off at 6 am and he couldn't drive Friday night. Asked me if I could, I told him I didn't want to, he'd already given me the weekend off.

    Guy said "Jay, you're my top guy this year. I'm going to be giving you all the good hours, and its time for you to step up. If you don't it might be your job."

    So I agreed to drive Friday night after 11:00

    Couple days later he says he's gotten a charter for Sunday, and we go around again. And again, I relent.

    When I got out to the camp, the schedule had changed. I was now chairing the First Step for a midnight meeting. Never before had they had meetings that late, which was why I agreed to work late.

    I called him as soon as I found out. This was about 5:00 (he was driving the cab, sitting in one of the bars drinking), and he freaked out on me. "You're going back on your word! You told me you'd work tonight, and now you're telling me you won't! You may have just lost your job, pal!"

    The camp was in a dead zone for cell reception here. When I was walking to the midnight meeting, my phone chirped showing a new voicemail.

    It was him again. Left it at about 11, still from the bar and it was obvious he hadn't slowed down drinking. The message was threatening and vulgar: "Jay, this is Joel! Listen here you little M'Fer, you really F'ed up this time! You F'ing go back on your word, you little M'Fer! Good luck finding another job here pal, 'cause I'm gonna tell everyone here what a worthless M'Fer you are! I run my F'ing company, you don't! F you, in case you haven't realized it YOUR F'ing FIRED!!"

    Classy.

    That night someone boarded his charter boat and stole all the equipment.

    I got another job right away (being a known quantity here made it easy- got hired the first place I applied), and saw the Chief of Police whose lady friend had driven when I started (she quit on him since he was abusive, and she's a retired librarian, grandmother and not going to put up with his stuff).

    I said to the chief that I'd heard about Joel's boat being robbed, and said I'm sure my name came up. Played the voicemail he'd left.

    Chief said my name had never come up, and it smelled to him like an insurance scam. Asked me if Joel's boat had a radar (never did before). After he'd listened to Joel's drunken rant, he said he'd be embarrassed to talk like that, even more so to leave a recording.

    And when I saw his boat later that summer he had full radar, autopilot, color depth finder, with all new rods and reels (along with his older ones).
     
  5. Crafty Fox

    Crafty Fox Tele-Afflicted

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    Can you look for an alternative job before the possible layoff? Better to get in before the other 1000!
     
  6. Boomhauer

    Boomhauer Friend of Leo's

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    I was let go with the understanding that I'd be eligible for re-hire, should I choose that path. My logic was that if they got an anonymous complaint about something specific that only I knew about, they'd point the finger at me, and I'd lose my positive reference and rehirable status...since I was the one that dealt with code violations, I knew exactly what the company was regularly cited for (and what they paid off, on the sly). And yes, this is the company that would answer "Yes," if you asked if they'd give you a reference, then give you a bad reference since you didn't specify "good reference" when you asked.

    I did ask specifically if I could get a good reference from my immediate supervisor, and the HR rep, and both said that yes, I would get a good reference from them.
     
  7. xland

    xland Tele-Holic

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    I have recently joined and created a profile/resume on LinkedIn. I have reached out to a number of contacts and references including a friend of mine who is a professional recruiter. He is aware of my situation and has offered to assist me in the process of looking for a new job. I believe he can/will be incredibly helpful.

    So for now I am looking at potential openings and gaining an understanding of what companies are looking for in potential hires with my skillset. I've been out of the "looking for a job" mode for the last 17+ years so I could use some time to brush off the dust and rust of presenting myself as a viable candidate for potential openings.

    In the meantime, my wife and I are preparing ourselves for the potential of me being laid off and just started to work on the house to prepare it for putting it up for sale in the next 6ish months. Sucks.
     
  8. MrCairo46

    MrCairo46 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Fired lots , but as a restaurant owner I have always been very generous. My philosophy is always give them enough rope to either hang themself or pull their self up.
    I always sleep well at night and have a very low unemployment cost since at most unemployment hearings I show up with all the documented chances they’ve been given.
     
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  9. demon

    demon Tele-Meister

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    I've had this a few times myself. Nothing personal, just business. I'm sure you'll know the SOP and can recognise the prep work that management do in the weeks beforehand, so it's rarely a surprise.

    Honestly, it's all a bit silly. If we're smart enough to work on their trading systems then surely they know we'd do our evil things months in advance, and set up a "dead man's handle" to trigger it automatically if were weren't there to push the button.

    Last time was great though. I was already planning to leave and was going to hand in my resignation next Monday. On the Thursday they did their batch of surprise firings and I got a good payoff package if I promised not to challenge them in court. I did my best to sound disappointed, but it was hard to keep a straight face and not grin like a Cheshire Cat.

    Having said that my current firm has had a really bad year and has just hired a bunch of management consultants, which is usually one of the signs that a round of mass layoffs is coming. My boyfriend's employer is in a bad state too, so perhaps my future will involve a lot of ramen noodles.
     
  10. demon

    demon Tele-Meister

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    That does indeed suck. But you're prepared and ready, so I guess you'll do fine in the end.

    These days there is no job security so I've always got an ear open for the next opportunity. Plan B can quickly become Plan A if Plan B pays more :)
     
  11. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Interesting about the dead man switch. In an attempt to weed those out, the bank required all employees to take two of their vacation weeks in one consecutive block. No access to company computers or networks during that time. The idea being that many evil schemes, in their experience, require some small constant maintenance, and the lack of maintenance during the vacation period would show up as an anomaly, which could be investigated.

    I was not an employee, thank goodness. As a contractor, I was able to focus on the project, and not have to deal with all the time-eating corporate stuff.

    I've done some work for insurance companies, and banks, but mostly I did telecom and finance work. I've found the banking/insurance culture to be very structured and conservative, with the primary objective being not to break anything. On the other hand, one of the things that drew me to finance and telecom, aside from the interesting tech, was the results-driven, merit-based environment where creativity trumped structure. I don't mean to generalize with a broad brush. These were my experiences, in the companies I worked for, nothing more.

    So here I was, working for a bank, merging with an insurance company, and they were trying to build a finance platform. Yikes, in hindsight, I'm surprised we got as far as we did. :)


    Regarding the surprise of the project cancellation, it was total. Our team was physically and functionally isolated. Two dozen of us, half of us contractors, spread over two locations. Our project manager was benign, very hands off, and either completely useless, or a master at pointing people in the right direction and letting them produce. I'm still not sure which. Regardless, we had no interaction with the rest of the company. I went to work each day in a nearly deserted office building. There were a dozen of us, rattling around in space big enough for 100 people. My days alternated between coding, where I'd speak to no one all day, and design, where me and another guy would spend all day in an empty room, filling large whiteboards. The daily feel, to me, was that of a cool finance project. It was only once in a while (like when we all got fired) that the weird banking structure affected us.

    I liked the project. The way it ended was surprising, and disappointing, but I understood, and didn't dwell on it. I just didn't like to have downtime between gigs. But it freed me up for a great telecom job, so it all worked out.
     
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  12. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    At the end of January I informed my staff of 9 that they were all losing their jobs, and so was I! Going out of business sucks.
     
  13. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    I did that twice as a contractor. One time was at a big telecom company right after the dot-com-bust. Basically, I and a couple of other contractors were there to maintain the code after they let over 100 employees go. Easy, but boring job until the contract ended when they brought in a major consulting company to take over. The other time was sitting at card tables in the office area of an empty warehouse working on an e-commerce site. Unrealistic schedules and management conflicts killed that project. Nothing like showing up to work and the security guard won't let your team in the door because you've all been let go.
     
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  14. Peregrino69

    Peregrino69 Tele-Afflicted

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    Let's see...

    First time with a large PC manufacturer an engineering job. Nobody ever explained my responsibilities or whom do I report to. Once a senior engineer gave me a task which I tried to fulfill... not possible cuz subcontractor was two weeks late. Three months in I was let go cuz I "wasn't up to the job demands".

    Second time same manufacturer, this time on the assembly line. Got sick, reported to my agency and the HR. Didn't have enough phone credit to call the line manager so asked HR and promised they'll do it. Week afterwards went back and was told my job's been given to someone else cuz I didn't report in. Had a chat with the manager, from which I was escorted out by 2 armed(!) guards and a dog. Considering I'm a pretty mild-mannered guy, under 175cm and at the time around 65 kilos, and the manager in question was way beyond 220cm / 100 kilos, physically fit, I find it hilarious that the guy literally looked like he's just about to **** his pants :D

    Next a short stint when I buit a production line for another company. Had a senior engineer training me, we had a blast nerding around with IT technologies. He went back home and was replaced with "Four years ago I knew nothing about computers, now I know everything". At this time I already had 10 years behind me working as a consultant / network admin... One time I refused to pick up a small piece of paper from the floor (I broomed the room anyway twice every day). That lead to a situation where he refused to even hear me when I told him that the CEO is on the phone for him. Again was let go cuz "didn't fit in". As a parting present I proved to the CEO that the way the product testing was done explicitly prevented ANY failures from showing up.

    After that working for a global IT company, again a contractor. Three years, and the manager took me in Friday 4 pm and told I don't need to come back Monday. Never explained why. Not to me, not to my agency, not to the company. This is about 15 years ago, and to date nobody has been able to find out why.

    Had a permanent contract with the contractor so got another position there, and half a year later a better one working for a SW company, one of those that everyone knows. 3 years doing that advancing from menial work to demanding engineering position, then got a mail from an ex-colleague... the abovementioned manager's goodbye mail, he was "stepping down immediately". Everyone who's worked for a large global knows what THAT means, so I kept the mail open on my screen the whole day and every time I saw it started giggling hysterically. Sent my CV in to the new mgmt, and a month later was back doing the exact same job where I previously was kicked out.

    Contractor for a couple of years, then again to engineering position - and last Thursday, ten years later, we were told that due to restructuring my whole team is out. The company's replacing about 300 years of high-level technical expertise with ... let's just say less. I really feel for the customers. I myself spent three years preparing myself for this restructuring but wasn't even given the option to continue with the company. Money, money, money...


    While that's disappointing, I'm not really concerned. The compensation package is nothing to be sneered at and includes a training budget of several thousands... I'm sort of trying to get used to the idea that for the first time in three decades I'm actually free to do exactly what I want. My experience and knowledge are enough to get me a lot better job on the same field, but at the same time I don't really _have_ to worry about work for at least another three - four years.

    I feel I've sort of had it with IT, at least with the global companies. No matter what your contract says, at the end you're just a number on a spreadsheet. A machine that can be replaced with a cheaper machine. I might go for an NGO or something like that. But then again I just found out today that re-training myself as a sound engineer would be well within my reach... so it's going to be interesting :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018
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  15. Crafty Fox

    Crafty Fox Tele-Afflicted

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    I really hope it all goes well for you. I'm now self-employed which has both benefits and disadvantages. But I prefer it now.
     
  16. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Tele-Afflicted

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    upload_2018-3-24_21-17-21.jpeg ; laid off twice.

    Fujitsu Fax; company shutdown.

    upload_2018-3-24_21-19-58.png
    To answer your question; I am well versed on this misery.
     

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  17. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    I worked construction management for 30 years. In that profession you start looking for your next job right around the time you get the first paycheck from your current one.
     
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  18. jmiles

    jmiles Friend of Leo's

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    Fired a guy from my band. He weighed about 400 pounds, voice like a angel. But he started missing 50% of the gigs. When I fired him his tiny wife came up to the bandstand and screamed she was going to kill me!
     
  19. idjster

    idjster VERY grateful member Silver Supporter

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    I've been lucky to have been in a good job during the lean times and I've never been fired, I hope due to the fact that I always tried to do my best for anyone I worked for. When I got into a job that I hoped would become a career (and did) I worked hard to educate myself in that direction. It was for a position in civic government during a time (and a time that might still be there) where the administration believed that helping employees to become better and focusing on improving their skills make for a better and more productive workplace. My experience is that it did. You had to work hard to get fired, and the layoffs were seasonal if you were in the labourer category. White collar workers were generally exempt. Every once in a while someone did get fired, but I never came anywhere close to it. I loved my job! I can mention my complaints but I won't. Overall, the employer was terrific to me and I only left because of my health. My choice. By that time I had 34 years in and we have a good employee/employer pension plan. I consider myself very fortunate. :)
     
  20. Solaris moon

    Solaris moon Tele-Meister

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    Been there and done that so many times.......
     
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