Gawker Layoff Stories


I once worked for a newspaper that was nuking the bureau I worked in. We were taken out to lunch and when we returned the managing editor was waiting for us. One by one, we walked into the office to hear our fate (I was retained, but sent to a crappy place, hastening my departure.) Prick that he was, the managing editor gave each of us (15 people) six minutes of time, so that he could leave in 90 minutes and beat rush-hour traffic. -DaeSu
>Whoa, did your boss actually time that? -DakotaCadiots
>Yes, he did. He had his watch propped up against a stack of files so he could keep track of the time, and 90 minutes later --having told more than half the staff that they "no longer fit on the team," he was in his BMW and gone. -DaeSu

2002: I walked into my office late one morning (I had been to the dentist) and a coworker tells me that the director had called everyone to an immediate meeting by the front door. He informed them that people would be laid off that day. I was one of the unlucky ones, and had to hand over my key card and clear out my desk that day.
Even the poor guy who had worked there for 10 years and whose office was stocked with plants and books was asked to leave that day.
Director: We need you to leave today.
Poor Guy: Well, that's not very compassionate. And you know how volatile this business is. Why don't you consider that one day you could be working for me?
I still love this guy for saying that. -Squirrelwars

My boss didn't know how to save anything into different folders, so it all went into her "Annie's Stuff" folder on the shared drive. I had access, so I spent many merry months reading her Christmas letters, letters to an ex-baby daddy, and the performance reviews of my coworkers. One day I saw a new file with "Sylvia Fired.doc" on it. The dismissal form she'd filled out was full of misspellings and grammatical errors—I spent my last few hours at work copyediting my own dismissal letter. It was the most fulfilling project I took on during my time there. -Anon.

At my pre-ordained weekly meeting with my supervisor I was told I was being let go because the company was "going in a different direction". That direction, however, was not eliminating my position, but rather giving it to the intern who just graduated two weeks prior. I assume that move is saving them some salary payout and increasing their eye-candy quotient. -Anon.

My husband got laid off unexpectedly—on his birthday, no less. He had been traveling for work for two straight weeks, then they made him sit through a full day of bullshit meetings that were supposed to continue into a company dinner that night. They dropped the ax right before he was set to leave for the restaurant.

Again, on his birthday, after he'd been away for over two weeks. I had sent his birthday cards to his office because I knew that he would get them before he would see me. They wouldn't let him go through his mail to get them. He was allowed to take only the personal photographs from his office and then was forced to sign a form that stated that they did not owe him any money — even though they owed him all his expenses from his two weeks on the road. It took three months and we finally just got that check.

There were a few other layoffs earlier this year, and those people got more in their severance packages. However the company must have realized that they were losing money at an alarming pace so they cut the severance packages drastically... To top it off, he was unable to sell his stock in the company because the timing of his layoff was during a "blackout period." He probably would have only made like a dollar a share. Now, the company's stock is trading at fifty cents a share and so there is nothing of value to sell anymore anyway.

Some consolation: The assholes who are in charge don't stand to make any money on their stock options barring a miracle buyout, which would probably never happen because the place is such a mess and the people who are now in charge are completely incompetent.

If you print this, please keep it anonymous... unless it's after Friday when the severance package runs out. Then we can say whatever we want about those DICKS. -Anon.

May I vent?
I just had to lay off one of my favorite staff members. I've let people go before, but because they sucked at their job. Today, for the first time, I had to take someone I find talented, smart and generally entertaining because our clients are leaving in droves.
How did this happen? When did I cross the line from rank-and-file to management? It happened quietly and so subtly that I never really noticed it. But it crystallized for me today.
I'm sorry anonymous staff guy. Sorry to do this before the holidays, and sorry that our clients suck at running their businesses enough that I had to let you go.
Note: not looking for sympathy from anyone here, since I'm still getting paid (for now, anyway). But I know how much traffic these posts are getting and just hope that someone knows that at least one management person hates this shit as much as you do for getting shafted. -Larry Bird Flu
> I think my boss enjoyed it when she laid me off Tuesday morning. She was so cold I got a brainfreeze. -GregorMendel

Thread: Surely there must be such a thing as workers' rights? Why didn't they get notice? Do they get a severance package? -Vivien Smith-Smythe-Smith
Let's Use One of These Hot Blondes

My favorite story was a few years ago and involved Mercedes Benz. They scheduled a group of managers for an off-site "conference" at a local hotel/conference center. When the victims were seated an HR persons told them they had been fired and to go straight home. Their offices would be cleared out and their personal stuff sent to them. -Weegee's bored
>I knew layoffs were coming when all of a sudden half of us didn't have network access. -it takes a lot to laugh

With reference to corporations' access to legally restricted, confidential personnel files, such as insurance companies, company consultants and HIPAA. Oh, yes, certainly. Firms never break the law to save pennies or their ass, whether in times of crisis or prosperity. Is anyone familiar with what took place at humans-are-our-most-valued-asset..., progressive culture word speak giant Hewlett-Packard? They tapped phones and surveilled their own people. Where corporations, especially their balance sheets, are concerned, company policy or legal obstacles generally do not prevent them from infringing on individuals' privacy. Yes the perps at HP eventually got caught, but how many firms get away with it? To think this doesn't happen often is naive. -JillianParis

Thread: When bosses do shit like this, don't they worry that eventually someone is going to snap and do something really, really bad in the office?...-drunkexpatwriter

Thread: All these layoff stories are heartbreaking. But at least we live in the Land of the Free, right? Free to enter the workforce with $100k in student loan debt. Free to remain shackled to a job because your kids need the health care benefits. Free from awful pushy unions. Free from socialized medicine....-Baroness
Laid Off Just in Time for the Holidays

First off, this is the first time this has ever happened to me so my heart grows colder each day.
I was laid off this week from a large company and most of the points made here are true, except I would like to not think of myself as the dead weight amongst the ones that were let go.
Being the last hired they thought it would be easier to let me go instead of one of the 2 useless people they are keeping. There's a good chance that it had to do with me getting paid a higher rate than them, who knows.
All I know is that I tried hard to stay out of a corporate entity but it seems as though they own your ass one way or another.
My anxiety from a job loss is magnified greatly because of both the current economic state as well as right before 2 major holidays which make job hunting hard.
I'm beginning to understand why people dive off bridges! -Cheap Shot
>@Cheap Shot: The sting is bad at first, but it gets better! Also, try to take some time for yourself--especially if you've been working crazy hours and haven't had time to do so recently. And be creative in looking for new jobs--I totally sent my resume to local, fun places (like wine shops and cheese shops) if for no other reason than to get resume feedback and to get the feeling that I'm putting myself out there.
And keep in mind that usually, being laid off is a long-term blessing because you may be given one of the few lifeboats ahead of a monstrous Titanic-like sinking. -bellethellama

Jan. 24-09
It's true, and it's horrible. I work in a bookstore and we've seen a complete and total marked dip in sales and there are times when we can go an hour or more without anyone buying anything, or seeing a customer at all.
Only so many times you can shelve a book. :/ We're all screwed, huh? -Eldritch

My company is one of those companies that's profitable and getting moreso, but still laying people off pretty much just because everybody else is. They're basically using the recession as an excuse to cut staff and freeze salaries. I just had my evaluation and even though I'm underpaid by about 25% and asked for a larger raise (before the recession really hit), I was told the company couldn't afford it. This even though the company is profitable, we'd just laid off a bunch of people and everybody who remained was being asked to do a ton more work. I got the classic "we'll have to do more with less" line - yes, my boss actually said this to me! He may as well have given me the "it's not you, it's me" speech - I mean Jesus Christ, talk about cliches.
Literally that *same day*, my department had a meeting where my boss solicited ideas for what we could do with an extra $20,000 per month that we had had added to our budget.
Needless to say, morale is pretty goddamn low at my company, and NOBODY wants to work for these a-holes. -badasscat
Workers: Just Sit Quietly and Wait to be Laid Off

Keyword: Layoffs