Work Update: 20 More Layoffs Today!

by FI Fighter on November 17, 2012

in Work Update

I mentioned back in late August how my company had just gone through the first round of layoffs. Well, as it turns out, today marked the start of Round 2! This caught many of us off-guard, as the company has a policy of initiating these moves without giving its employees any fair warning. Suffice to say, today was not your typical day at the office.

Just another atypical day…

The day started off normal enough, as I got to work early, and went through my usual routine. Halfway through our morning staff meeting, the security guard came in and wanted to know if one of my co-workers was there. My co-workers and I knew instantly that something was amiss, because it is very seldom that something like this happens. If the matter at hand isn’t urgent, security will usually let us wrap up our meetings so that they don’t need to interrupt us.

For the remainder of the meeting, my co-workers and I were chattering, trying to figure out if something big had just happened. Someone suggested the idea of Round 2 of layouts starting today, which of course put everyone in a grim mood. Let’s just say most of us tuned out of the meeting from that point on.

Suspense

After the meeting concluded, everyone dispersed as usual, but I did notice something peculiar. A lot of my co-workers were gathering by the windows, looking intently outside. Since there were so many people crowded around the windows, I couldn’t get a good view, so decided to walk outside the building instead. In retrospect, this probably wasn’t the smartest decision for me to make, because for all I knew, there could have been some kind of serious incident going on outside. I probably didn’t make the safest decision, but lucky for me, one other co-worker decided to join me.

We walked outside building #1, and walked slowly towards building #2. Before getting to the entrance, we were approached by two security guards, which was again, unusual. So, by now, we knew something was going on for sure. As it turns out, they let us know right then and there that we weren’t allowed entry into the building because the second round of layouts was indeed proceeding inside.

Shock

One guard then broke the news, informing us that one employee who had just been informed of his dismissal was so overwhelmed that he fainted! This was the reason for all all the window gathering taking place in building #1 – my co-workers were staring outside because the paramedics had just arrived on the scene. Again, not something you normally see on a typical day at the workplace.

I didn’t know how to react. I was in shock! I didn’t know the co-worker personally, but many of my colleagues in my group knew him quite well. He was a young guy, not too many years into his career. They mentioned how he had just transferred from the Asia Design Center to our offices in the US just less than two years ago. He had a wife, and a kid to support as well. Apparently, he had been under a lot of stress lately, and was even worried about his job security a few months back during Round 1 of layoffs. I’m sure his nerves were put to ease a bit after surviving the initial cuts, so receiving this jolt of bad news today must have just overwhelmed him.

It’s such an unfortunate event that took place today…

Perspective

And it makes me examine life more closely yet again. It makes me ponder if all this is really worth it in the end? No one should have to deal with so much stress and anxiety that it jeopardizes their very health. In a way, sometimes I think people sign up for more than they can handle. Partially, because society expects you to. I look at this young guy and wonder, maybe he jumped in the deep end of the pool too soon, before he was ready. I mean, the stresses of a job and pressure to perform on a daily basis are taxing enough, especially for someone just getting their career started. It takes time to acquire enough experience and knowledge to where you can feel confident in your abilities. When you factor in trying to raise a family, moving to a new country, having to learn a new language/culture, etc., that’s a lot of weight on any one person’s shoulders.

Subconsciously, maybe it’s thoughts like these that are always running in the background, forcing me to always focus (and refocus) my efforts towards staying on the path to reaching financial independence. So that I won’t have to deal with all the work-related BS. So that I won’t have to put my health in harm’s way. So that one day, should I elect to settle down and raise a family, I will be able to do so without feeling like the weight of the world is on my shoulders.

Life is worth living. I have many dreams for the future that I am working towards achieving. No job in the world should have the audacity to try and rob me of that. I did not, and will not ever sign up for that. No thanks.

 

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ExecutionerNo Gravatar November 17, 2012 at 8:35 am

“No job in the world should have the audacity to try and rob me of that. I did not, and will not ever sign up for that. No thanks.”

Could not agree more. My wife and I both had less-than-enjoyable weeks working for our respective employers. Every time something like this happens, it reinforces our drive to achieve our financial goals as quickly as possible so we can put all of the corporate BS behind us.

Reply

2 FI FighterNo Gravatar November 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Executioner,

Sorry to hear about the bad experiences you and your wife have been having at work. I definitely understand how you feel, as corporate politics have been driving me crazy as of late.

In my own case, I really enjoy engineering in its purest form. Management has a tendency, though, to strip out the good things about it, and force employees to: run useless tests, release products with known bugs, point the finger at those not at fault, change product definitions at the last minute and still force you to meet the schedule, etc. etc. And then finally, lay you off b/c they made bad decisions.

I’m with you, achieve FI and leave all the BS behind!

Best wishes!

Reply

3 Financial SamuraiNo Gravatar November 17, 2012 at 11:11 am

Yikes. If anybody is worried at your office, please have them buy and read my book on how to engineer your layoff. It’s a good way to learn NOT to get laid off, and also a good way to negotiate a nice severance package. And if they hate it, they can ask for their money back.

Good luck!

Reply

4 FI FighterNo Gravatar November 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Sam,

Sounds like a very clever initiative you took there. If the system won’t treat you right, find a way to beat them at their own game!

I’m still too many years out to be thinking about such a thing (although I daydream frequently about it). Sadly, most of my co-workers are too invested in the rat race game, and wouldn’t want to unplug themselves from the Matrix, even if you offered to do it for them.

I may have to get a copy when my time comes. Hopefully sooner than later.

Cheers!

Reply

5 The Keichi OneNo Gravatar November 17, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Great words and great observations. I know many Japanese clients that get sent overseas to work for many years. All of them before their transfers become very nervous and incredibly stressed out. They worry about their English, their families, their homes, etc. It’s very difficult to uproot and start again in a foreign land. I hope your colleague can find a bit of time for reflection, relaxing, and peace after this event.

Reply

6 FI FighterNo Gravatar November 18, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Keichi,

It’s unfortunate that work has to cause someone so much anxiety. It definitely isn’t easy to have to uproot a family from a familiar place and try and start a new somewhere else, especially when you don’t already have a strong grasp of the language. There’s just too much learning you have to do, which adds extra stress and pressure.

I would think that these type of people would be the best candidates for FI. Thanks. I also wish the best for my co-worker. I hope he will learn to take things a little bit easier next time around. No job should come at the expense of your health. period.

Reply

7 KK @ Student Debt SurvivorNo Gravatar November 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Oh boy. sorry to here about your co-worker. These days it seems that nobody is “safe”. Posts like these give me more inspiration to continue working towards ways I can be financially independent.

Reply

8 FI FighterNo Gravatar November 19, 2012 at 7:16 am

KK,

Yeah, it’s definitely been rough this past year. Not only at my current company, but all across the industry. It really does feel like nobody is “safe” these days.

Glad you found some inspiration in the post. Events like these really do motivate me even more to achieve FI. I’ve seen the alternative, and it’s something I never want to have to experience first hand. The writing is on the wall, and they’re basically telling me, “if we don’t get you this time around, it’s only a matter of time before it’s your turn”.

Best wishes!

Reply

9 Dividend MantraNo Gravatar November 18, 2012 at 2:53 pm

FI Fighter,

Just another anecdote to reinforce why your journey to financial independence is so important. To rely on someone else for your financial security can be really frustrating, and downright heartbreaking at times. Knowing that you will be able to keep a roof over your head and food in your belly no matter what some employer does is a wonderful feeling!

Best wishes.

Reply

10 FI FighterNo Gravatar November 19, 2012 at 7:25 am

DM,

I definitely agree. Relying on a sole entity to provide you financial security is really just putting all your eggs into one basket.

It’s funny, but most employees don’t realize this. They give others so much flak for investing in “risky assets”, but don’t see how they are putting themselves at risk by investing 100% into a single company that can kick you to the curb anytime they deem you expendable.

FI is a great path for anyone who wants to control their own fate. Once your future is secure, why would you need to put up with any form of abuse? The power of choice will help eliminate any unnecessary stress and anxiety.

Take care!

Reply

11 Dividend Growth MachineNo Gravatar November 19, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Yikes, that is indeed a shocking story, and it definitely makes one take a hard look at life. As you and others have mentioned, it also highlights the attraction of seeking financial independence through investing. Best wishes and hopefully that’s the end of the layoffs!

Reply

12 FI FighterNo Gravatar November 20, 2012 at 8:11 am

DGM,

Good to hear from you! Hoping all your work related travels are going well.

Sadly, rumors are already swirling in full force that Round 3 will take place either by the end of this year or early next quarter. How’s that for news just before the winter holidays 😉

Take care!

Reply

13 DavidNo Gravatar November 21, 2012 at 6:11 pm

I think this underscores why having job skills is more important than having a ‘job’. If I lost my job today, I could take a menial labor job making 10 bucks an hour and pay my bills, or I could go back to truck driving and make as much if not more than I do now. Its important to always have a backup plan. One thing I hear all the time at work is, ‘Boy, if I didnt have this job, I dont know what I’d do.’ This is a terrible predicament to be in. You should always know your next move. As for your co-worker, my GF is Asian, and I know from experience they take things like their jobs and supporting their families very, very seriously, so I can easily imagine someone of that background feinting at the news of losing their job. Very sad, hope he is ok.

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14 FI FighterNo Gravatar November 21, 2012 at 11:37 pm

David,

Very good point you make there about building up job skills. A job is only good until they decide they don’t want you anymore. If you invest in your skills, you will have a toolbox full of useful gadgets at your disposal.

I’ve often found that the most indispensable people are the ones least afraid of being laid off. Why? Because these people know their own value and know that if they lose their jobs today, they can easily go and find another one tomorrow.

My co-worker, and others who operate under fear and pressure are going about it all wrong. You have to make the company fear you, not the other way around. Of course this is easier said than done, but until you reach that point, that should be your main focus. It doesn’t benefit anyone to waste time and effort worrying about ‘what if’ scenarios. Use that time to build up unique skills that will help you stand out. Then you’ll wield all the power. And it’s always better to have power on your side.

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