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Old 12-08-2008, 03:00 PM   #21
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Ziggy, I see a valuable career ahead of you as a freelance layoff-avoidance consultant.

You could align your interests with your customers by guaranteeing that if they follow your advice, then you'll let them pay your fee by giving you a percentage of their paychecks for the next six months... even if that percentage is from a "zero" paycheck.
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:34 PM   #22
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you are obviously a respected and valuable employee to keep on keepin' on. hats off to you and your employers for knowing quality when they see it!
Either that or he has great blackmail photos of the CEO and knows where the duplicate corporate books are buried.
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:36 PM   #23
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Congratulations on avoiding the lay off .
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Old 12-09-2008, 06:58 PM   #24
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Congrats Ziggy!

I hope I will celebrate with you soon... My wife's company has announced another round of layoffs for tomorrow (about 10% of the work will be handed out pink slips). It's going to be I think the 6th or 7th round for us since 2002. We survived all of them except one (and that one we couldn't dodge since the company shut down completely). Fingers crossed!

My wife survived the latest round of layoffs! Hopefully we won't have to deal with another RIF until 2010...

On a sad note lots of good people (many more than we expected) lost their job today. Really a crummy time to lose your job.
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:45 PM   #25
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Ziggy can now start a new business of selling layoff survival kits.
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:16 AM   #26
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My wife survived the latest round of layoffs! Hopefully we won't have to deal with another RIF until 2010...

On a sad note lots of good people (many more than we expected) lost their job today. Really a crummy time to lose your job.
That's good news. I associate the term RIF with gov't employment. Spouse was an overqualified and underpaid new hire in '04 and her agency initiated the RIF process a few months after she started. Considering the 'security' aspect being one of the benefits of gov't employment, I was surprised at the psycho-terror techniques.....they ran trial RIFs to 'scare' folks into taking the buyout (e.g. "If this RIF Notice was real....you would be canned!"). DW was safe since she was underpaid.
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:29 AM   #27
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That's good news. I associate the term RIF with gov't employment. Spouse was an overqualified and underpaid new hire in '04 and her agency initiated the RIF process a few months after she started. Considering the 'security' aspect being one of the benefits of gov't employment, I was surprised at the psycho-terror techniques.....they ran trial RIFs to 'scare' folks into taking the buyout (e.g. "If this RIF Notice was real....you would be canned!"). DW was safe since she was underpaid.
This has been a trend at my wife's company in the past few years. The higher the compensation, the higher the chance to get fired. So being underpaid sometimes has its benefits!
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:37 AM   #28
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The higher the compensation, the higher the chance to get fired.
Good.

At one place I have worked, they laid off the lowest worker in the department, the secretary. How much money they saved doing that, compared to firing a lousy, do-no-good engineer? And the funny thing is inside the department, if they took a vote on who that engineer would be, I was sure that a consensus if not a unanimous choice could be made.
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Old 12-10-2008, 05:33 AM   #29
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Its a horrible feeling to be watching the axe fall, wondering if yours is one of the heads it will take. But just so there is no doubt, it also feels extremely horrible to be the one who has to swing the axe. Just FYI. After a hard day of axe swinging, I could really use a dose of Dawg's medicine, but I don't drink...

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Old 12-10-2008, 08:28 AM   #30
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Congrats Ziggy!

I was laid off in the 80's and it only lasted a few months before I went back to work. Now I make help make decisions on layoffs. Getting the axe is much more difficult than swinging the axe. One of our last laid off workers died a few months later from a heart attack. Another went through a short semi-suicidal state.

Now I have the task of developing new markets that would increase revenues to the point where further layoffs can be avoided. Small companies will generally try almost anything to avoid losing people. But I don't see how a significant increase in revenue can be generated fast enough in this economy to offset the drain of excess payroll.
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:37 AM   #31
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Its a horrible feeling to be watching the axe fall, wondering if yours is one of the heads it will take. But just so there is no doubt, it also feels extremely horrible to be the one who has to swing the axe. Just FYI. After a hard day of axe swinging, I could really use a dose of Dawg's medicine, but I don't drink...
Oh, I know. Among other reasons, it's one of the main reasons why I consciously decided I never wanted to be in management. Even if I knew the layoff decisions weren't mine, I'm still the messenger who has to be the one to bear the news. I think I'd have trouble sleeping -- even more so than when I was worried about whether I'd get axed myself.

I'm happy with where I am now (to the extent I still have to w*rk) -- with no direct reports to deal with personnel matters, and as high up the ladder I can be until the next rung is management...
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:23 AM   #32
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they ran trial RIFs to 'scare' folks into taking the buyout (e.g. "If this RIF Notice was real....you would be canned!").
FWIW, many execs in the civil-service system aren't familiar with the "rules" for conducting a RIF. They can't let employees go at personal preference or, in some cases, even for documented underperformance-- they have to follow a system of eliminating billets and seniority considerations.

The system is so complex & confusing (let alone trying to explain it to the rank & file) that many execs choose to let the civil-service HR staffs take the heat by staging mock RIFs. It airs "the rules", educates everyone, and lets the execs understand the unintended consequences of their actions. Many a RIF has been halted in its tracks after the mock when an exec says "I didn't want that to happen"...

It also makes it easier for military department heads to "prove" to their chain of command why a RIF won't necessarily save money, even if the CO says it has to.

I think a mock RIF is more effective at promulgating the word than random lightning strikes-- or showing up early to ram through a report only to find that network access has been suspended in advance of the 8 AM announcement.
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:28 AM   #33
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Funny how the layoffs worked at my megacorp ... watched managers defend thier deadwood to the CEO because they were decade long friends - wives and kids knew each other. Then they can the young hard working kid ... the future of megacorp.

It was all who you know.
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:40 AM   #34
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Funny how the layoffs worked at my megacorp ... watched managers defend thier deadwood to the CEO because they were decade long friends - wives and kids knew each other. Then they can the young hard working kid ... the future of megacorp.

It was all who you know.
The deadwood I talked about earlier survived because of other reasons. The rumor was that, sensing his neck was on the block (very justifiably and fairly so), he threatened to sue for age discrimination. As he had 30 yr+ with the corp and was near retirement, they figured the legal cost, plus the bad publicity, outweighted the salary they would waste on him. This was a guy nobody wanted to give him anything to do, because he would mess it up and somebody had to redo it.

Well, I left that workplace a few years later, and when checked back, found that he stayed employed for another 7 or 8 years. Guess who walked off work with a big fat 7-figure 401k, and a pension of perhaps $3-4K/month?

I am telling you, life isn't fair!
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:45 AM   #35
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My pharma division was bought out 3 times in my 23+ year tenure. I survived each time - but, as mentioned, seeing so many good people/friends go is not fun. Congrats on making the cut...and keep saving!
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:07 AM   #36
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Reminds me that we used to joke that the deadwood had "30 years on the job and 5 years job experience."
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Old 12-10-2008, 04:51 PM   #37
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Today I survived my first megacorp layoff experience as one person in the dept. was let go. I sit near the manager's office and could hear parts of the conversation. More reason to save and become FI asap.
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Old 12-10-2008, 04:56 PM   #38
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Today I survived my first megacorp layoff experience as one person in the dept. was let go. I sit near the manager's office and could hear parts of the conversation. More reason to save and become FI asap.
And the sad thing is, layoffs encourage people to save money (in case they're next) which causes more businesses to struggle, which leads to more layoffs, which leads to... rinse, lather, repeat.

It's unfortunate that prudence dictates that we protect ourselves by pulling back on the spending, even as we know that if a critical mass of households do it, it will take the economy down even farther and make it even worse. It's an unfortunate Catch-22 situation with a dose of "tragedy of the commons" to boot.
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:54 PM   #39
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FWIW, many execs in the civil-service system aren't familiar with the "rules" for conducting a RIF. They can't let employees go at personal preference or, in some cases, even for documented underperformance-- they have to follow a system of eliminating billets and seniority considerations.

The system is so complex & confusing (let alone trying to explain it to the rank & file) that many execs choose to let the civil-service HR staffs take the heat by staging mock RIFs. It airs "the rules", educates everyone, and lets the execs understand the unintended consequences of their actions. Many a RIF has been halted in its tracks after the mock when an exec says "I didn't want that to happen"...

It also makes it easier for military department heads to "prove" to their chain of command why a RIF won't necessarily save money, even if the CO says it has to.

I think a mock RIF is more effective at promulgating the word than random lightning strikes-- or showing up early to ram through a report only to find that network access has been suspended in advance of the 8 AM announcement.
Thant's good, helpful insight Nords, but it seemed odd that the agency had just hired DW, yet they were overstaffed (top heavy, actually). The effect was to convince a few more folks to take a measly severance rather than risk losing thier job with out the (extra) severence.
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