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Old 10-05-2013, 10:06 AM   #41
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Never been laid off. Went into the military at age 19 in 1977. Left active duty & began my federal career in 1981. I did work at an Air Force base in Austin,Texas for 15 yrs that was closed in '96, but I transferred to another base in Louisiana where I worked another 12 years before switching to a different federal agency.

Been with that one for over 5 years now, and am very near retirement. No layoffs, but I am currently a furloughed fed. I was also furloughed for 6 days a couple months ago. I guess in reality a fed furlough is the same as a layoff.

I didn't get any pay for the last one, and although I'm hearing rumors of retroactive pay this time, I'll believe it when I see it.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:23 AM   #42
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I respect your decision. Not sure when that was, but today that time off would be FMLA and your job protected.

MRG
That was in December of 1975. What I really found annoying was that about two weeks after the funeral they called and asked if I wanted my job back; I was so angry with them I told them where they could put their job. IN the end it worked out well for me; I wound up working for the Dept of Defense at an Air Force Station close to my home town and that gave me a very nice retirement pension.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:28 AM   #43
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I've had a few cases of involuntary severance:

First was from a job at a hardware store I had when I was in college. I did something incredibly stupid and shameful. Some fellow employees and I hated the owner (who was an a-hole, but that's no excuse for what we did), so we stole some things from the store, got caught, and were all fired. Thankfully, the owner didn't involve the police. This was a huge wake-up call, and a life lesson. Years later, I was back home visiting my Mom, and saw on TV where one of my coworkers (who also took part in all this, and was fired) received a life sentence in prison for murdering two people. I remember thinking, "There but for the grace of God, go I." Did stealing things from a hardware store start the journey down some dark path? Who knows, but I feel blessed to have gotten the message early, and never did anything like that ever again.

Second was from the first Silicon Valley startup I was at, which went under.

Third was from the second Silicon Valley startup I was at, which also went under.

All other job changes were the result of me firing my employer.
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Old 10-05-2013, 11:23 AM   #44
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Never laid off, never quit without a job or school lined up. Till I ERed.

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That's me also. I was always scoping or preparing for new options.
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:23 PM   #45
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Still at the same job I started at 17.... I'm 41 now. ER'ing next year.
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:40 PM   #46
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Only once, from an office job in 1978 when they closed my department. DH was working and we were living cheap so we weren't desperate or even close to it. I got unemployment insurance for maybe 2 weeks before I found something else.

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Still at the same job I started at 17.... I'm 41 now. ER'ing next year.
Nice! Congratulations! What kind of job is it?
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:58 PM   #47
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Only once, from an office job in 1978 when they closed my department. DH was working and we were living cheap so we weren't desperate or even close to it. I got unemployment insurance for maybe 2 weeks before I found something else.



Nice! Congratulations! What kind of job is it?
Civil construction. Sooooo ready to do something else... and good bye to the 5 am alarm clock forever (unless I want to get up early for a nice sunrise, coffee in hand).
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Old 10-05-2013, 05:31 PM   #48
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1st job I was fired (age 16), was laid off from 2nd job out of college. The company went broke 6-12 months later.
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Old 10-06-2013, 01:14 AM   #49
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Thankfully, I've only experienced this personally in a couple of stupid teenage jobs I got myself fired from. My favorite was when I working in a mid-west grocery store one absolutely dead day when just myself and another cashier were up front. I printed out about 50' of receipt tape and when the manager came up behind me we were singing along with the store song playing over the speakers and waving the tape around over a couple checkout lanes. Technically, he said "go home Chris" and I just never came back to confirm that I was fired, but it's a safe bet.

As I recently posted on another thread, but it's much better posted here, I've seen 9 layoff rounds in 7 years with megacorp. I didn't get cut in any of them, partly due to a big mistake I had made in 2008 and had to fix over most of 2009-2010. I honestly can't see why they kept paying me otherwise as my job is R&D and thus not immediately valuable. Talk about a blessing in disguise. I remember coming in several mornings and seeing adults (of both sexes) crying as they were being escorted out. I decided then to get FI so no corporation would have that much power over me. We're still about 2 years away from that, but the wife and I made sure we can live on the take-home from either of our jobs now as a stopgap. She wasn't working at the time so that was pretty stressful.

I'm still with the same company and the economic climate is much healthier now. I managed to maintain a fairly healthy positive outlook throughout most of it, but did that staggered layoff approach ever poison morale! Years later, at least 30-60 of those departed coworkers salaries have been wasted on "culture" programs and off-site resort meetings for middle-management. It's still pretty pessimistic at the main office (bay area). The wife and I moved to TX for her career so working remotely shelters me from all those bad vibes. I stay because I love my job and the pay and flexibility are too good to quit now.

Lots of people here seem to have escaped getting laid off much, which I'm surprised at. I figured a few times being dropped without notice while hearing some phony CEO blather on about how tough the decision was would have created this desire to FIRE. But, maybe it's just the constant level of stress created by the threat that does it? FI probably correlates with folks that are less likely to be downsized now that I think about it, so I suspect it's the latter one. Wouldn't that be ironic! Either way, I wouldn't be surprised if companies engineer a certain level of job threat perception to make people work harder for less pay.

So, did layoffs push anyone else into this FIRE mindset? Do we not owe our megacorps some thanks for the swift kick to the financial backside?
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Old 10-06-2013, 03:34 AM   #50
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None yet. I have only been working for 10 years. With that being said, I am now working for my third company.
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Old 10-06-2013, 06:05 AM   #51
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I figured a few times being dropped without notice while hearing some phony CEO blather on about how tough the decision was would have created this desire to FIRE.
My blood pressure just shot up 100 pts. Man, you hit a nerve. What absolute baloney.

The only time I didn't see this happen was at my Microcorp where the CEO was laid off first by the board of VCs. The interim CEO had nothing to say, all the blather was from the middle management, who clearly were told to say it by The Board and were indeed fearing for their own jobs too. (I quit 2 weeks after surviving this layoff, the company died about 18 months later.)

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So, did layoffs push anyone else into this FIRE mindset? Do we not owe our megacorps some thanks for the swift kick to the financial backside?
I never thought if it this way, but in retrospect, I think so! The way I looked at work, career, and my desire to grab hold of my own future changed in the early 90s when Megacorp1 went from a paternalistic culture to a vicious layoff machine.
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Old 10-06-2013, 06:50 AM   #52
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Laid off once and decided to call it ER - best thing that ever happened to me.
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Old 10-06-2013, 02:47 PM   #53
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So, did layoffs push anyone else into this FIRE mindset? Do we not owe our megacorps some thanks for the swift kick to the financial backside?
While my wife and I suffered only one layoff combined, we survived a frighteningly high number of RIFs over the past 13 years. So yes, the constant threat of layoff did motivate us to do some aggressive saving.
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:56 PM   #54
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So, did layoffs push anyone else into this FIRE mindset? Do we not owe our megacorps some thanks for the swift kick to the financial backside?
This is what helped the cause for me. I always had the desire to FIRE and was working towards it. However, my department was sold off to another company that needed some exposure in my region. It happened out of the blue and with no warning. It really opened my eyes that nothing is guaranteed and to not get comfortable.
I've since used that as motivation to FIRE as quickly as possible. I just turned 39 and my first step was to clean up the balance sheet and get rid of all debt. Only debt I have remaining is my mortgage, which I have refi'd to a minimal payment.
Now I'm crushing that payment and putting everything I can away for FIRE. I'm no longer a prisoner to my job, and FIRE is looking like a definite in the next 10years or so at the latest.
I could semi-retire and leave my job if I wanted to now. Not being a slave to a career is a good feeling to have. I want FIRE to be the next!
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:09 PM   #55
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I was laid off from my first job out of college. Defense industry collapsed. Company went from 400 people to about 7 a year later.

In my current job almost 19 years (although the corporate name has changed multiple times due to acquisitions, spin offs, mergers, splits, and more recently, my division was sold off to another company.)
In that 19 years I've survived 17 layoffs. Most have been in the last 7-8 years. We're anticipating another one this month... but that's just a rumor. (A rumor that has made it to The Layoff Discussion and to multiple sites around the company.)

After our last reorg the new VP of our group actually congratulated the team on having survived so many layoffs.

Good people have been let go. Sometimes it's entire departments let go because of business priorities changing.
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Old 10-07-2013, 03:01 PM   #56
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I have never been laid off so far in my 21 years of working (knock on wood).
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:23 PM   #57
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Volunteered to get laid off when I was ready to ER. Figured I could get a nice severance package and save somebody else's job (for a while) at the same time. Other than that, I was fired from a restaurant job in high school after the big "cooks vs. waitresses" strawberry pie and whip cream battle. I didn't really blame them for that one.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:37 AM   #58
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Never been laid off. I've ducked many layoffs from my Megacorps and my Microcorp.

Just ducked another at Megacorp recently. Like ziggy said in another thread, if it would have happened, I think I would have been relieved instead of mad. There were a lot of very bitter people walking around at Megacorp.

My usual case has been to get a new job after seeing a few layoffs. However, now in late career, I'm either going to finish and ER on my own at Megacorp, or wait for the tap on the shoulder and let Megacorp make the decision for me.
This is almost exactly where I am now except I am currently at Microcorp.

Sadly, by the time they get around to tapping me on the shoulder, there probably won't be any money left for severance. Frankly, I am hoping they have the cash on hand to pay out my accrued vacation.
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:19 PM   #59
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Seven, that I can recall. Most were back in the Rust Belt days in the midwest...
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:02 PM   #60
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The threat of layoffs, and having to lay off people definitely had a positive impact on our FIRE. It changed our outlook. We paid off our mortgage in record time, lived below our means, and saved. We also prioritized things. The car was not replaced for 17 years so that we could enjoy some great vacations. For us it started in the early 80's when there was a decline in the economy where we lived.

When 'my time' came, at 58, I was ready for them. We were financially independent and had selected counsel to assist in my termination settlement.
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