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Passed Over Again for the Ultimate Promotion
Old 01-27-2013, 05:13 AM   #1
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Passed Over Again for the Ultimate Promotion

With the start of the New Year here at megacorp we just had our annual round of layoffs. Several people I know were given the severance package of a years salary and healthcare. Ironically most were over 55 years old. At 56 going on 57 I expected a voluntary offering at any time. Now it looks like they're going the route of picking and choosing.

My ideal plan would involve such a deal and I've been pretty careful not to tip my hand. So careful in fact that I don't see it coming at all. I told my boss I needed to take some time off because I'm burned out ( not really). He replyed "no problem you've been working way too hard. When you come back take it easy".

I could go complete slacker but really wouldn't want it to end like that. Oh, well if that's all I have to complain about life's been pretty darn good. Thanks for listening
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:17 AM   #2
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One year's salary and healthcare benefits are not too bad as severance.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:28 AM   #3
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Yeah, it would be a heck of a career ending bonus. However it doesn't come around too often. Last time I remember guys waiting 4-5 years for the next voluntary severance. I don't plan on doing that-but if it did fall into my timeframe, which is anytime, I'd be first in line.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:41 AM   #4
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I suppose such offers only happen in companies with real pension plans, eh?
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:50 PM   #5
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I suppose such offers only happen in companies with real pension plans, eh?
The pension plan went away back in '90 so it's just been the 401k. But despite the criticism the plan really worked well, for the last 30 years anyway.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:21 PM   #6
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Okay so then you're saying that there's hope that once we get gobbled up by our new owners they might make it worth my while to step back early.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:23 PM   #7
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With the start of the New Year here at megacorp we just had our annual round of layoffs. Several people I know were given the severance package of a years salary and healthcare. Ironically most were over 55 years old. At 56 going on 57 I expected a voluntary offering at any time. Now it looks like they're going the route of picking and choosing.
I think companies have found with voluntary severance, the megacorp loses control over who takes/doesn't take that option, and they find they generally lose some of their best workers that way.

Megacorps today would rather use layoffs as a way to surgically eliminate (what they view to be) under-performers. Too bad that strategy doesn't seem to be applied directly to the executive suites, where it can probably do the most good.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:51 PM   #8
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I think companies have found with voluntary severance, the megacorp loses control over who takes/doesn't take that option, and they find they generally lose some of their best workers that way.

Megacorps today would rather use layoffs as a way to surgically eliminate (what they view to be) under-performers. Too bad that strategy doesn't seem to be applied directly to the executive suites, where it can probably do the most good.
I agree. At my megacorp, back in 2011 the bean counters floated an idea for a voluntary severance package for anyone eligible for retirement who was still eligible for pensions. According to friends who are execs, this got escalated to the CEO's office to stop it, as the line execs all said it would decimate some of the most profitable divisions, and some of the key folks to leave would likely be recruited by competitors.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:58 PM   #9
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Sorry if this is taking the thread in a slightly different direction, but here but I thought this article was interesting on Yahoo's approach to reducing its workforce, and why they don't plan to offer voluntary severance: Marissa Mayer's Plan To Shrink Yahoo Terrible, Says Top Tech Industry Brain - Business Insider
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:18 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replys. I believe your observations are spot on when it comes to the current situation. Each dept has forced rankings -thanks Jack Welch/GE, and it appears that those selected, notice I didn't say bottom performers, are disposed of. Then there's a separate group, neither high performers or stuck in the bottom, who simply get the work done. On one end are young and agressive go getters and on the other, experienced people who can get the job done in their sleep. Most of these people have a great deal of pride and will work very hard for the company.
Much as I try I can not back off sufficiently in my efforts. No matter how grumpy I act management always knows that my peers and I will be there to make them look good. It's a mental thing with me that some are getting a sweet heart deal that I suspect I'll never get. But I really should be grateful for the job I've had and the fact I'm in the position to RE on my own.
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:49 PM   #11
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My former Megacorp is going through more layoffs - I ERd in 2010 voluntarily (no package) and saved someone's job at that time so it just keeps on going. This time it is a consultant-driven process and the folks being cut are not "bottom of the barrel" in any way but they don't fit the "profile" of who the consultants want to keep. I personally know 4 people I used to work with who were laid off in the past month and I would have never expected any of them to even be considered in a rational layoff process.

So for those of you still out there w*rking in management, please don't consider folks who've been laid off recently as damaged goods of some kind. There are some terrific people out there.
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:57 PM   #12
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This time it is a consultant-driven process and the folks being cut are not "bottom of the barrel" in any way but they don't fit the "profile" of who the consultants want to keep. I personally know 4 people I used to work with who were laid off in the past month and I would have never expected any of them to even be considered in a rational layoff process.
Yes, that is the exact problem with the approach. It basically turns layoffs into random sniper attacks. Many times the affected people are good performers but politically fell out of favor for whatever reason, and no longer fit 'the profile' of who management wants to keep. The problem is, instead of going through the process of documenting what about a person's performance is not up to par, then terminating them with cause, these random layoffs become an easy, no-muss, no-fuss way to get rid of people who the bosses don't like, justified or not.

Basically its a way they get around their own policies/processes/employment law for terminating people with cause.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:45 PM   #13
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With the start of the New Year here at megacorp we just had our annual round of layoffs. Several people I know were given the severance package of a years salary and healthcare. Ironically most were over 55 years old. At 56 going on 57 I expected a voluntary offering at any time. Now it looks like they're going the route of picking and choosing.

My ideal plan would involve such a deal and I've been pretty careful not to tip my hand. So careful in fact that I don't see it coming at all. I told my boss I needed to take some time off because I'm burned out ( not really). He replyed "no problem you've been working way too hard. When you come back take it easy".

I could go complete slacker but really wouldn't want it to end like that. Oh, well if that's all I have to complain about life's been pretty darn good. Thanks for listening
That's just what I got when MegaCorp booted my sorry ass out at the age of 58. One year of pay and one year of medical/dental coverage. And, of course, I collected unemployment benefits since I had been "laid off."

I probably would have worked a couple more years before resigning to begin FIRE so this was slightly premature. But, it was close enough, especially with the severance pay. I did a half-hearted job search and over time began to think of myself as retired instead of unemployed. That was almost 7 years ago! It's been good!

Being laid off with a severance package is definitely superior to resigning or retiring if the timing is closing enough. And today's lengthly and generous unemployment benefits would be icing on the cake.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:00 PM   #14
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So for those of you still out there w*rking in management, please don't consider folks who've been laid off recently as damaged goods of some kind. There are some terrific people out there.
I've done literally dozens of recommendations and references for terrific folks who were on my team but, like me, were laid off when MegaCorp moved manufacturing offshore. It was almost a part time job for the first few months with my phone ringing multiple times per week. Now, years after we all got axed, not so much. Fortunately, most everyone that wanted/needed to work is working again.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:40 PM   #15
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There is some irony in Megacorps offering only sweet severance packages to the weakest contributors while the critical core continue to toil with no hope of significant performance bonus & threat of no severance in future lay off. Seen too many friends & relatives in later category get scr#wed in the end. In today's world seems like you need to jump in the ER lifeboat when it's offered- where emotionally ready for it or not.

BTW- youbet you were lucky to draw unemployment after lay off with severance. Many locales do not allow that any more, but count value of severance against any possible UEB's (e.g. counting it as pay vs retirement benefit).
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:45 AM   #16
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Yes, that is the exact problem with the approach. It basically turns layoffs into random sniper attacks. Many times the affected people are good performers but politically fell out of favor for whatever reason, and no longer fit 'the profile' of who management wants to keep. The problem is, instead of going through the process of documenting what about a person's performance is not up to par, then terminating them with cause, these random layoffs become an easy, no-muss, no-fuss way to get rid of people who the bosses don't like, justified or not.

Basically its a way they get around their own policies/processes/employment law for terminating people with cause.
This is what happened to me 4 years ago during the recession - whole department was whacked. It was a good thing though as after 21 years I was ready to do something different and the year's pay + benefits was a welcome parting gift.

Now after 3+ years doing real estate I've built a nice low-key business and also bought a bunch of rental properties that will be a primary income provider during ER.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:16 PM   #17
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My company had 3 layoff in the past 5 years. My division shrinked from about 75 people to 40 people.

I honestly wouldn't mind getting "whacked" and get 1 year off. Working 15 years straight is burning me out.

Another division was recently bought out and the people that were "whacked" were given a 1 year servance. Surprisingly, most people were very happy they got "whacked."
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:47 PM   #18
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Surprisingly, most people were very happy they got "whacked."
Being 6 - 18 months away from RE, getting whacked right now would leave me dancing in the streets. They have no clue of course, but I have left a few hints in case it helps
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:58 AM   #19
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Being 6 - 18 months away from RE, getting whacked right now would leave me dancing in the streets. They have no clue of course, but I have left a few hints in case it helps
Sometimes I just wish these packages weren't limited by age. I mean, if I want to volunteer to be whacked at 47, why can't I? If I'm ready to move on, if I'm close to FI, and if it saves a job for someone who needs it a lot more than I do, why not? Oh yeah, because Megacorp wants to get rid of the people of *their* choice, and they want to get rid of people with higher health care costs...
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