Have you ever been laid off?


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Jun 12, 2013
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Well I haven't.

That is until about 2 months ago.

I was a site coordinator for a county transit facility (decided to remove specific agency) in the maintenance division. I kept track of inventory, took care of my crew and maintained the tools. Pretty low key, paid well enough to support my family of Four. The medical benefits were exceptional.

I was in a nice air conditioned garage, big desk, easy paperwork. We would BBQ every friday. Street tacos, steaks, jerk chicken.
Home cooked meals anytime the shop had some downtime.

It really wasn't a bad gig for a 23 year old college dropout... At least while I waited for my wife to finish up pre-med.

Then... I was let go

But now... I stare at this panel all day, making sure it doesn't beep!


I also get paid a fraction of what I made previously.

Also, I'm hungry as hell.
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Yep. 10 years with the same company. They found out my wife was looking for jobs in another state and decided they didn't want to risk paying unemployment. They lied about a bunch of stuff and that was that.
Yes, once. After being with the same company for 12 years. It's a lousy feeling but one you can get past. They can take away your position but they can't take away the fact that you are now experienced in that position. Use that, build on it. Every industrial facility has a maintenance division so get in the door, any door, and start working your way back up. Make yourself indispensable so next time it's someone else that goes and not you.

Keep one thing in mind though: There really is only ONE person who can make this situation better and that's you. Your family and friends will try and help but if you sit around and do nothing then there's nothing they can do to help. The rest of the world is callous and doesn't care. If you decide to wait for something to come to you then it probably isn't. If you decide to say, "HELL NO! This isn't happening to me!" then you can fix it.
Oh yeah, 3 times.

13 years in computer mainframe peripheral service working my way up from front line technician to tech support to manageemnt (that was my mistake I should have stayed in technical). The company went into Chapter 11 in US and I was there through the restructuring and when they came out of Chapter 11 in the US then they hit Canada and the taxis were lined up out front one Wed morning as the layoffs were in full swing. I was layed off. Since then the company was sold, merged and no longer exists. How the mighty have fallen.

Stints at a financial quote service company as a national service and help desk manager followed. Then at a PC and Server VAR managing the depot service and integration department for corporate customers. Layoffs both time. Sometimes I took 20K or more in salary cuts to get back into the work force.

Management is not the place to be. When I was layed off the last time I was out for 15 months. I finally made it back into field support and have been with my curent company in POS hardware and software for 17 years, working my way into a second level tech support position and staying there. Once again I took another deep pay cut again to get back into the work force, but now after all this time salary is at an all time high and the best part is I am old enough I will never have to job hunt again.

I remember when I got the job at the financial quote provider I asked the HR person how many applications they had received for the managment job I was hired for. The answer was over 400. I hated the job search process.

At one time the company I am with now was part of a large PC and printer conglomerate company. We were left alone as our own division and then sold off so we were OK. I felt sorry for the people there though. They were hired out of university and many had been there for 10, 20 or more years. They had been doing the same job and never had layoffs. It was a culture you worked there forever, having been purchased and brought in we were never part of the family and the culture was quite snobbish. We didnt care we have a get the job done whatever it takes attitude. The culture three was I do my job/ not my job. We didnt really fit and and were sold off a few years later. During our time there the bubble burst and layoffs were happening to the parent company core staff. I would talk to them and many had the deer in the headlight look. They only knew their job and that corporate culture. They had no idea about business outside their company or how they would find a job once out of their sheltered environment. It was very sad. I was glad I had kept my technical skills up during my time in management just in case.
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Last time I was laid off, it was right after the company had just complete the largest job they ever undertook. I was the foreman on site, and the job was completed on time, under budget and with no warranty work required.

Guess I should have screwed something up on purpose.

I was planning on hanging out my own shingle anyway, so it was just an excuse to do so a bit earlier than planned. I could never go back working for someone else now. I do the exact same things I did before, but now I enjoy not having 8 layers of management above me screaming and bitching and complaining.

Oh, and revenge is sweet... the first job I did on my own I was bidding against my old employer!
I can remember 4 that stand out in my memory, all of which were unexpected and traumatic.
Have you ever been laid off?
Yes. Every time someone uses something like 19dollarlogos instead of working with a real designer.

Years ago my wife and I lost our jobs on the same day. I ended up in a better position at a better ad agency with more pay. She ended up with the same company, but in the international division; a move that enabled her to ultimately accept a top level position at another company and become one of the top people in her industry.
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Once. but I called it retired and never looked back.
Too many times to count, but it was the nature of the business I was in, so it was never a shock or anything like that.

A company would get a contract to build a network somewhere, hire me and a bunch of other people to engineer and build it, we'd do so, and as the project winds down and various tasks on it are completed those who did those tasks are laid off for lack of work, and move on to another project with another company who's gotten a contract to start up another project somewhere. Some projects took a few months, others took a few to several years.

It put me on this journey of 33 years in the business:


Every night and weekend for 33 years, I was on vacation and exploring someplace I'd never been before, and it was a total blast.
Wow I truly didn't expect much response... These stories really did help with the processing and planning, some of you have really been hurt as much and more than I have. I literally have been in hate mode for months, forgetting the big picture and moving on. For some reason knowing what to do next has been hard, especially trying to gauge and decrypt today's industry, it's a really insecure feeling..especially with two little mouths to feed. I have been bouncing around the idea of returning to school and vastly switching directions towards a more computer/technology enriched environment, my first love and passion. I don't know if it's the right choice, but I'm going for it. I guess the only thing I have to lose is this crap security job at this snobby hotel.

Fun fact: I did see Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley today. They are in town for a golf tourney.

Sent from my iPhone
Your comment on going back to school reminded me of layoff number 4, actually the first one, which I forgot, so long ago. This will date me. I started marking the old chalk boards on the Toornto Stock Exchange and worked my way up through securities courses to a brokerage house trader on the floor of the exchange. During this time I saw the first computer aided trading system come in and shortly after that I was layed off. I didnt know what to do. I thought Ok, I lost my job to an early computer so I went back to school and got accredited as an electronic technologist. A total change in direction. It got me my first field tech job in the computer mainframe service business. I have to say I rarely if ever used the electonics I learned after graduation, but it did open the door to get me that first job in technology. I found it was the troubleshooting thought process that is the transferable skill that has served me well through the past 40+ years.
yep a few times... First time was with a company I worked for part time throughout college then relocated to the other side of the country only to be laid off 10 months later. That began 2 years of unemployment.... it was a dream job to have as a young engineer.
Twice for me, too. Both times completely unexpected and unwarranted, both times after 5 years on the job, and both times turned out to be a blessing.

The second time was eight years ago. That one was particularly unexpected, and was basically a very politically-charged move. They hired the live-in "special friend" of the secretary of one of the board members and then had the nerve to ask ME to train the person. :lmao:

What made that one especially bad was that my dad had passed away just about two months prior to that, and then a month later, I lost the home I was renting--not because of financial issues, but because the church it belonged to (I was basically sub-letting it from the youth minister. I had no connection with the church whatsoever) laid off the youth minister and reclaimed possession of the house, gave me less than a month to find something else and move 10 years worth of stuff out.

But that turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me, job-wise. 1) I ended up having to live with my mother for three months. Not ideal, especially since I had two teenagers, and her house was just about big enough for two people...but good because she'd just lost her husband of 54 years, so the company was good for her.
2) I really had grown to hate that job. Well, not the job itself, but the way my boss was acting and the way the whole thing had become so political. I don't DO politics well, and I don't really care to try. I *knew* I needed another job that wasn't going to cause ulcers, and had even put out a few feelers, but ultimately, I was still there because it was the "easy" thing to do. Suddenly, with no choice BUT to find another job, I had to dig in.
The job I found wasn't something I really had that much experience with--I'm actually still amazed they hired me! I knew how to do ONE small part of the job; the editorial stuff, but otherwise I was completely over my head. But eight years later, not only am I still there, I've been able to turn the job into something I love. Over time, I successfully talked my boss into doling out the parts of my job I hated to other departments (because they were aspects of the job that were really better suited to those departments anyway) and at the same time, took on responsibility for other duties that weren't really being done at the time, and then eventually had to take over the graphics "department" (one person) when that person was laid off (because they were mean AND crazy, and had a special vendetta against my boss, a bad combination!). So now, I do the editing, graphics, photography and social media--a custom-made job! This job can ALSO be highly politically-charged, but I have a great boss, and she knows how much I hate the politics and refuse to engage in it, and she keeps me pretty well removed from any meetings, etc. where politics matter. If she ever leaves, I may be up a creek...

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