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I wrote something similar to jps in an email as I am about to write here, before coming here to read this post. So, I'll repeat some of the same things.

I am torn on this issue. I fully agree that it would be good to hear words from those high up in the organization. It helps to bring closure, and it helps everyone to feel like there is some humanity at the top.

However, silence does not in turn imply inhumanity. Based on my own startup experiences, as well as having family members in executive positions, I suspect that TMF probably hired an outside firm to assist them with the layoffs. Like most startups, TMF has never had to do this before, and likely sought help in order to do it "right."

These firms write the game plan, and the company is expected to follow it to the letter. Layoffs to be done on Thursday, as is most common in the industry. These employees to report to this conference room, to be spoken to by these managers. The executives' words are scripted and read verbatim from the card. During the meeting, all employee passwords are disabled (never know who shared with whom, so everyone is cut off, and only some are reactivated). Security cards are cut off. If tactful, the non-laid-off employees are sent home, to let those who were laid off pack their desks in quiet dignity.

One of the more common parts of the game plan is that no executives are allowed to say anything that is not preprinted on their cards. I've been told that something as simple as "I'm sorry" can be used as grounds in a lawsuit against a company. In addition, emotions are at a volatile point, and even a simple "I'm sorry" can provoke heated exchanges. So, those left to administer the layoffs must sit in a stony silence, unable to express the humanity they certainly feel.

It absolutely sucks, both as the layoff-ee and the layoff-er, but the outplacement consultants are usually quite strict about this. So, I can understand rationally why nothing has been said, even if I want emotionally to hear it.

However, I agree with the sentiment here. It would have been nice to have that outplacement service draft even a short note to be placed on the home page. In a community built for the Foolish, by the Foolish, everyone shares the anguish, and wants to know if the executioner has humanity.

Here's hoping that the silence ends soon,
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