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OK, for those stating that they thought the Fool was unprofessional in their layoffs:

It seems our next round of layoffs have begun at my company. Nothing, and I mean nothing, has been organized about this. Some people were laid off yesterday, some are going to be today. More are suspected next week. There is no coordination between departments, or even within. It is almost as if people are being laid off based on what order the firers run into the firees in the hallway.

A guy in my department was laid off last night. Via the phone. He had days off planned today and Monday, so they must have figured they needed to get the deed over with right away. Forget the fact that he was in during normal hours yesterday, and they could have spoken to him face-to-face then. Oh, and the reason he had a day off scheduled today? He's having some surgery done for some skin cancer. Nice of them to make sure they canned him in time for that.

The past few weeks have been a scramble of fear. The juxtaposition of this company and of Survivor II is fascinating. Departments and executives forging alliances, hoping to find an ally, any ally, who can help them survive the next vote off the corporate island.

In my case, I actually believe I may come out of this with my job intact. (I wouldn't have thought it possible a month ago, but things continue to change.) Thing is, two VPs have both told me to look for a job anyway, because they don't think they company will be worth working for when all is said and done. Well, duh--I've been looking for several weeks now.

Three months ago, we were a vibrant workplace--the energy in the air was palpable. The hallways were alive, filled with people who had a spring in their step, who believed in our "mission", who had nearly fanatical devotion to the management at the top. Revenues were doubling every single quarter for the previous year. The number of employees had grown over 25 times in a year. Company meetings were exciting, because the growth and opportunity was incredible.

Today, those same hallways would be too depressing for a morgue. After the last layoffs, people would give a nervous "hi" in the hallway. Then this simply became the brief eye contact and a nod of the head. Today, people don't even make eye contact with one another, for one doesn't ever want to look in the eyes of a dead man--and no one knows if the dead man is you or the other person...or both.

Faith in our charismatic leader? Gone. The man who could do no wrong last fall suddenly garners nothing but hostility, even profanity, from nearly everyone. There is still faith in the company's mission, but not a single person who believes that the current management could ever fulfill that mission.

Punchline is this: There was some griping here about how the Fool handled their layoffs. They certainly didn't do a perfect job of it, but I do believe they at least attempted to do it right. The way my company is handling the latest round makes the Fool's efforts the acme of layoffs. Chaos and confusion is NOT the way to go about this.

Second punchline? You'd be amazed at how fast a company can fall apart once faith and morale are shattered. Three months. But I've already discussed that....

--WonderPup, still trying to figure out his employment status.
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