Outstanding review, but you’re still out of here
Looking back on it now I know things could have been handled much better than they were. I had worked for a midsized software company, which was recently acquired by another midsized company. I had been with the original company for 6-7 years, and had risen quickly through the various levels of my profession.
I was called on Monday and told that we would be going over my review on Wednesday. I had scored well, in fact I had gotten a 4.3 out of a possible 5, which was almost unheard of at my company. In fact my company had an unwritten rule that NO ONE was to get above a 3.5 on their reviews. This was something that several managers had become upset about, because it forced them to “grade on a curve”, which didn’t exactly sit well with their employees.
On the morning of my review I called my boss and began by telling him about some of the issues I had fixed, and some which were on their way to being fixed. It was then he said the words that both shocked me and angered me all within the span of a second. “I hate to say this, but I’m going to have to let you go.” I must have gone through all of the stages of grief within seconds. I began by asking if this was a joke (denial). Once I had confirmed that I had hear correctly I asked “How, why? I’ve closed more bugs than I was assigned for this release (I am a software developer), you gave me a 4.3 on my review.” I then asked if I could possibly join another development team, but as I found out most of those had suffered losses as well.
After finding out that this was for real and that life as I knew it was suddenly about to change, I was told that I had until Friday to return my equipment, and clean out my office.
I cannot begin to describe the cold, detached way in which my removal was described. I was to report into the office on Friday, with my laptop, and any other company provided equipment, clean out my desk, sign my termination papers and leave immediately. It was as if I was speaking to a completely different person then the boss I had come to admire. What made things worse was when I was informed that, per company policy, management unable to give me a letter of recommendation. I could not ask my present or any previous supervisors for any kind of letter detailing my work ethics, or performance.
Several days passed, and I was called by HR because there had been an error in my termination papers. Apparently they had miscalculated my severance pay, and I would be receiving about $3000 less than I had expected. I was asked to resign the new termination papers and send them back in to the company. When I objected I was informed that my check would not be sent until the newly signed papers had been received by HR.
In truth this batch of layoffs, as well as the one just 3 months later, did not need to happen, the company continues to report great numbers in this poor economy, and is still growing strong. The reason for the layoffs; greed plain and simple. You see, I like all of the people let go did not get my bonus for the previous year’s hard work.
This post was submitted by Michael Diaz.