You’re safe, lay-offs aren’t in our culture.

I worked for a pharmaceutical advertising agency for nearly 2 years. My boss was an imbecile who was not qualified for the position he held. Every person he managed (about 5 of us) were more experienced and intelligent about the business that he was, and he knew it. He therefore would react negatively to all of us whenever we did something that got us praise or positive attention for senior management or our clients. Several of us went to complain about him, but nothing happened. The clients even complained about this guy being unfit for his position, but still nothing happened to him.

I finally got switched to a new team (and boss), but the new team’s funding ran out when a client’s product didn’t pass FDA approvals when they thought it would. I came into work every single day for weeks on end, with nothing to do, day after day. I began to get really worried about my job security in this economy, so I went to the head of my department and told him about my concerns (particularly in light of the fact that my wife was several months along in her pregnancy). He smiled and assured me I was a great employee and that I had nothing to worry about. He said “You’re safe, lay-offs just aren’t in our agency culture. We don’t do that to our people here.” I left his office feeling confident that I had nothing more to worry about and that work would get busy again and I’d be back at it. My wife went into labor a few months later and I took a few days off to be with her and the baby.

When I returned to the office, I was called into HR where they told me I was being laid-off. I was escorted to my desk and told to pack whatever I could. They gave me 3 weeks of severance and said “See ya!” I’ve now been unemployed for nearly 2 months and have not been able to find anything. I am a full-time stay-at-home house dad and watching my savings deteriorate by the day. Unemployment is a complete joke. Going from making over $100K/year to just over $22K/year is laughable. Your bills don’t change, but your income certainly does. I guess the lesson I took from this is that even if the top dog at your firm looks you in the eye and tells you that you have nothing to worry about in terms of job security, don’t take that as gospel…it’s not.

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This post was submitted by Adam.

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