Mar 2 2011

Fired at Home In Front of My Baby…

I was executive management. I knew lay offs were being discussed as a possibility, so I asked the CEO and President of the Board if my job was in jeopardy. I was told “No, you’re too important” and “don’t worry about it.” I asked about my staff and was told my department was too small to lose anyone. A month later, I had a budget meeting and was told that there was no place in our budget to make additional cuts (I cut every expense I could without cutting people).

The employees were told that they had to vote for an enhanced retirement package, and that if that package passed, there would be no layoffs. The last day of the vote, once everyone had voted and the package passed, layoffs happened.

That day, I took a lunch break (I normally worked through lunch which gave me 12 hour work days), but my husband had a doctor’s appointment, so I went home to watch our baby. I had just nursed the baby when the doorbell rang. I put the baby down and checked the peephole. It was the HR Director, and the HR manager and the Director was holding an envelope. (wow, my heart is pounding as I type this). I opened the door. My baby was literally crawling at my feet. The HR Director handed me the envelope and told me I was being let go.

“What did I do wrong?” I asked. I swear, I could hear my blood pounding in my ears.

“Nothing, it’s all in the letter.” was all he would say. I kept asking if it was something I did, and he just kept referring to the letter.

I opened it and scanned the letter, but it was all hazy. I was told that I was not to come back to work. I asked if I could pick up my things, and was told yes.

When my husband got home shortly after, (he was at a pre-surgery check as he was having a pacemaker put in next week), I went to work and packed up my office. I had a lot of stuff. Management books, binders of information that belonged to me, some personal items. It was humiliating. No one in my department said a word to me.

I later found out that everyone else had been called into the CEO’s office in one group and laid off all together–even the other executive managers who were let go. I think being laid off in your own home is worse–especially when your baby is crawling at your feet and your husband is about to have an expensive surgery.

The worst part is having to suck up still so I keep a good reference while I look for work. It also sucks that although I was executive management, I didn’t make a lot of money (less than six figures even with benefits)–and I live in an expensive part of the country (2 bdrm home is $400k).

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This post was submitted by Leslie Morrison.