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#74259 - 11/30/05 07:25 PM Re: Beyond the Corner Office
Dotsie Offline

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Ladies, this is our last day for this topic. Please speak up if you have any other issues you want to discuss.

#74260 - 11/30/05 07:50 PM Re: Beyond the Corner Office
smilinize Offline

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 3512
Loc: outer space
Because my area of the country has an agrcultural and energy economy, the great Depression didn't affect us as much as the oilbust of the early eighties. I owned a personnel agency during that terrible time.

I saw so many men who were simply devastated by the sudden loss of employment. There were no new jobs so I just listened while they talked. Eventually informal groups formed and met in my office. I began to write down what the men said. It became clear that they all went through the classic stages of grief.

Job loss was much less traumatic for women and several men outside my groups committed suicide though I never heard of any women doing so.

After a while some of the employers began meeting in my office also and I was surprised to discover they were going through a similar grief reaction. There were a few suicides among employers also though none in my groups.

I removed all the identifying information and took my records to a local university where I worked with psychologists and psychiatrists to develop a protocol for treating people who are suddenly unemployed or causing others to be.

We never came up with anything specific and there was almost nothing in the medical literature. It seems that someone should study that issue and develop methods of dealing with it, but the psychiatrists who were all men seemed almost afraid of it.

It was an interesting time.


#74261 - 12/01/05 08:47 AM Re: Beyond the Corner Office
jawjaw Offline
Da Queen

Registered: 07/02/03
Posts: 12025
Loc: Alabama
I found out that the man who laid me off, and 11 others who were six months shy of retirement as well, got an award for streamlining the company. The irony of it all is that in the same Company newsletter where he had his pic and award ceremony, was an article about me with a picture as well, and my accomplishments, and my book. He is also the one who told me the day he laid me off, "I feel your pain." Uh huh...sure. I could probably live a year off the bonus award he got.


#74262 - 11/30/05 09:54 PM Re: Beyond the Corner Office
smilinize Offline

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 3512
Loc: outer space
As a person who has had to lay people off, I can promise you it hurts. Probably not as badly as being laid off, but laying people off does hurt.

Sometimes companies have to be streamlined to survive and the person who delivers the news goes over what he will say to each person in his mind for weeks then he does it and tries to make it painless, but there is no way, and it remains a painful memory for months.

JJ, I understand what you are saying, and I'm sure that being laid off is worse, but laying people off does hurt too. The only way I could do it was to focus on those whose job survived because I cut other jobs.

Only because I had that personnel agency did I come to understand that it's a hard thing for everyone. And it's something to bear in mind when applying for a job where lay offs have occurred as well. Employers will do just about anything to avoid it.


#74263 - 11/30/05 11:03 PM Re: Beyond the Corner Office
jawjaw Offline
Da Queen

Registered: 07/02/03
Posts: 12025
Loc: Alabama
Smiles, one thing I enjoy about you is your perspective and keen eye for showing and helping others to understand that there is always two sides to everything. I couldn't agree more. In my case, I want to add that the same man who laid me off, could have laid off another NEW person who made half of what I did, and he knows, I know, because I was their "money" person. However, in streamlining, you cut from the top. In other words, the people who make the most moola... which was unfortunately, ME in this case.

Being a business person, I totally understand this type of action and what it does for the health of the company. However, and take it from someone who ONLY MEANS of support was this job (at the time), saying, "I feel your pain" when he doesn't... and he knows it, and I know it, was an insult and added to the injury. Its never happened to him, he's never walked in my shoes, so how could he? It would be like a man telling me he knew what it was like giving birth. Don't think so.

Everyone tells you not to take it personally but when it happens to you, human nature takes over and you do. Regardless. However, what you do AFTERWARDS is the important thing.

I chose to put my big girl panties on and deal with it, see it for what it was and move on. Turns out it was a blessing in disguise, and an answer to my long time running prayer, "God, will you help me get into position to write full time?" Well, guess what? He did. As I told a good friend, just today, I just wish HE had sent along a little extra moola in the process...

So yes, I'm sure there is some remorse and angst for the person who lays people off, I'm sure of it. And I think it is what it is... a business decision.

I hold no grudge, or even think about it unless something like this post comes up. And I hope if nothing else, someone will read this and know that what you do afterwards is what's really important. Move on... and upward!


[ November 30, 2005, 03:06 PM: Message edited by: jawjaw ]

#74264 - 12/01/05 01:50 AM Re: Beyond the Corner Office
Thistle Cove Farm Offline

Registered: 01/01/04
Posts: 678
Loc: Tazewell County, VA, USA
Cow's tail here checking in after months of being away.

As long as women know their places and stay there, glass ceilings don't exist.

It's a joke, 'kay? Although not a very funny one.

I, for one, am VERY, VERY, VERY happy to have left the corporate world behind as well as the manure for brains men I had to work and deal with.

Corporate America, in my not so humble opinion, is a major rape job and the victim is the family. I hated and detested working for men, and women too I'm sorry to report, who felt that more hours, more work, more production, more blood and sweat but, God Forbid No Tears, was what was demanded. And "if you couldn't do it, well then...maybe you should just find something else you could handle".

As an aside, I hope *that* particular man's daughter has had, in spades, what her daddy handed out to me for years. I hope everytime she goes home she has war stories to tell him that make him quiver in his polyester suits.

Yep, I work harder and get physically pushed around a lot more now...but I'm my own boss. If I get pushed around by one of my horses, I can take a riding crop to him/her...which doesn't happen often, btw. My animals are treated better than a lot of humans in this country and the animals reward me by behaving well and respectfully. If a horse steps on me and I want to cry...I'll have a good cry then wipe my tears on their manes.

I live by the rhythms of the earth...up with the light and to bed with the dark. It's a wonderful thing to lie in a cozy, warm bed with my knitting or a good book or just my thoughts and prayers before drifing into a restful, peaceful sleep. I actually think I became ill in late Aug/early Sep because my, natural to me, rhythms were totally skewed. I was working too hard at off the farm projects, not eating correctly, not drinking enough water, not living "right" and my body let me know it was *not* happy.

I'm grateful for my experiences, my jobs and my bosses...even the losers. I'm the person I am today because of the life I've lived, the jobs I've had and the people for whom I've worked. It took me a long time to realize that I didn't have to buy into everything the feminist movement was selling. It took me a long time to realize I could be "me", basically a good person and practicing Christian, and still be a loving, productive member of society with a lot to give without trashing people in the process.

When the time came for guts to leave the corporate workplace...I was more than ready. I left more than ten years ago and have never, ever looked back. I talk to my female friends who are still in corporate America and their stories curl my hair. I don't envy them, not one little bit. There are legions of women who have left the corporate workplace and we're managing just fine, thank you very much.

It's the journey *and* the hope of a destination that makes us who we are and allows us to become who we want to become. It's knowing money is a tool and it doesn't own us, we own it. It's knowing we can help someone else along the way and not lose any of ourselves in the process. It's knowing that if we lose ourselves, even a little piece of ourselves, then we've done ourselves, as well as the rest of humankind, a great disservice.


sorry about the tirade and I'll slink down off my soap box now.

thank you for letting me vent.

#74265 - 12/01/05 02:06 AM Re: Beyond the Corner Office
Carol K Offline

Registered: 11/07/05
Posts: 13

Thanks to all of you for your participation in this forum. I've enjoyed every minute of reading and writing. I've learned a lot. This last discussion on being let go really hit home for me, since it happened to me. While intellectually I accepted it, it was really tough to accept it emotionally. I think I'm just now really starting to heel.

Carol K

#74266 - 12/01/05 02:35 AM Re: Beyond the Corner Office
Dianne Offline
Queen of Shoes

Registered: 05/24/04
Posts: 6123
Loc: Arizona
I appreciate all the authors who answered the many questions on this thread. Great advice and wonderful compassion. Thank you.

JJ, my husband received a huge bonus when he finally got the company out of bankruptcy and got it sold. I understand how you feel though.

Coming in, he was promised this bonus, it was the only way he'd accept the job. Mostly, it was middle management that was let go. And, there was a lot of resentment too but this is what he does for a living. I can honestly say that no person who brought in the money was fired tho. So, I can understand how you feel about being let go. I think it sucks.

#74267 - 12/01/05 02:40 AM Re: Beyond the Corner Office
smilinize Offline

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 3512
Loc: outer space
Originally posted by jawjaw:
However, and take it from someone who ONLY MEANS of support was this job (at the time), saying, "I feel your pain" when he doesn't... and he knows it, and I know it, was an insult and added to the injury. Its never happened to him, he's never walked in my shoes, so how could he? It would be like a man telling me he knew what it was like giving birth. Don't think so.

JJ, Saying "I feel your pain" to someone who is being laid off is as crude as saying the same thing to someone whose loved one has just died. It's unfeeling and stupid. No one can "know anyone else's pain."

However, I hope you can forgive him. There simply is no training for laying people off and no one seems to know how to handle it. People get anxious and in their anxiety, they do stupid things.

He may well have been laid off at some time and perhaps felt that it qualified him to say that. Almost everyone seems to face at least one lay off during their career. And no one ever seems to completely get over it. Those who spoke of that happening to them even decades before seemed to relive the pain each time they remembered it.

As to his bonus, a large amount of money is probably the only way a company can get anyone to do that job. It would take a ton of money to get me to do it for sure. And they would have to pay for me a full time shrink too.

I think I learned more in that short personnel agency experience and by leasing my commercial building than from anything I've ever done. It was a real education.


P.S. Forgiving that guy is for YOU. Not HIM.

[ November 30, 2005, 06:43 PM: Message edited by: smilinize ]

#74268 - 12/01/05 04:16 AM Re: Beyond the Corner Office
chatty lady Offline

Registered: 02/24/04
Posts: 20267
Loc: Nevada
I'd like to quote Whitney M. Young, Jr. a Civil rights leader here:

The hardest work in the world is being out of work... [Roll Eyes]

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