Reduction in Force

When I was growing up, a “layoff” was something that happened while a factory closed temporarily in order to allow surplus inventory to be sold. Then workers came back to work. Why can’t corporations just admit it–they’re firing people?

7 thoughts on “Reduction in Force

  1. because it sounds so bad….we'll rebrand everything…..we're not nationalizing General Motors……AIG isn't insolvent…it's all about wording, reality doesn't matter as long as you sugar coat it all dude.

    We live in the era of Reagan's long shadow…STILL!

  2. Ted,
    I'm 44 and as far back as I can remember lay-off meant you were let go because the company could no longer afford the person. Fired, meant you were terminated as punishment. When was it otherwise?

  3. I have to second Horatio. While lay-off can mean you might be asked back (especially if you're union) at a later date, it usually means they can't (or won't) afford you. But not always. I once got "laid off" simply because the tyrannical toy company president didn't like me (based on the fact that I inadvertently interrupted a meeting to tell somebody something), so he took the day off and had HR tell me that they were eliminating my position for financial reasons and laying me off. I knew it was bullshit (and confirmed it later with my supervisor), but I was grateful for the unemployment which I probably wouldn't have qualified for had I been fired. Moral of the story: occasionally even tyrants can show a little mercy.

  4. I worked as support on a trading desk. Elliot had a contract that paid him 27% of any profit beyond $12.8 million.

    Elliot the Z-man netted after financing but before support something like $36mill of which he got his pcts on top of his regular salary and the point is that he made the most money of anyone in the entire bank and so they hire someone to fire all the people that where anywhere near any of that adr. the real point is that they waited to fire me untill the six months severance crossed over the five year vesting period for the pension..

    and so when I finished getting paid and getting unemployment… they sent me a check for 10k!

    so I luvs my corporation

  5. This one made me flinch.

    Ted, your protagonist just blew his unemployment insurance.

    It's amazing how ignorant people are about getting unemployment. I've got two friends right now who just got "laid off," and they didn't know they could file.

    Everyone: if you get laid off, keep your mouth shut and walk out of the office. Read up on your state's unemployment laws and don't sign anything until you understand what rights you're giving up. (i.e. Make sure the proposed severance would be worth more than the unemployment you'd receive.)

  6. In chats with others working in cubicle-land, "layoffs" are being increasingly referred to as "involuntary separations." Isn't that just too precious.

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