NEW YORK — Google laid off around 300 DoubleClick employees today, one still with the company told me this afternoon. We were standing outside DoubleClick's headquarters at 111 8th Avenue in Chelsea, where I spent the afternoon asking DoubleClick employees how their day went.
One employee during his smoke break told me, "I guess I'm fine." His friend said, "We're moving on to Google. Looking forward to the free food." Others weren't so dispassionate: "It's never a good day when you lose colleagues that you know and love to work with." Another told me, "There's sadness on both sides." Most of the DoubleClickers turned Googlers I spoke with — those moving on to Google's scooters, free Odwalla juices and inflatable toys — told me they feel "survivors' guilt."
But not all of them. One told me that when he found out who was laid off, he wasn't surprised. "They had performance issues," he said. He also told me that Google did not make DoubleClick employees reapply for their jobs. "There some committees," he said," but most of it happened behind closed doors."
I spotted two guys smoking by the curb, and before I noticed the Google logos on their apparel, I asked: "You work at DoubleClick?" They answered at the same time: "No." OK, then.
Most said that people who lost their jobs today pretty much knew it was coming. But there was still suspense. Waiting to interview people as they left the building, I noticed a man standing near me also waiting. He looked nervous. I asked him if he worked in the bulidng. "No, my friend does." "DoubleClick?" "Yes." "Did he get laid off?" "When he comes out he's going to tell me." He came out. I asked him "You work at DoubleClick?" "I used to," he said. His friend flinched before he continued: "I work at Google now."
I caught one last DoubleClick employee hurriedly shuffling off toward his subway stop. "How was your day?" He answered, halfway down the subway station stairs: "I'm employed!"