In honor of the Friday layoffs sweeping through the media today, we bring you even more funny-sad stories of being fired. (Esquire, Wenner, O at Home, this one goes out to you.) As always, send your own anecdotes to firstname.lastname@example.org. Read on for sick-bed and weekend layoffs and a guy who's been laid off so many times, he's a "kiss of death" to any company.Get Well Soon! Yeah Right:
I had been working for several months for a company that deliberately kept me just under full time to avoid having to offer me benefits. I got sick, and because I didn't have health insurance I didn't go to the doctor (and kept going to work). By the time I was finally dragged to the emergency room by a friend, my illness required a five-night hospital stay.
The day I got home from the hospital, my manager came to my house to 'check on me.' I was surprised at her thoughtfulness until I found out that along with flowers, she had also brought a severance check. I'm still paying off that hospital bill.
I was on a nasty project— five days a week on the road, working at home both weekend days. It was awful. The whole effort had broken down to the point where we had 7:30 am and 5 pm status meetings every day. It was an obscene way to live, and it had been going on for months. Meanwhile, everyone around me was dropping like flies. Then, I got that expected phone call for which I was still unprepared. "Can you come into the office tomorrow morning at 10?" I got the call on a Friday. I was brought into the office on a fucking Saturday to be laid off.
Like everyone else, it seems, it was the best thing that happened to me. I got a lucrative freelancing gig that lasted more than a year (and came to an end two days before Christmas with no notice ... yet another gem).
"Don't Cry. No, Really."
I got laid off last Thursday and I must say I've never been so happy in my life. They called me into the office (I work from home) and my boss saw me and burst into tears. She said that these are the "the toughest of times" - I thought "No shit!" What really was amusing to me was that I ended up consoling HER! She started talking about her long, sleepless nights wrestling with this decision, telling me about her kids worrying about he,r and how she was worried about her job and future with the company.
I just smiled, got up and gave her a big hug and reassured her that i would be OK. And that I had already accepted an offer from our chief compeitior and laughed that I had my letter of resignation with me! The tone oddly and quickly changed [after that]...
The King of Layoffs
As the recession started creeping in, I had just quit a touring rock band and went to work for The Man. This particular (very big) bank started having some serious problems that were very well-publicized. I got called into the office, was told to pack my stuff; they were sorry. Then I went to a much smaller, yet very well-known investment bank. Things got bad there and yes, my boss called me into her office and blah, blah, blah - you know the drill.
Six weeks of unemployment later I was at a major corporation. My manager asked to meet with me at the end of the day. Knowingly, I filled a shopping bag with my belongings and —with head held high—walked into the office, plonked the bag of my belongings on her desk. She just looked at it and nodded. I am either king layoff or the kiss of death for any company. Maybe I should apply to the Post next.