5 responses to “WTF #5: The Undead Amongst Us”

  1. gasstationwithoutpumps

    I was under the impression that at most companies, a layoff resulted in immediate exclusion from further work for the company.

    Asking people who have been laid off to continue working for the company without retracting the layoff is practically a guarantee that they won’t be doing good work, even if they refrain from deliberate sabotage.

    The management who laid off engineers then expects them to continue working cheerfully is about the most bone-headed management I can envision (and I already have a low opinion of most engineering management).

    If I were asked to redo work after being laid off, I would probably respond as your co-worker did—if you think I can do the work, don’t lay me off. If I’m redundant, then the work I do is obviously not needed, so do it yourself.

  2. Cherish The Scientist

    I’m surprised it took this long for the insurrection to start. Totally agree with GSWP. I’m afraid if it had been me, I would have had that attitude the day after being told…

  3. Fluxor

    It’s one thing to have the attitude, which is totally understandable, but it’s quite another to air it so publicly. There’s simply no upside to it and plenty of downsides.

  4. Jed Sutherland

    Mr. F: you are either one of the most naive people in the business world or you are deep in denial yourself. Denial as in: gee, I’m doing fine, why isn’t everyone feeling glee at the opportunities presented to them? Others might be inclined to see you as a spineless Quisling and perhaps even try to help you along the path of failure.

    Is this unprofessional? It is. But you need to remember that your-soon-to-be-ex-colleagues are only human. And taking away someone’s job while expecting them to continue on as if nothing has happened would be considered a great demotivator by any but the most clueless management. And, by the way, GWSP, not only engineering management is notable for its tone deafness; organizations run by accountants and others of that ilk are just as bad.

    Management has done you a disservice by leaving you as the figurehead and making you responsible for turning this sow’s ear into a silk purse without giving you much in the way of authority (I’m guessing here).

    Your carrot is that you get to keep your job, even though, if memory serves, it’s in another country and the pay isn’t as good. Methinks that they don’t think too much of your skill set or ability to find another job if they are treating you in this fashion. Baldly stated: you’re being screwed.

    It would have been a far better idea to immediately lay off staff who weren’t needed, then offer the remaining staff a financial incentive to stay and finish the work (such as a big bonus payable on the day they are laid off too).

    If a company is prepared to do what yours has done to its employees (our greatest resource, as they sneer in HR), then if I was you, I’d be thinking about my own exit strategy instead of trying to appease these clowns.

    1. Fluxor

      Oh my — naive, in denial, spineless Quisling — strong words, Mr. S.!

      Well, I can happily report that none of your theories are true. Neither is your assertion that I’m trying to “appease these clowns”. Nevertheless, I am very glad you have decided to respond at length; your comments are very much appreciated. It’s certainly given me pause to reflect on my own writing style, a style that has somehow allowed you to read so much between the lines.