At Wayfair, ~550 workers laid off in 'Valentine's Day Massacre'

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/02/17/wayfair-massacre.html

To me, they seemed heavily advertised and overpriced.

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Yeah, could have seen that coming when they advertised a box of firewood for $42.

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Fuck them. And fuck any company that does layoffs as a regular means of doing business.

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“I thought I would be an insider to what was happening — I was completely blind-sided," one former HR employee said.

Translation: “I thought I’d be able to use my position to take myself off the layoff list and put some peon on it in my place.”

HR is almost the textbook example of “cost centre”, and yet that department is always the last to be gutted in a layoff.

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Contrary to appearances, sonderkommando has never been a position with a lot of job security

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Wayfair was also selling beds and other furnishings to migrant detention centers, which prompted an employee walkout last year.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/06/26/cage-is-not-home-hundreds-wayfair-employees-walk-out-protest-sales-migrant-detention-center/

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“The difficult human impact of this is that today we are telling approximately 550 people that their roles no longer exist and they will depart Wayfair.”

I realize this is someone trying very hard to use exactly the least inflammatory and blame-directing language possible, but it… doesn’t work. “The result is that we have had to cut 550 jobs,” which is what you would say if you weren’t trying to think about how you’d say it, is actually much better.

This isn’t a broad-spectrum rant about snowflakes and PC culture and corporate Muzak-speak (etc.). Just that when this thing fails, it fails worse than blunt talk.

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A new Valentine’s Day Massacre? Maybe we’ll get a remake of Some Like It Hot that starts at a Wayfair facility instead of a Lincoln Park warehouse.

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…from an execution standpoint, investing in too many disparate areas, with an uneven quality and speed of execution.
The difficult human impact of this is that today we are telling approximately 550 people that their roles no longer exist and they will depart Wayfair.

And yet, the executives who actually planned, executed, and led the expansion are still sitting comfortably in their offices.

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This. We are drowning in “softened language” at my workplace and it makes you a little nuts after a while. It’s like the corporate conflict-avoidance version of copspeak- a weird niche dialect of English that starts to sound normal when you’re immersed in it too long.

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Well, at least there aren’t 7 bodies . . .

“I thought I would be an insider to what was happening — I was completely blind-sided," one former HR employee said.

Hatchet man surprised to be hatcheted. Classic.

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“Effective immediately” means they do not trust them to not do damage if they were given 2-weeks notice. And the timing? Seems like an act of aggression. This is the “free market” that neoliberals wanted – how’s that working out for everybody in reality?

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Back when I was an employee. I was twice “let go” as part of layoffs. In both cases the company I worked for was in serious financial trouble and were sinking. In both cases, and in most companies, the biggest cashflow draw is payroll. The first one went under anyway and everyone else was out of a job in about three months but the second one was able to recover in about a year or so. Both circumstances hurt me, financially, and to be honest, emotionally. The first one crushed me to the point of depression so I understand your reaction but now when I look back I understand that if the organization is going to implode and everyone looses their jobs then cutting back on payroll and other expenses, specially if current demand for your product and or service is low, is certainly a sound move. Specially for the people that stay behind on a floating ship instead of everyone sinking together in a few months.

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I was let go in 2019. My dad became ill and it enabled me to help care for him for several months until he passed 2 weeks ago. Right after he passed, it was announced they will be shuttering the entire company that had laid me off. I would have been so much more distressed if I’d missed that time with my dad while stuck on a pointless roller coaster.

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image

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Amen. We are inundated with messages from Admin that want us to use ‘kinder, gentler’ language when dealing with signage. Sometimes you just have to say ‘No food or drink’ rather than ‘Please enjoy your food and drink outside,’ Of course, some people will ignore it no matter how you put it.

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Anyone else find this a bad choice of words from an American company?

I saw the ads and just assumed that they were a scam. The most surprising thing for me about his is finding out that they actually are an actual retailer that actually sells stuff.

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