Some Google employees found they were laid off only when their badge didn't let them into the office: "Inhuman"

This by a company that previously declared it would do no evil.

They abandoned that moto a long time ago.


So these days do people not bring a single item of personal belongings to the office without the understanding that it may not be retrievable? What a nightmare.


i’d think a meeting would be nice.

at most companies, you’d have a manager – and they’d have something well south of 20 direct reports, and they’d be responsible for the face to face delivery of the news.

companies expect you to give them your all, the least they can do is… try a little bit… in return.

( how did you even get your personal items back from work? or are you not allowed any there? and did you sign any severance papers, or are you just done now with no income at all? )


It seems to me that if they can’t phone 16000 people overnight to tell them they are now redundant, then they should not fire 16000 people in one night.


That’s the problem; no human factors.

When I did this (yes, once, briefly, I was a people manager and my employer had a major company-wide lay-off) we did it thus:

Everyone affected was called into the office in person for a face-to-face meeting. (Of course, this was UK where advance notice of some number of redundancies has to be given, so they all those invited knew which way the wind was blowing - but even with no advance knowledge as per Google, this could still be done.)
Several of us first line managers were running back-to-back meetings all day at 15 minute intervals.
Each of the people told to come to a meeting was told by a first-line manager (not their own) that they no longer had a job, the reasons why (the company line/bullshit - but importantly in UK law, that their specific position was redundant) what the company was offering as redundancy (any interim or termination payments, any ‘career transition’ support - i.e. ‘getting a new job’ advice) and then ushered out by someone from HR who then gave them the paperwork they needed and saw them off the premises.

Google could do something similar if it gave one particle of an iota of a shit about people.

Plus what @Gordon_Simpson and @gatto said.


I work from home, so i already had all my stuff. I think the terms of my severance make it unwise to discuss any of the rest of the things you asked about.


Maybe, but from an emotional point of view which would you rather have, knowledge that layoffs happened this morning and you either still have a job, or knowing you don’t and what the severance is…or would you rather know 1000 people lost their jobs today, you aren’t one of them, but you hear another 1000 will go tomorrow and they might be done in a little over two weeks?

That single sharp event I can handle, that slow grinding away though, the gnawing doubt eating away at optimism? I’m not sure I would survive that.


They’re not run off internal servers, they do actually dogfood their anycorp stuff, at least per the google employees I’ve met.


The article calls it “inhuman”…I wonder those disagreeing get that this is what that literally means.


You mean the way that it totally works in almost every other G20 country? Impossible. /s


Agreed; sounds like BS excuses for bad corporate behavior.


Who works at Google and doesn’t have a personal gmail address?


They do have email, and they did send out a message to my personal email at least. I just don’t always check that before going to work.


In the UK, companies generally now run the jolly wheeze of making roles, rather than individuals, redundant as part of a company ‘strategy’ and, when they do so, they aim just under the legal threshold of 20 or more staff within a 90-day period. This allows them to avoid the need for ‘collective consultation’ i.e. the point where they would actually have to engage in a dialogue with the staff.

In the US they swing the axe and you’re gone. Over here they stand behind you sharpening the axe for a month and then either swing it or not. I’m not sure which is worse… :person_shrugging:


True. Just look at, I don’t know, gun control. Or healthcare.


One of the big tech companies that I worked for laid people off on the regular (because they were incompetent and cruel). They were unbelievably hamfisted about it. We’d know it was Layoff Day because the early birds would come in and the company network was down. They didn’t want anyone stealing data or sending DMs on internal systems about who was gone.

One guy had this same keycard experience because they laid him off while he was on vacation (official PTO) and nobody told him. He called one of us at our desk (from outside the front door) that he knew came in early like him, and we had to tell him he didn’t work there any more and that’s why his keycard didn’t work.

So much this. Every lay-off I’ve seen has been like this- security following people around, not being allowed back to their desks, etc.

The thing is, mistrust goes both ways. When you treat your own staff who poured their hearts into the job for a decade like criminals, they start acting like them. When the aforementioned big tech company shut down, people went nuts. People stole graphics cards out of PCs, people cleaned out the kitchen, proprietary Sony dev kits that were leased vanished… there were rumours of one guy walking out with one of the printers.

This is what 15 years of treating your employees like dirt does. When you go down, it’s payback time.


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