4/19/2008

Layoff Scorecard

Posted by Brandon |

When I was reduced last month, I mentioned that I have now been laid off four different times. Each one was treated very differently by both myself and my employers. Here's the scorecard for each one...

Richmond Roosters Baseball Team
Situation: I moved to Richmond, Indiana from Olympia, Washington specifically for this job. I barely made any money and I was working long, long hours. I was supposed to sell advertising and tickets but I was struggling - Richmond isn't a big place and between three owners, a general manager and another sales executive, there weren't many sales to be had. I was assured that it was OK and since I brought their media relations up from nothing to really, really good, I thought I was safe.
Timing: The very next day after the first homestand and after two weeks straight of 12-14 hour days.
Who/how they told me: Three people - The team president, our general manager and a minority partner. The minority partner broke the news, for some reason. I think the owner and GM were too weenie to do it.
How I reacted: I won't lie, I started crying right then and there. I lost it.
Afterward: Two of my co-workers were planning on going to a Cincinnati Reds game that evening so we still went and afterwards they bought me dinner at Hooters.
Short term results: I thought I was stuck in Indiana, I had no idea what I was going to do. Luckily, I got out of my lease and decided to move home. An old boss had a team in Rockford, Illinois so I stopped there and he offered me a job but I didn't like the situation so I kept going back to Oly.
Long term results: Although my career in baseball ended with that, it turned out to be one of the best things to happen to me. I moved home, moved in with my girlfriend/future wife and haven't really looked back. Made me realize that being with her was more important than a job in baseball. Team no longer exists.
Overall Grade: "F" at the time, "A" in the long term

Stall & Dean/Ebbets Field Flannels
Situation: I was living in Seattle, working for a company that I loved. Too bad the company was going through some tough times. The crummy new owners moved my job to Connecticut and a couple of us got the axe.
Timing: Early summer. Gave us over a month before our last day.
Who/How They Told Me: I can't remember if they broke the news to us in a meeting or one-on-one. Either way, it wasn't bad.
How I reacted: I was sad, but I understood. The owners that we worked with didn't want it but were being strong armed by the new investors.
Afterward: Since we had a ton of time to prepare, we didn't do much commiserating.
Short term results: They allowed us to take any merchandise we wanted so I ended up with a ton of jerseys and caps and t-shirts. Made it almost worth getting let go. I found a job with Pioneer Organics and started working for them the day after my last day at Ebbets.
Long term results: Left Pioneer Organics after a month or two to take job with Archie McPhee. Still wear my jerseys quite often.
Overall Grade: "B"

Lime Green
Situation: My first non-temp job after I moved to Ventura. Worked for them for three months or so as their warehouse/shipping manager. Holiday sales were really, really poor and the company nearly went under. Since I was the last one hired in an office of four people, I got the boot.
Who/how they told me: The general manager told me out in the warehouse. She was pretty upset.
Timing: Worst part - only two weeks before Christmas.
How I reacted: Shock. Although I knew sales stunk, I had no idea I would be let go.
Afterward: Spent the evening surfing the internet trying to find another job.
Short term results: Found a new job with the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and was working before Christmas.
Long term results: Great experience in running a warehouse all by myself. Ended up at a job that I stayed with for a long time and I got paid much better.
Overall Grade: "C"

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Situation: Longest I've ever held a job - over two years. Managed the e-Commerce division. Company "reduced" 35 people or so.
Who/how they told me: Some flunky from human resources. The most cold, caluclated and corporate of my layoffs. Had to sign a bunch of stuff, waive some rights to get severance, etc.
Timing: Shortly before I was going to go on paternity leave, a few months before we are moving back to Seattle.
Afterward: Celebrated. Thanks Coffee Bean!
Short term results: Set me up to get paid until we move back to Seattle.
Long term results: Too early to tell. Most likely a great bond with Addie.
Overall Grade: "F" for the corporateness of it all, "A" for how happy I was to get let go.

Isn't it funny how something that seems so bad at the time could end up working out so well. All of the times I've been let go, things have worked out for the best. The Roosters led to me moving home and working at Ebbets. Ebbets got me some sweet gear and led me to working for Archie McPhee. Lime Green led me to The Coffee Bean and The Coffee Bean set me up to get paid until we move. Perhaps I'm just good at making the best out of a bad situation. That's definitely a surprise to me. That's usually not one of my better traits.

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Today in Down With Pants! history...

2007: Orgasm Interupted
2006: Consumer Brandon
2005: Benedict is in the Hizzee
2004: Flames Down Canucks In OT - Iginla Is God

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lies....Brandon Lies.....he held a job longer than 2 years! I know for a fact that Mr. Brandon worked at the best pizza place in the Lacey area for longer than 2 years!!!!!!

Hilly said...

There's a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf right down the street and I'll boycott them for you starting....now!

Seriously though, that's a lot of reductions for one man to take :).

Dave2 said...

I've never been laid off from a job... but I've been screwed out of payment by companies that reorganized, closed, or went bankrupt a laughable number of times... at least a dozen. So, of the bright side, at least you got paid for the work you did before you were laid off!

Brandon said...

Anon - That's true. I meant it's the longest I ever held a full time real job for.

Hilly - I don't hold any ill will toward the Coffee Bean. I still prefer their drinks over Starbucks. Although, I've had really good experiences with Starbucks lately.

Dave - Yeah, I've always gotten paid and I've always ended up with some kind of severence.

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