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  • Who's Been Canned?

    I've just been "let go" from a job I've held happily for six years, an ignominious end to what has until now been the perfect gig for my talents and lifestyle. Essentially, I was replaced by a robot due to a data platform conversion. It was amicable, but a complete sandbagging.

    But it makes me wonder. Have any of my HT compatriots suffered a similar fate? And if so, I'm curious as to how you handled it. I like to think I handled it well, considering my boss asked me in to an early meeting and said, "I'm not going to beat around the bush, I have to let you go." Talk about getting blind-sided.

    Part of me wanted to snap on him, but the better angels of my nature extended my hand and said, "Thanks for a great six years." I still feel like I should have called bull****, but my sainted mother would have insisted that I behave with class and aplomb despite the perceived injustice.

    So who's suffered a similar end to what was a good job?
    Don't be mean,
    try to help.

  • #2
    Re: Who's Been Canned?

    Originally posted by jdub View Post

    So who's suffered a similar end to what was a good job?

    well, not to make light of your situation, but of course there's all the employees of aloha airlines, moloka'i ranch and weyerhauser just to name a couple of thousand, give or take.
    Last edited by kani-lehua; April 17, 2008, 03:24 PM.
    "chaos reigns within.
    reflect, repent and reboot.
    order shall return."

    microsoft error message with haiku poetry

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Who's Been Canned?

      Originally posted by kani-lehua View Post
      well, not to make light of your situation, but of course there's all the employees of aloha airlines, moloka'i ranch and weyerhauser just to name a couple of thousand, give or take.
      Excellent point. I guess six years doesn't come close to the lifers at Aloha that lost their jobs.
      Don't be mean,
      try to help.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Who's Been Canned?

        Bummers, jdub. Losing a job is tough for everyone, and sadly increasingly common in a down economy. In your case it might have not been that... but even my conception of the business model your employer was involved in seemed like the perfect frontier for complete automation. Sometime down the line, I guess, we'll all be replaced by computers.

        Despite the many temptations, I think handling it with grace and class is almost always the only way to go. Good on you for doing so, at least in the heat of the moment... with the full understanding that a few curse fests and moody moping is also completely appropriate after the fact.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Who's Been Canned?

          So were you fired or laid off? The difference can be unemployment check or not.

          It's never a good idea to rant when being let go from a job. Leave professionally because that robot may fail your ex-boss and your talents may be required if it happens. But a bad attitude won't reopen that door.

          I was fired at a radio station back in the mid 80's. Our boss was always in a drunken rage and even the infamous Michael Qseng was fired (on the air) by this knuckle-head of a boss so I felt as if I was in good company. I left professionally.

          Two years later when that same radio station called me asking if I wanted to come back, I said only if that asshole was gone...he was and I accepted.

          So leave with a smile and a handshake, then go home and kick the dog!
          Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Who's Been Canned?

            Originally posted by pzarquon View Post
            Despite the many temptations, I think handling it with grace and class is almost always the only way to go.
            I agree with Ryan. As painful as it often is to swallow one's pride, I think one should never miss an opportunity to take the high road. I've been canned, and a lawyer friend told me that it would have been a slam-dunk for wrongful termination if I'd sued. I chose to part ways as professionally as possible. Things change, and you never know when you have to come back over a bridge.

            I know a school that's looking for a science teacher.

            Edited to add to what Craig just said: I did qualify for unemployment, and those checks were mighty helpful and welcome. You've been paying into that fund your whole working life; it exists for times like this.
            But I'm disturbed! I'm depressed! I'm inadequate! I GOT IT ALL! (George Costanza)
            GrouchyTeacher.com

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            • #7
              Re: Who's Been Canned?

              Originally posted by craigwatanabe View Post
              So leave with a smile and a handshake, then go home and kick the dog!
              My advice would have been to leave with a smile and a handshake, then go out to the parking lot and flatten da buggah's tires.

              Way back in my hanna-butta days when I got let go at my first job (one week before Christmas, mind you), I politely took my leave from the premises. But not before going to the boss' car, popping open the hood, quickly re-arranging the spark plug wires, then getting out of there ASAP before anybody saw me. I know, it was a petty and juvenile thing to do. But imagining the surprise on his face when he started up his car did a lot to ease my initial anger at getting fired.

              Ah, the days when the all the hood releases were outside the car,...
              This post may contain an opinion that may conflict with your opinion. Do not take it personal. Polite discussion of difference of opinion is welcome.

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              • #8
                Re: Who's Been Canned?

                Oh poop, Jamie...so sorry to hear your news. Unfortunately, I think it's the forewarning of where the economy is going. Regardless, you did the right thing. The high road, while it may not get that particular job back, will create other opportunities for you. There's a reason for everything. Maybe your music is creating more time!

                Your mom would be proud of you...very proud, indeed. I bet your dad is, too.

                I regularly fire myself. Then a day like today happens...4 work calls, one right after the other...and I have to rehire myself! Being self-employed does have it's advantages, I guess!

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                • #9
                  Re: Who's Been Canned?

                  Originally posted by jdub View Post
                  Excellent point. I guess six years doesn't come close to the lifers at Aloha that lost their jobs.

                  like i said, i didn't want to make light of your situation and apologize if i came off as being insensitive. six years is six years. any time one loses a job it can be devasting no matter how long the tenure. i think you handled your exit properly and did not burn any bridges. good luck!
                  "chaos reigns within.
                  reflect, repent and reboot.
                  order shall return."

                  microsoft error message with haiku poetry

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Who's Been Canned?

                    I know da feelings.... I was laid off June 07. I worked for a Home Builder, the warranty dept and made good money, and it was 5 minutes from my house. We all knew there were going to be lay offs but never expected it when it happened. Then again, last hired first let go, it was a seniority thing.

                    Luckily, I could live off my spouse. Unlike my co-workers who were single parents. I was mad due to a lack of funds and the bills that I have but I just had to bite my tongue and apply for unemployment. I had a three month vacation. Searching for work is less labor intensive then it use to be thanks to the internet and jobing.com etc.

                    In Oct 07 my daughter told me to email my resume to a coworker who was leaving and they wanted someone right away. Nobody wanted to transfer to that job because of its "low" pay. I took a $6.00 cut in pay and now have to commute 45 minutes. I really like my the job I'm in now, even though its at a lower wage & I'm using it on gas. Something is better then nothing and its an enjoyable position.

                    The company that laid me off also did a MASS lay off in November 2007. They laid off 32 people. I think that was cold blooded, right before the holidays.

                    You gotta count da blessings and make the best of it yeah. I read a lot of books and enjoyed myself. I learned the joys of hanging out at the Public Libray. But I'm a geek like that. I know it sucks not having a job. I've worked since I was 16yrs old. I hate not having a paycheck.

                    Don't forget to try a temp agency and your friends are probably some of the best sources. Enjoy your time. Remember all the times you went to work and said "I wish I didn't have to go to work today" - well, you don't have to go to work today.

                    Malama pono.
                    ~Lika

                    \\000// Malama Pono \\000//

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                    • #11
                      Re: Who's Been Canned?

                      I was invited to leave my last job back in December. My birthday was 12/12, the day of the office party, so they asked me to stay. THAT was fun? The next day I was asked to leave. We "agreed" that the line would be that I wanted to leave to pursue my writing career.

                      Fortunately, I was able to do that. For the last four months I have been writing free-lance stories for five publications. I've been busier than if I had had a real job. Unfortunately, payment comes upon publication, and some of my stories haven't come out yet.

                      I filed for unemployment when my six weeks of severance pay ran out. When I told the woman at the state unemployment office that the former employer said I couldn't apply for it until February, she said, "I just LOVE it when employers tell me how to do my job!"

                      So Jdub, get thee on the phone to unemployment and get online at the state hirenet Web site.

                      So for this entire four months, I applied with more than 32 employers, got maybe a dozen inquiries, and about half a dozen interviews. One employer sent me a note upon receipt of my resume that if I didn't hear from them within a week or two, good luck. That was the most polite it got. Often I felt good about the interviews, but I never got a call or a courtesy letter informing me that they hired someone else. I learned I didn't get the job with a member of our Congressional delegation right here on HT.

                      When you go for a lot of interviews and never get a call back you kinda get to feeling like someone is talkin' stink. Imagine that. Imagine trying to stay positive when you suspect someone is calling you an idiot to potentially interested employers.

                      I'm happy to say that I'm now working at HMSA. What a great place to be. It is like working for a small city. I have never worked with such an organized organization in all my life. What I really appreciated was how my former employer at Oceanic Institute, and my editors at the University of Hawaii and at The Advertiser gave me credit for my accomplishments and encouraged my new boss to hire me.

                      I did not like being unemployed and freelancing is very difficult. It isn't fun to have many bosses with pressing deadlines. Jdub, you had a great gig, and those hours were perfect for you. I hope it doesn't take you as long as it took me to find a new position. Good luck!
                      Aloha from Lavagal

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                      • #12
                        Re: Who's Been Canned?

                        Jamie, you probably recall that I got laid off at the end of May 2007. The two bosses of our department came to town for an 8:30 am meeting, which lasted fewer than five minutes, as they told us "the company has made the decision to close this office - effective immediately; here are your severance instructions, and you have an hour to pack up and take with you whatever you feel you need right away - we'll mail you the remainder."

                        During those few minutes, all our network access was cut off, including the "personal e-mail address books" on our computers, which they said they would also send to us later. (They didn't.) After packing some stuff in a couple bags, I simply shook their hands and said good-bye. I received four weeks' pay as severance, and was able to go on unemployment, as it was considered a lay-off.

                        Somehow, I knew as soon as I walked out the door that it would be a good thing for me to be gone from there. I like to tell people I had eight good years with the company - but I worked there for eleven. I spent the summer on unemployment, and actually did more music gigs than I've ever done in my life (but then, I'm nowhere near the pro level like yourself).

                        My spirits remained high that I would find something personally satisfying once again, and at the point when I had one week of unemployment left, I was hired by the public radio station that had laid me off back in 1995 (after eleven years there, too). I am only on a one-year contract with them at the moment, but I'm not thinking about that aspect just yet.

                        So, yeah - I've been there, a couple of times now. But I wanted to share my thoughts as they represent a positive spin on what went down.

                        Oh - and the company that closed the office last year? I've been watching their disastrous financial news of the past year (trashing of bond status, decision to stop issuing public financial statements, etc.), knowing that they have over $400 million in debt that comes due next January.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Who's Been Canned?

                          You've got my sympathies too, Jamie. Most of us have been there, done that, got the t-shirt pink slip.
                          But as everyone else has said, you did the right thing by acting with honor, and the smart thing by not burning your bridges. Like others have said, it'll be a rough road for a while, but we all have faith in you and know you'll land on your feet.
                          Hang tough, buddy.
                          .
                          .

                          That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Who's Been Canned?

                            I tend to be the last rat off a sinking ship, so I haven't gone though that anytime recently. But I can image that at an emotional level it's like being told that your skills - the thing you pride yourself at being good at - isn't good enough. I'm not saying it's the case, but that's the emotional toll. I agree with the other - you parted well.


                            I don't have any suggestions other then if your job got replaced by automation, then is there an opening with the company that configures the equipment? Sometimes it's easier to train someone who knows the job about the equipment then to take a computer guy and train them about the job the equipment is supposed to be doing.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Who's Been Canned?

                              Originally posted by Leo Lakio View Post
                              During those few minutes, all our network access was cut off, including the "personal e-mail address books" on our computers, which they said they would also send to us later. (They didn't.) After packing some stuff in a couple bags, I simply shook their hands and said good-bye. I received four weeks' pay as severance, and was able to go on unemployment, as it was considered a lay-off.
                              My wife had to can somebody at work the other day and boy it wasn't pretty. Apparently this employee had way too many speeding tickets and the company's insurance carrier indicated this person was too much of a risk to allow her to drive while on the job. And driving was a requirement for this job. So she got the pink slip.

                              She was to have turned in her time sheets for her final paycheck but the IS department cut off her Email account before she could submit them. Now that was cruel, I even told that to my wife. But it wasn't her call, it came from her boss who felt it important to cut access to the servers that contained sensitive information to someone who was just fired.

                              Apparently my wife's boss had this experience with another company who fired an employee. This person fired off an email to all of her clients telling them to all F*ck off. Hmmm not very professional but it did create an intimidating environment for those clients at least for a few days. Lesson learned, when terminating an employee, terminate all access to sensitive information.

                              At Home Depot if you're fired you are escorted out of the building by a saleried employee (manager). If you're fired because of criminal conduct (theft) you're led out in handcuffs by the police.

                              If you're an IT guy for a company, you probably have a backdoor to access your company's servers remotely. Most companies know that and will inform you that if there is any tampering of data, you will go to jail.

                              So when leaving a company after being fired, don't give them any indication that you may retaliate. Just smile and walk out. If your good senses hold you down you won't do anything regrettable. But if you're bent on revenge, a good poker face will buy you time.
                              Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

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