Go Back  British Expats > General > The Lounge
Reload this Page >

The smell of lay-offs in the air ...

The smell of lay-offs in the air ...

Old Feb 8th 2009, 1:49 am
  #1  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
Thread Starter
 
Kaffy Mintcake's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 8,497
Kaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond repute
Unhappy The smell of lay-offs in the air ...

I'm sure I'm not the only one working for a company who can tell that lay-offs are on the horizon (or who has already experienced them).

My sympathies to those of you who are already going through this, or who are on pins and needles as my husband and I are. If it isn't us it will be others more than likely, and this is not a good time to be looking. I've been there before, post 9/11 and it's a terrible thing to go through ... though that time in the economy pales to now I'm afraid.

My husband and I were talking about something today ... we would both be willing to take a reduction in pay if it meant that lay-offs could be avoided. Better to have everyone have to tighten their belts a little bit than for some to be shown the door. I was passionate enough about it to contemplate typing the most persuasive, well-reasoned letter I could to our senior leaders, unsigned, and mailed away from the office.

But let's face it ... the senior leaders' jobs aren't in jeopardy ... and I somehow doubt they are feeling altruistic. Classic case in point is that the head of my department a couple of weeks ago was talking to me and said something to effect of: "People always think lay-offs are a bad thing, but positive pruning for the company can be good."

Positive pruning. First time I've ever heard that one. I got angrier and angrier thinking of her words, but at the time didn't let on.

When I talked about my idea to my father (some sort of universal cut to spare jobs) he thought I was totally unrealistic and disagreed, arguing that it was fine for us to feel this way as we could spare a bit, but I couldn't possibly know the impact that would have on some of my co-workers. "Better to have less than nothing at all" was my reply.

Enough rambling for me. I guess I'm wondering the following:

1) If it were up to you, would you be willing to reduce your salary a bit to save the jobs of others (or your own)?
2) If you suspect that cuts are coming at your company as they are at mine, what if anything are you doing about it?
Kaffy Mintcake is offline  
Old Feb 8th 2009, 1:58 am
  #2  
L2, GC, Surrey, OH, TX!
 
MsElui's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Surrey to Dallas (via Ohio)!
Posts: 6,362
MsElui has a reputation beyond reputeMsElui has a reputation beyond reputeMsElui has a reputation beyond reputeMsElui has a reputation beyond reputeMsElui has a reputation beyond reputeMsElui has a reputation beyond reputeMsElui has a reputation beyond reputeMsElui has a reputation beyond reputeMsElui has a reputation beyond reputeMsElui has a reputation beyond reputeMsElui has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: The smell of lay-offs in the air ...

Ive been in companies where a cut was coming. (i actually left to come to the USA before it actually happened though). Headcount had to be reduced - so they naturally chose the employees who did not have positive attitudes, were not flexible, who had poor sickness records (especially those who had bad patterns of trivial 'dubious' sickness), etc etc. It was hard in some respects BUT if you had a positive attitude and would adapt to change and didnt take time off every other friday because you felt like it - then you were at least risk of being cut.

If you want to avoid the cut then the best thing you can do is be positive - especially about change, be flexible and reasonable, and not waste company time. Unless they have to - they wont want to get rid of a genuine 'asset' to the company.
MsElui is offline  
Old Feb 8th 2009, 2:11 am
  #3  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
Thread Starter
 
Kaffy Mintcake's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 8,497
Kaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: The smell of lay-offs in the air ...

Originally Posted by MsElui View Post
If you want to avoid the cut then the best thing you can do is be positive - especially about change, be flexible and reasonable, and not waste company time. Unless they have to - they wont want to get rid of a genuine 'asset' to the company.
I'm a bit cynical there because I was last cut as I made a bit more than some of my co-workers ... the less flexible and reasonable kept their jobs. That being said, today they are exactly where they were years ago.

Another strategy I'm personally pursuing is keeping my friends of influence close. I've recently turned a casual "we should have lunch sometime" comment into a formal date with a coworker who is in a position of power. She's someone whose company I enjoy anyway, so I'm not being phony, but I figure it doesn't hurt to have friends in high places at these times either.

I am more worried about others than myself to be honest, though that may be naive on my part.
Kaffy Mintcake is offline  
Old Feb 8th 2009, 2:19 am
  #4  
Chocoholic !
 
ChocolateBabz's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Houston, TX - Officially Not Shit since 2009
Posts: 2,315
ChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: The smell of lay-offs in the air ...

Father in law was telling us that one of the car manufacturers back in the UK, rather than lay off workers, gave them a 9 month holiday on half pay.

So on one hand - great they haven't lost their jobs, half pay is better than nothing, they can work elsewhere in the meantime to compensate lost wages and if things pick up they go back to work.

But on the other hand, hundereds of people in the same area looking for jobs, who wants to hire someone who will leave in 9 months at the latest, and for those who can't find other employment half wages are not going to pay the bills and they probably won't get benefits as they are getting paid.

I know when I was young my mum lived month to month and even a fluctuation in petrol prices hit her bank balance hard. It's great to have the luxury of saying people could tighten their belts but some people could not survive a hit to the bank balance like that.
ChocolateBabz is offline  
Old Feb 8th 2009, 1:39 pm
  #5  
Sursum corda
 
cindyabs's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2002
Location: Richmond Hill, GA USA
Posts: 38,860
cindyabs has a reputation beyond reputecindyabs has a reputation beyond reputecindyabs has a reputation beyond reputecindyabs has a reputation beyond reputecindyabs has a reputation beyond reputecindyabs has a reputation beyond reputecindyabs has a reputation beyond reputecindyabs has a reputation beyond reputecindyabs has a reputation beyond reputecindyabs has a reputation beyond reputecindyabs has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: The smell of lay-offs in the air ...

Originally Posted by Kaffy Mintcake View Post
I'm a bit cynical there because I was last cut as I made a bit more than some of my co-workers ... the less flexible and reasonable kept their jobs. That being said, today they are exactly where they were years ago.

Another strategy I'm personally pursuing is keeping my friends of influence close. I've recently turned a casual "we should have lunch sometime" comment into a formal date with a coworker who is in a position of power. She's someone whose company I enjoy anyway, so I'm not being phony, but I figure it doesn't hurt to have friends in high places at these times either.

I am more worried about others than myself to be honest, though that may be naive on my part.
Finally, my manager told me this week, that across the board our company is cutting back, to include the muckety mucks at the HQ. I shold bloody well hope so, He had gone ahead and instituted cutbacks in our office in January since business was down so. I was spared this initial cutback since my coworker had pnuemonia and was out for 2 weeks, so except for 1 week last month, I didn't have to take any more LWOP days off. Her being sick and NOT getting paid, spared me. Sigh.

However, he said this week that now the LWOP will extend through the year, not just this first quarter AND they have cutback our vacation days (which they had already adjusted) 20 percent for this year, AND possibly next year as well.

I was talking to our neighbor who works for a well known company here that makes private jets. He said they had been told they would need to cutdown on overtime. He said he would welcome that since he's putting in 60 hour work weeks now.

I'm dancing as fast as I can here, AND ironically I'm the busiest I've been in months, but that doesn't mean that every quote I give or brochure I send will end in a sale, and when all is said and done, they're looking at results not effort.
cindyabs is offline  
Old Feb 8th 2009, 1:54 pm
  #6  
Ping-ponger
 
dunroving's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Dreich Alba
Posts: 11,964
dunroving has a reputation beyond reputedunroving has a reputation beyond reputedunroving has a reputation beyond reputedunroving has a reputation beyond reputedunroving has a reputation beyond reputedunroving has a reputation beyond reputedunroving has a reputation beyond reputedunroving has a reputation beyond reputedunroving has a reputation beyond reputedunroving has a reputation beyond reputedunroving has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: The smell of lay-offs in the air ...

Originally Posted by ChocolateBabz View Post
Father in law was telling us that one of the car manufacturers back in the UK, rather than lay off workers, gave them a 9 month holiday on half pay.
So on one hand - great they haven't lost their jobs, half pay is better than nothing, they can work elsewhere in the meantime to compensate lost wages and if things pick up they go back to work.

But on the other hand, hundereds of people in the same area looking for jobs, who wants to hire someone who will leave in 9 months at the latest, and for those who can't find other employment half wages are not going to pay the bills and they probably won't get benefits as they are getting paid.

I know when I was young my mum lived month to month and even a fluctuation in petrol prices hit her bank balance hard. It's great to have the luxury of saying people could tighten their belts but some people could not survive a hit to the bank balance like that.
Some UK companies are also reducing to a 3-day or 4-day week (but keeping employees) rather than cut employees. The unions and employees seem to be behind it, because they know the alternative would be lay-offs.

There have been one or two news pieces on similar situations with small companies. It's encouraging to see in these companies that the owners are making sacrifices as well as the employees - bottom line is, neither side wants to see the company fold. Nice contrast to the corporate crap being displayed by some of the larger companies (and of course, in contrast to the bloody bankers, paying themselves bonuses after doing the worst job in human memory, while others are worrying about being able to pay the bills or hold onto their houses).

Best of luck to those of you worried about your jobs - must be sepcially worrying when you live in a foreign country that has a poorly-developed social welfare system.
dunroving is offline  
Old Feb 8th 2009, 2:35 pm
  #7  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 2,212
Deedee13 has a reputation beyond reputeDeedee13 has a reputation beyond reputeDeedee13 has a reputation beyond reputeDeedee13 has a reputation beyond reputeDeedee13 has a reputation beyond reputeDeedee13 has a reputation beyond reputeDeedee13 has a reputation beyond reputeDeedee13 has a reputation beyond reputeDeedee13 has a reputation beyond reputeDeedee13 has a reputation beyond reputeDeedee13 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: The smell of lay-offs in the air ...

Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
Some UK companies are also reducing to a 3-day or 4-day week (but keeping employees) rather than cut employees. The unions and employees seem to be behind it, because they know the alternative would be lay-offs.

There have been one or two news pieces on similar situations with small companies. It's encouraging to see in these companies that the owners are making sacrifices as well as the employees - bottom line is, neither side wants to see the company fold. Nice contrast to the corporate crap being displayed by some of the larger companies (and of course, in contrast to the bloody bankers, paying themselves bonuses after doing the worst job in human memory, while others are worrying about being able to pay the bills or hold onto their houses).

Best of luck to those of you worried about your jobs - must be sepcially worrying when you live in a foreign country that has a poorly-developed social welfare system.
i would and i would encourage everyone that i work with to stop overtime. So that everyone can get their hours in. at least then everyone has a job and not just some!!
Deedee13 is offline  
Old Feb 8th 2009, 3:12 pm
  #8  
BE Forum Addict
 
Brit3964's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2004
Location: South Florida
Posts: 2,068
Brit3964 has a reputation beyond reputeBrit3964 has a reputation beyond reputeBrit3964 has a reputation beyond reputeBrit3964 has a reputation beyond reputeBrit3964 has a reputation beyond reputeBrit3964 has a reputation beyond reputeBrit3964 has a reputation beyond reputeBrit3964 has a reputation beyond reputeBrit3964 has a reputation beyond reputeBrit3964 has a reputation beyond reputeBrit3964 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: The smell of lay-offs in the air ...

As of yesterday, we're now under a pay freeze. Two people were fired this week, one fairly the other unfairly IMHO. The net effect is we're all watching our backs in case we're next. I'm sure the CEO will still get his bonus though. What happens in your company will depend on your managements style.
Brit3964 is offline  
Old Feb 8th 2009, 3:24 pm
  #9  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
Thread Starter
 
Kaffy Mintcake's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 8,497
Kaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: The smell of lay-offs in the air ...

One thing I'd like to call out - is that being laid off is not the same as being fired. Employees who are "made redundant" often have a yes rehire status and could be let go for a number of reasons including: personality conflict with senior management, being the low man on the totem pole, having a higher salary than others, perceived ambition (i.e. this person may not stay in this role for several years), etc. If this happens to you or a co-worker, don't necessarily assume that it was a case of them being the weakest player in the group ... often not true and this misperception can make it tough for those who have been laid off to find new employment.

(Note - that comment is NOT being directed to anyone in particular ... but I felt it was important to call out.)
Kaffy Mintcake is offline  
Old Feb 8th 2009, 3:29 pm
  #10  
BE Forum Addict
 
hobbes79's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Andover, MA
Posts: 1,703
hobbes79 has a reputation beyond reputehobbes79 has a reputation beyond reputehobbes79 has a reputation beyond reputehobbes79 has a reputation beyond reputehobbes79 has a reputation beyond reputehobbes79 has a reputation beyond reputehobbes79 has a reputation beyond reputehobbes79 has a reputation beyond reputehobbes79 has a reputation beyond reputehobbes79 has a reputation beyond reputehobbes79 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: The smell of lay-offs in the air ...

I think the economy is sometimes just an excuse to "trim the fat". My company actually enjoyed great profits last year and significant growth over 2007. Our main customers are in the oil industry... one of the few industries that did pretty well last year (anyone remember $5/gallon gas!). But they're still doing a few layoffs to be "better prepared" for the economy.

The people they got rid of were pretty crap IMO and it was only a handful. Still, seemed like a lame excuse.
hobbes79 is offline  
Old Feb 8th 2009, 3:51 pm
  #11  
Last orders please...
 
lisag8070's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Location: Way down deep in the middle of the Jungle..
Posts: 6,154
lisag8070 has a reputation beyond reputelisag8070 has a reputation beyond reputelisag8070 has a reputation beyond reputelisag8070 has a reputation beyond reputelisag8070 has a reputation beyond reputelisag8070 has a reputation beyond reputelisag8070 has a reputation beyond reputelisag8070 has a reputation beyond reputelisag8070 has a reputation beyond reputelisag8070 has a reputation beyond reputelisag8070 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: The smell of lay-offs in the air ...

IMHO you wouldn't mind if it was just trim the fat and the company got rid of people who were just "air wasters" but I'm hearing a lot of companies here are just doing it the old fashioned way..."last one in, first one out"..

I have been talking to my friend who works at a jewelers in the mall here and the way a lot of the shops are doing it is they are firing all Permanent staff who had 40 hours per week and replacing them all with part time staff who do 25-30 hours a week....why...so they don't have to pay anyone any benefits like vacation and health...and they're also getting people in who are cheaper per hour..
lisag8070 is offline  
Old Feb 8th 2009, 3:56 pm
  #12  
Sursum corda
 
cindyabs's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2002
Location: Richmond Hill, GA USA
Posts: 38,860
cindyabs has a reputation beyond reputecindyabs has a reputation beyond reputecindyabs has a reputation beyond reputecindyabs has a reputation beyond reputecindyabs has a reputation beyond reputecindyabs has a reputation beyond reputecindyabs has a reputation beyond reputecindyabs has a reputation beyond reputecindyabs has a reputation beyond reputecindyabs has a reputation beyond reputecindyabs has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: The smell of lay-offs in the air ...

Originally Posted by hobbes79 View Post
I think the economy is sometimes just an excuse to "trim the fat". My company actually enjoyed great profits last year and significant growth over 2007. Our main customers are in the oil industry... one of the few industries that did pretty well last year (anyone remember $5/gallon gas!). But they're still doing a few layoffs to be "better prepared" for the economy.

The people they got rid of were pretty crap IMO and it was only a handful. Still, seemed like a lame excuse.
I have no problem with fat trimming for incompetent people. Our office lost money for the first time ever last year. Probably if they had gotten rid of the the lazy twit that sat next to me 3 months before he finally left (of his own accord), we'd have broken even and not started the year off in the red.

Meanwhile I went in the last two Sat mornings to accommodate clients. When my manager commented Friday that I was a glutton for punishment, I shrugged and said "Better that then to lose a sale."

Last edited by cindyabs; Feb 8th 2009 at 3:58 pm.
cindyabs is offline  
Old Feb 8th 2009, 4:06 pm
  #13  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
Thread Starter
 
Kaffy Mintcake's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 8,497
Kaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: The smell of lay-offs in the air ...

I guess my attitude is that if an employee is a waste of space, they shouldn't have a job at our firm period, regardless of what the economy is doing.
Kaffy Mintcake is offline  
Old Feb 8th 2009, 4:50 pm
  #14  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 2,212
Deedee13 has a reputation beyond reputeDeedee13 has a reputation beyond reputeDeedee13 has a reputation beyond reputeDeedee13 has a reputation beyond reputeDeedee13 has a reputation beyond reputeDeedee13 has a reputation beyond reputeDeedee13 has a reputation beyond reputeDeedee13 has a reputation beyond reputeDeedee13 has a reputation beyond reputeDeedee13 has a reputation beyond reputeDeedee13 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: The smell of lay-offs in the air ...

Originally Posted by Kaffy Mintcake View Post
I guess my attitude is that if an employee is a waste of space, they shouldn't have a job at our firm period, regardless of what the economy is doing.
well as someone earlier pointed out. Seniority in this country is the butter on the bread. And its a case of last in first out. I could walk through our place and tell u its disgusting that certain people are still employed. Unions and seniority... should be based who does and who doesnt in my opinion. Lifes tough and it seems that people have to realise that sitting on top of the cream cake just reaping the benefits has to end.
Deedee13 is offline  
Old Feb 8th 2009, 4:59 pm
  #15  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
Thread Starter
 
Kaffy Mintcake's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 8,497
Kaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond reputeKaffy Mintcake has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: The smell of lay-offs in the air ...

Originally Posted by Deedee13 View Post
well as someone earlier pointed out. Seniority in this country is the butter on the bread. And its a case of last in first out. I could walk through our place and tell u its disgusting that certain people are still employed. Unions and seniority... should be based who does and who doesnt in my opinion. Lifes tough and it seems that people have to realise that sitting on top of the cream cake just reaping the benefits has to end.
I think it really depends on the company, and I'll be honest, if we have someone with 30 years at the company who is doing a good job, and someone with 1 year at the company who is doing a good job, I think seniority should count for something. (Not to mention that if you are 40 or older you're in a protected class.)

At our company I have not necessarily seen last in, first out ... sometimes it's a case of last in = working for a lower pay vs. first in is earning a higher wage. In that case the person who was "first in" can get screwed.
Kaffy Mintcake is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.