Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Panda Bear on Her Layoff from a Major US Corporation

Due to the Panda Bear taking on some additional projects, the Panda Bear Blog will only be updated once a week.   When she was starting her blog she read somewhere that a blogger should post twice a week but the Panda Bear would rather have one good longer post.

The Panda Bear was having some problems with her Hewlett Packard Netbook tonight.   'She thought she might have to take it to be repaired but it started to work again.   She noticed it was made in China.   Why can't US companies make more in the US?   The Panda Bear realizes that the price of some goods may go up.   However, if there were more well-paying jobs in the US, Americans could pay more for goods.

The Panda Bear wants to extend her sympathy to the currently unemployed.   She wants them to know that she has been among their ranks.   During the years 1992-1993, the Panda Bear got laid off from a major US insurance company and was unemployed for about a year.   For that year she was actively job hunting(though she volunteered to keep busy) and would have accepted about any office job.   She probably she have gone through a short retraining program which could be done while on US unemployment insurance.    The company that Panda Bear had worked for did not use PCs and they were starting to come into widespread use in 1992-1993.   Also the industry that the Panda Bear had be working in(property and casualty insurance) was severely effected in that recession.

Companies and strategies have different ways of laying people off.   Indeed, there are people who make good salaries on instructing companies on how to lay people off.    Sometimes, the Panda Bear finds it interesting to hear about how different organizations lay people off.  One company had the laid off workers train their replacements.   Some organizations discuss layoffs but never actually do it.   Insurance companies and many private companies keep layoff plans very quiet because they want to keep the workforce placid.

The Panda Bear had been very happy working in the insurance company.   When she worked for it, the insurance companies were supposed to be stable places to work.  She had received several promotions but she was still a fairly low level worker.   ( Once someone that came from company headquarters said she had heard all about the Panda Bear and how she was a very smart human Panda and how she had gone to Harvard-actually the Panda Bear had gone to Mount Holyoke College.  The Panda Bear latter got passed over a group of promotions and now sometimes the Panda Bear wonders why they did not promote her if she was supposed to be so smart.   Obviously, something else besides brains was needed to get ahead in this Fortune 500 company).

Anyway, one winter there started to be rumors of lay offs.  Management denied the rumors of layoffs.   Some workers said these rumors are coming from somewhere and that the job of management was to keep things calm.  One day the Panda Bear was told to go into a conference room with a group of other employees.   The Panda Bear and the other workers were told they were laid off and to leave right away the building right away.  The management of the company had lied about not laying people off.   Some people later told Panda Bear that the management had probably known for a few months that they were going have lay offs.   The company told the workers that it was against company policy for the company to give any kind of reference for its former employees besides verifying dates of employment.

It was the end of blind corporate loyalty for the Panda Bear.    The Panda Bear wants her readers to note several things about her layoff.   One is that when the Panda Bear and her coworkers were being laid off because the insurance company was not making a certain profit level, the CEO and heads of the company were making the most money in the history of insurance(the Panda Bear is being slightly sarcastic).

Secondly, layoff were done in order of worker status rather than what was necessarily most useful for the company.  

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