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Thread: Just like that.

  1. #1
    Rally Rat
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    Just like that.

    Wife came home last night to tell me about a bad day.

    She works in a small local office for a nationwide company that manufactures and erects "pole barns", mainly for agricultural or commercial use.

    Her boss and friend, the branch manager got a mid-morning call from the regional office. He was obviously upset. He hung up the phone, turned to his friend and coworker, the other salesman, and told him his services were no longer needed.

    When one of the crews returns from an out of town job, they too, will all be let go.

    Six people put out of work between Thanksgiving and Christmas with a single phone call... and the regional manager was calling each of the local offices.

    My wife helped her friend clear out his desk. He had driven a company vehicle to work, so he had to call his teenage son to come get him.

    Just like that, our friend lost his job.

  2. #2
    Intermediate Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
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    This is terrible and it's happening everywhere. Sallie Mae just moved their headquarters not far from here. They held a job fair yesterday to fill 100 positions. 800 people showed up along with 2300 online applications.

    I am very thankful to have what I believe is a stable job.

    I hope your wife's friends are able to get through this ordeal quickly and get back to work.

  3. #3
    shire2000
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    I think that we will be seeing and hearing a lot more of this. My sympathy goes out to all that are or may become affected by this global economy issue in this manner. It will be far reaching and none of us will be exempt from it.

    Some of us may be somewhat insulated, due to the types of jobs we do, but we will be affected in other ways.

    Good luck to all, in these uncertain times.

  4. #4
    Rally Rat
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    Gotta feel for everyone in the scenario. We don't know what kind of agonizing the regional manager did prior to reaching the decision to let local folks go. The whole situation sucks. We're all holding our collective breaths.

  5. #5
    bob1100rtc
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    I'm holding my breath. I got my christmas bonus today. I contribute a little every week and the company matches my contribution. With the check was a letter saying they would no longer be doing christmas bonuses in 2009 and they were also suspending their contribution to my 401K in 2009. A small loss indeed compared to someone who has lost their job but I hope it's not an indicator of things to come.

  6. #6
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    My mother-in-law is a divorce attorney. Thanks partially to the economy, her business is booming.

    For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Bad times are good times for some industries - bars, distilleries, breweries, big tobacco, strip clubs and divorce lawyers to name a few.
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  7. #7
    What, me worry? GILLY's Avatar
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    So the branch manager, the other salesman, and one crew were let go? A little confusing on who the branch manager was referring to when he said "his services were no longer needed".
    Bob, have you been getting Roth IRA's? My wife and I have been doing this for a few years now, my 401k sucks at work, very little.
    Gilly
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  8. #8
    Rally Rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    So the branch manager, the other salesman, and one crew were let go? A little confusing on who the branch manager was referring to when he said "his services were no longer needed".
    Bob, have you been getting Roth IRA's? My wife and I have been doing this for a few years now, my 401k sucks at work, very little.
    Gilly
    Sorry about that, I guess my choice to leave names out left it a bit obscure... The branch manager is still there, he was upset because he had to fire his friend, the other salesman. There are also five guys away on one of the three build crews who will be let go as soon as they return. Essentially, the whole workforce was cut by a third in one day. Everyone else's hours have been cut back.

    The wife and I are both military retirees, with pensions and savings plans. We don't have as much to lose as these other guys, whose jobs are their sole source of income. Many of them are Veterans though, including our friend.

  9. #9
    From MARS
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    Quote Originally Posted by 108625 View Post
    Sorry about that, I guess my choice to leave names out left it a bit obscure... The branch manager is still there, he was upset because he had to fire his friend, the other salesman. There are also five guys away on one of the three build crews who will be let go as soon as they return. Essentially, the whole workforce was cut by a third in one day. Everyone else's hours have been cut back.

    The wife and I are both military retirees, with pensions and savings plans. We don't have as much to lose as these other guys, whose jobs are their sole source of income. Many of them are Veterans though, including our friend.
    Unless the company you work for actually manufactures the structures, and holds patents or copyrights, for the buildings these guys sell and erect, this sounds like the perfect opportunity for a little cut-throat competition. You've got a salesman, and you've got a crew. The company that actually fabricates the materials used in the structures still needs to sell the stuff, and the consumers still need to have them.

    If I were the salesman, I'd get together with the erection crew and reach an agreement as to how much cheaper they would be willing to work to continue erecting these structures. Then I'd call the manufacturer of the materials and find out what my price and terms would be for a complete structure. After I have all my ducks in a row, I'd pull out my contact/customer list and go to war! Any income is better than none.

    Tom

  10. #10
    I think it is sad that people need to be escorted out of a company immediately when laid off. It speaks to a lack of trust. His friend (so called) could have at least given him a ride home.

    I do find that when a company is slow many people leave before layoffs, "The writing is on the wall" and such. I think now everyone is so scared they just sit put until told to leave.

    I agree with MARS. If these people where good a what they did this may be an opportunity. That sales person especially. He need to represent the competition and heat up the market.

    A friend of mine had the same thing happen to him and 2/3 of their work force. The company is in the process of being sold. He was so valuable that after 30 days the new owners have offered to hire him back rather than have him compete.

    Recessions seems to have several thing in common: Extreme overspending and speculation, pessimism, and cowardness.

    PS: Unemployment benefits are not a dirty word. A blank splot on your resume is.

  11. #11
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    Fellas,

    While the advice is appreciated, it's not really applicable. The company does manufacture their own product and basically only lets their people build it.
    Ther are exceptions made for particular customers who traditionally do their own work (the Hutterites, for example), but generally it's set up as not to be practical to have someone else build it.

    I don't work for them, just my wife. When we retired, I had twenty years of military construction under my belt, and had done residential construction before entering service. (I was one of those working teens). After I retired, commercial construction just didn't offer the same challenges or sense of purpose I used to find so satisfying in service, so I decided to make a clean break of it. As a result, I'm a full time student now.

    My wife wanted a change too, but preferred on-line education through a non-local school. So she's a part-time student and works by day at the office, which is within walking distance of the house. If she's affected by further lay-offs or hour reductions, she'll just step up her course schedule to 3/4 or full time.

    Our friend is a good salesman, he has earned bonuses from the company before and helped make the local office one of the most succesful in the region. I know he can do well for someone else, but who's hiring salesmen right now?

    The guys on the crew are construction workers. There's always been a type of instability in such an occupation. Unless you're willing to travel or relocate to follow the work, you learn to expect periodic unemployment based on the weather or the economy. Some of them will move on, some will find something else, and some will wait it out and hope to be called back later, or be forced to make another choice then.

    What bothered me most, and my reason for posting was the suddeness of the thing. Local business had slowed a little, but this was still a profitable branch. The company gave no warnings of trouble, no notice, they just up and did it.
    In the morning he had a job, by lunchtime he didn't.

  12. #12
    From MARS
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    It is sad when this type of thing happens. The saddest part is what it does to the psyche of the individual who gets laid off. Suddenly, they are no longer a productive member of society. They lose their reason for getting up in the morning, they lose the camaraderie of the office, and they lose their self-respect. When it is this sudden, it feels like you have had a friend die in an accident and there was no time to prepare yourself.

    It happened to me during the recession of the early '80s, and while I am a very positive, upbeat individual, it really took the wind out of my sails for awhile.

    Tom

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by 108625 View Post
    Our friend is a good salesman, he has earned bonuses from the company before and helped make the local office one of the most succesful in the region. I know he can do well for someone else, but who's hiring salesmen right now?
    I probably don't know what I am talking about, but sales positions in our area are the largest part fo the "Help Wanted Adds" so it seems like a good sales person can find employment. Granted pay is usually based upon commissions, but at least it will put food on the table.

  14. #14
    Registered User 85138's Avatar
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    I know the feeling ... unfortunately

    Quote Originally Posted by RJM2096 View Post
    I think it is sad that people need to be escorted out of a company immediately when laid off. It speaks to a lack of trust. His friend (so called) could have at least given him a ride home.

    PS: Unemployment benefits are not a dirty word. A blank splot on your resume is.
    I guess an occasional disgruntled employee could wreak havoc w/ the computer system, send out nasty e-mails or take trade secrets with them so at some level I understand the suddeness and why they have to do it that way. Had to have someone there as witness while I gathered personal belongings, no chance to say goodbye to colleagues, etc. The whole thing is demeaning especially for those of us who consider ourselves professional, responsible and level headed. Several of us were caught by surprise just before Thanksgiving even though we knew the economy and especially the industry (semiconductors) we're in were getting deeper into the dumps.

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