Anatomy of a Layoff

by Dick Acorn

Editor's note: the following is an email stream from Dick Acorn as the layoff went down. 


Wednesday, 6/23, 11:25 am
Like Grand Central over here - managers running around, people getting
whacked, clients wandering through the plant, attractive designers conferring with my boss's sister Angela about holograms. Angela looks quite elegant and sophisticated in an all white pants suit - quite stylish. When she wears her expensive sunglasses and emerges from her Mercedes, she is the picture of a movie star. The day the music died is like a circus - or a bloodless Kosovo. My boss has a glazed look in his eyes. Biggest management challenge he's faced yet. He'll come through with flying colors. Maybe by Friday - pancreas or no pancreas, I'm getting yammering and stammering hammered on Friday. Rocked like an adulterer in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.


Wednesday, 6/23, 11:35 am
There is so much beaver crawling around over here, the place is going to turn into a pond. Just saw my boss's cousin Frankie escorting a breathtakingly beautiful woman into his office. He likes doing that because he has a tastefully decorated office that shows off quite nicely his well-clothed self. The water is already up around my ankles and heading for my varicose-veined calves. We're going under here. What a trip and a half. I need to guzzle beers like it's coming out of a race car fuel-dispenser. 22 gallons in like 4 seconds or something ridiculous like that. But just right for the Acorn.


Good! One of the guys who was whacked yesterday got a job TODAY, making
$2,500 more a year. What a grand world. Poor bastard, yesterday he was nearly in tears, today when he stopped over, I was nearly in tears. Nico arranged it for him. Sorry to bedevil you with this stuff; I need an outlet for this insanity.


3:13 pm
One guy who had to sign his Severance Agreement (I get them all to send to
HR): You could see where he began signing his name with the blue ink, the pen ran out on the first letter, and he had to finish it in black ink. That's like the blade cutting half-way through your neck. I gagged when I saw that, knowing the guy. I must keep my job. I must keep my job. I must keep my job. I must keep my job. I must keep my job.


3:30 pm
There's some hurting people over here, lot of see-through brave fronts. You really make an effort for them. A mandatory effort - even if it's 3 months pay.

I keep thinking how this guy goes home and tells his wife. With his 4 and 7 year old son and daughter. Few things are harder I would imagine. How he wakes up tomorrow and has no where to go. I hate that happening, even to someone I don't like.


3:43 pm
Turns out one of the guys who I thought was let go, was actually preempting people - himself - didn't want to make the move to the big building. I'm thinking, I WANT to go to the big building. Means I still have a job. Lot of people have some experience with the big company and are DREADING our move. I'm looking forward to it.

Maybe I'm an idiot, but at least in the mistake I made above, I'm a happy idiot. Told the guy, "don't do that to me, you fuck, tell me you quit and here I am feeling bad cause I thought you got whacked."