RK was a researcher at a major pharmaceutical company for 30 years. His layoff story is below. [Please note that I have redacted some of the profanity.]
My layoff was a disaster for me, it began as follows, just to give some background.
The company was useless in the entire process (well almost useless).
I received the E-mail from my [posterior]-crawler boss asking me to attend a meeting with him and HR in two days, no subject for the meeting, just the time and place. So I went to see him.
“What is the meeting about”, I asked? “Sorry I can’t tell you”, he said!!! ”Well”, I said, “if that’s the case I’m not coming”. “OH” he said, “no need to be like that.” I said “if I don’t know what it’s about how can I prepare?.” “Well”, he said, “I think we may have something for you, so I think you should come”. By that he meant early retirement. So I turned up for the meeting.
The first meeting:
There we were, [posterior]-crawler, me, a woman from HR and her boss, all seated in a meeting cage in an open plan office, surrounded by worker ants and boxed in by smoked glass! He started if off by introducing them then got right down to it. “There has been a re-organisation in development and your job is one of the 96 which will go” (to China). “Thank you”, I said. “There is a package currently being worked out by the board of directors and a workers committee.” “Oh” said I. Turning to the HR boss, employed, I asked what the package was. He said, “Sorry I can’t give you any details it’s still secret.” So I said, “WHAT THE [Anglo-Saxon curse word], you invite me here to tell me that you can’t tell me anything, that’s ridiculous.” “Why waste my time, you should have phoned me up or just sent a mail.”
By this time I was cooking. He said, “We don’t do things that way! But we should know the details within the next 2 weeks.” “OK”, I said and stormed out and went home. Two weeks came and went, I started cleaning out the office, slowly, nothing from HR. I stayed at home, sometimes went in and continued to clean out my stuff. On a Thursday two days before the end of the month the [posterior]-crawler phoned me, “Can you come in tomorrow at 4 p.m. and sign the various contracts?” “No”, I said. “Monday at 8pm.”
So it was; I signed the papers, no choice in the matter, either sign and get money, or not sign and get instant dismissal. I had 6 months to find another job within the company or I was on the street.
Question: What can a synthetic organic chemist do within a pharma company apart from synthetic organic chemistry? The answer is NOTHING. What a hatful of [posterior orifices].