Monday, June 15, 2020

Bad ways to lay people off

Via The New York Times, two ways not to do it:
One of the many unwelcome lessons we’ve already learned during this recession is just how terrible companies are at firing people. Last month, WW International, the company formerly known as Weight Watchers, laid off employees in an arpeggio of simultaneous Zoom calls lasting just three minutes each. 
A few weeks before that, Bird, the Santa Monica-based scooter rental company, lured 406 employees to a mysterious Zoom “webinar” only to have them stare at a slide that read “Covid-19” while a disembodied female voice told them their services were no longer required. “It felt like a Black Mirror episode,” said a former employee.
I don't think pharma or the chemical industry has gotten there yet...


  1. A company could use this:

  2. I don't think they're terrible about firing people - their firing processes work as designed. The companies only care about getting fired employees out the door and off their books, and everything else is secondary. It's almost refreshingly honest - they're showing exactly how little they care about their employees and anything but themselves.

    Unfortunately (says he who has a Facebook account) if it doesn't matter to customers, they can keep doing what they want and not care (as long as the money comes in). I figure that small tech companies with short-term lifespans can pull this off, but I thought Weight Watchers actually had a reputation to lose.

  3. I finished one virtual onsite interview with an R1 university last month and recently they asked me send the official transcript to them first, and then asked me my home address a few days later. I am not sure whether this is a normal process or a promising sign. Did anyone have the similar experience before? Thanks.

  4. My advisor fired our lab technician a month ago through e-mail. At the end of the e-mail he quotes someone saying how important it is to be compassionate. Only in academia....

  5. I'm pretty sure cognitive dissonance (especially when someone else takes the consequences) is universal. Academia does seem really good at cognitive dissonance and compartmentalization, however.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20