Many of you’ve probably already heard that that even the almighty giant Microsoft has announced layoffs. For more details, you can see Steve Ballmer’s Entire Memo to the Microsoft Troops About Layoffs and Weak Results
In brief, 5,000 people will be laid off, with 1,400 to be laid off on the 1st wave. I was actually asleep when all this was announced and when I got into work a little past noon, that’s when I first heard of the news. I knew there was supposed to be a big announcement that day and layoffs were quite probably a topic they’d hit.
At first, everything felt a bit surreal. The thought about a giant like Microsoft laying off people just felt very foreign, strange, and unfamiliar. However, it wasn’t until I found out someone I knew was actually laid off that it really hit me, and it hit me hard. I went looking for another tester on a different team to see if he had anything he wanted to discuss during today’s meeting, but he wasn’t in his office. I dropped by his neighbor’s office and asked if he knew where person x was. He said person x has been laid off. At first I had problem grasping that fact and even questioned if he was serious. And of course he replied unfortunately he was being serious. I just stood there shocked… Thinking back, asking if he was serious was rather insensitive, since no one in the right mind would joke about something like that on such an ominous day.
Rumor was that if your manager asked you to go have a conversation with him, it was most likely in regards to this issue.
I’m not sure how long exactly were the managers told to choose people to lay off, but my lead had come talked to me a week earlier saying another team in the Federated Identity group really needed help and would be transferring me over to that team. With that in mind, I thought there was good possibility of me not being laid off, however there was still that little bug gnawing at the back of my head.
It wasn’t until our general manager emailed us and gave us the news that those who would be laid off would’ve been spoken to already, that a sigh of relief came about. Later I found out that apparently if you were going be laid off, HR would’ve scheduled a meeting with you on your calendar, but I did not know that beforehand.
Even though there’s some relief now, knowing that an additional 3,600 would be laid off over the next 18 months doesn’t really breed a nice working environment and the anxiety is still there…
The following day, we found out that someone from my team was getting laid off. That gave us a even worse feeling. Seeing anyone from my team get the pink slip really hurts, since our team is pretty tight-knit. We even go bowling and paint balling together on our own time.
Given all that, the recession is real, the economy is in the dumps, and this trend will probably continue until the market stabilizes. Lets just hope the economy recovers sooner than later…