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Diary of a Frustrated Young Professional- Letting Somebody Go

Dear all knowing Internet,

I know its been a long time since I have last called upon your all knowing goodness, but this time I am extremely frustrated. In New York State, the public employee union I belong to rejected our new contract. As a result, many young professionals including myself have been notified that I will be given the boot due to my low seniority.

I am sure you can imagine my frustration since I am being laid off only because of how many years (or the lack there of) I have been a state employee and has nothing to do with performance. I must say that the way I was notified was done with the utmost compassion and dignity. It went down something like this.

After a meeting with senior staff, my supervisor asked to see me in her office. She broke the news and opened her door to me if I wanted to talk about the situation. I was soon contacted by my HR office where they explained my rights and gave me a package with information regarding reemployment with the State and how to file for unemployment. While devastated, I felt like I had been treated in a respectable manner.

Unfortunately, some people I know who were also effected were treated much worse. Some came in one day to find an email notifying them of their soon to be unemployment. Others were mailed a letter.

The worst part of this whole experience is how your co-workers treat you after you have been targeted. New York State employees are given a 20 day notice before you are actually laid off. For the past 15 days, I have felt like a dead man walking.

With people bragging about how they are glad its not them or celebrating that the contract was rejected, its hard not to get a least a little upset. However, as Alfred says in the movie Batman Begins, “It’s not how you fall, it’s how you get back up.” I know in the long run I will be ok, but I worry for those with families to support.

So in these hard economic times, what is the best (or worst) way to let somebody go? How would you treat somebody who you know is going to lose their job? Please share your experiences.


Young and Frustrated

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