I just laid-off 6 people...It was rough... - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 09-15-2006, 02:44 PM   #1
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Default I just laid-off 6 people...It was rough...

I work in the housing industry here in Central Florida. My company builds modular apartments that we then own and operate. For those that are following industry trends, it'* known that this year housing is suffering through a market correction. This largely due to a real estate bubble created by all the investors that pulled their money out of a poorly performing stock market and then proceeded to buy properties on speculation.

This drove land and housing prices through the roof with almost 100% gains in less than two years down here. Useable multi-family properties have risen from @ $30,000/acre to about $125,000/acre. Then add on doubled real estate taxes, quadrupled impact fees, tripled insurance rates, doubled building material costs, increasingly difficult development regulation hurdles, and a new regulation requiring we install sprinkler systems in all units and we have found it much harder to find and develop properties and still be able to charge rents that people can afford.

OK, so that means that yesterday, after another piece of property failed to pass all the stringent requirements for development approval, the Owner (my boss) told me to lay off six people and decrease production so that we could keep the doors open for the next 6 months. This will buy us time to get another project approval and hopefully bring back the workers I had to lay off today.

For those that have never been on this side of the desk during a lay-off I want to tell you how difficult this was for me. Both mentally and emotionally. I didn't sleep at all last night and, as I was shaking the hands of each of the unfortunate six an wishing them well, I had to focus to remain composed.

With the exception of one person, each of these folks were fine people and good workers. I know them all personally and the only thing they had going against them was the unfortunate fact that they were the most recently employed.

The owner went out of his way to make sure that each got a small severence to help out and we gave each any vacation time earned, even if their anniversary date was not yet here, but that doesn't make it any easier, really.

This is not something that is ever easy, not for any manager who is really a manager, IMO.

Sorry for the tedious and maudlin dissertation, but I needed to spill this a little and figured that you guys would understand, or at the very worst ignore the thread. That'* fine too.

Thanks...
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Old 09-15-2006, 02:59 PM   #2
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Ahh, man, I know how bad that feels, but think about this, wellfare pays pretty well, so they'll be alright until they find another job. Things happen, and I personally, like to keep enough money in savings to keep me on my feet for at least 6 months. Also, think about this, you said you were in construction? I see ads all the time for companies looking for builders, so they'll be fine in the job market. The good thing is that you're sensitive enough to feel bad for them, and that, my friend, is a virtue. Keep your head up!
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Old 09-15-2006, 03:01 PM   #3
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In Person, Lash ( Mike ) Is a very laid back kind caring guy... I can only begin to imagine how hard it was to lay off those 6 people..

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Old 09-15-2006, 03:08 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. I appreciate the support.

I am certainly aware that the local job market is good and this may even be best for some of them, ultimately. Somehow the cerebral knowledge gets clouded by the closeness of the situation though.
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Old 09-15-2006, 03:16 PM   #5
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Only one had trouble understanding where to plug in a hammer?

(trying to brighten the mood a little)
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Old 09-15-2006, 03:24 PM   #6
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Thanks, buddy....'preciate it....

Really though, the one was just a mean person.

Funny you mention that though. I may have mentioned once that when I interview people, I hand them a drill while we are doing the walk-through of the plant. Occasionally, a person will not know how to hold a drill. They kind of hold it like it'* a loaded gun or something. That gives me a good indication that they don't have any hand tool experience and may not be the right person for the job.
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Old 09-15-2006, 03:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lash
Thanks, buddy....'preciate it....

Really though, the one was just a mean person.

Funny you mention that though. I may have mentioned once that when I interview people, I hand them a drill while we are doing the walk-through of the plant. Occasionally, a person will not know how to hold a drill. They kind of hold it like it'* a loaded gun or something. That gives me a good indication that they don't have any hand tool experience and may not be the right person for the job.
Interesting approach... Its the little things as such that can tell you a lot about a person you are looking to hire even if there are no words..

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Old 09-15-2006, 03:36 PM   #8
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that'* not the right way to hold a drill??? I've been doing it wrong for years... haha
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Old 09-15-2006, 03:40 PM   #9
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I admire that your boss and company still did everything possible to be fair to the
employees that were let go.

i worked for a multimedia company for 8 months(back when i was 1,
the company became public (shares in the stock market) '
then went bankrupt soon after.
before the bankruptcy we all agreed to take a 60% pay cut, but only work 3 days out of the week.
This lasted for about 2 months... i did not recieve any pay for the last month
and i was let go, with the rest of the people working there..
I NEVER GOT ANY earned vacation time.. or my last months pay(which was not much)..
I heard most of the employees tried to get their money back with legal pursuits- dont know if they were succesfull.

a big for Lash'* boss !!

how you supposed to hold a drill??? i always hold by the handle and point it at things
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Old 09-15-2006, 03:40 PM   #10
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Remind me not to let you work on my car... :P
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