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'Tis the Season...for Layoffs?

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Yho! Laid off some folks recently. Before the holidays. / Photo by m kasahara via LAist's flickr pool.

The U.S. economy is in the tank. We all know that. But what we didn’t know is that somewhere along the line it became the norm for companies to become Scrooge-like by issuing pink slips, layoff notices, or holding reorganizations, reshuffling, restructurings, downsizings, rightsizings, RIFs (reduction in force, dontcha know) – the week or two before the Christmas/Hanukkah/New Year’s holidays.

We heard about big companies like Yahoo! who chose this time of year to give some employees the old Heisman: “Hey, thanks for all your hard work. Happy holidays! But by the way, here’s your hat! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!”

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Now while we all know that this time of year is supposed to be all about sugar plum fairies, Zuzu's petals, Baby Jesus, Rudolph and all that, the reality is that Christmas time has become stressful: traveling, semi-dysfunctional family gatherings, crowded malls, having dinner with friends in the last two weeks of the year since you haven't seen them in the six months (and they just live on the Westside!). Add to all that, all these companies that couldn't wait a few weeks, until after the holidays, to clean house??

Maybe for some employees, just knowing their fate(s) was a relief, but more often than not, getting laid off is just an added stressor to the happiest time of the year. My own company, which shall remain nameless since I am still thus far gainfully employed, had its turn last week. When the org charts were released to staff (two hours late), it was a scene straight out of High School Musical: The Tryouts. People were scrambling to see if they made the cut - if their name were on the cast board, um sorry, chart.

It was a sad, surreal day. One that was probably repeated in many companies throughout the country many times over. Scrooge finally kicked Bob Cratchit to the curb and Tiny Tim is just SOL. So if you have a layoff story that you want to share, please feel free to do so here.

Oh and happy holidays, everyone!