HR’s strange side: The Web’s worst layoff stories

No manager likes telling employees they’re losing their jobs. But that’s no excuse for being this bad at it.

A new Web site,, lets the recently unemployed post layoff horror stories. Most of them involve poor timing, or management’s complete ineptitude at breaking bad news.

Here’s the worst of the bunch:

  1. One users tells about being transferred by her employer to a location in Manhattan. After moving all of her belongings into a tiny, expensive studio apartment, she reported for her first day in the new office — only to be told right away that her job had been eliminated.
  2. Every employee for a telecommunications company was called into a meeting and were told the firm needed to cut staff. How would they find out who was getting the axe? Laid off employees would be notified through e-mail. The vice president told everyone to go back to their desks and wait to see if they received the dreaded message.
  3. While an employee was on medical leave getting cancer treatment, five members of his department were laid off. Several months later, he learned it was supposed to have been six. In December of 2008, he got a letter which read: “Due to administrative error, your employment is terminated, effective Sept. 5, 2008.”
  4. After working at a bank for 23 years, an employee got a new supervisor, who quickly unveiled an updated org chart — which didn’t include the employee’s name. Not surprisingly, he was let go shortly after.

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