Comments to " Have you ever experienced the 'HR Surprise'?"
I had previously been looking, and did not do anything to the company. I will be looking for a lawyer to take a look at the situation.
I was told over the telephone at 1 PM on a Friday that I was going to be replaced the next week by the manager of a different mill, that I would be transferring to another facility or let go and those were my options. I did the following: 1) put a team meeting together with my staff at 4pm to review the progress we had made and make sure that they understood the successes we had experienced together, give me a chance to tell them in person, and with some level of dignity and to wish them luck (the mill had recently been acquired by new ownership) 2) Called several senior VP level mentors and asked for guidance. 3) did not quit right away, since I had the option of staying - but did immediately put together my resume and got it in front of several friends across the industry. 4) Began an all out search for new employment. 5) took a trip to the new mill (5 hours away) that weekend to check out the area and decide how long I could make that work while I continued my search. 6) Did everything I could to swallow my pride and act as professionally as I could and project confidence that things were going to be better for me as a result - especially to my wife.(not sure I always did that successfully as I like to remember - but I tried) footnote - I drug my feet on signing any letter until they finally offered to pay me an amount double my salary to stay at the new facility until it was sold. Their attorneys really messed up by not putting a time limit on the agreement and what they expected to be 2 weeks turned into 11 months. I doubt I'll be that fortunate next time.
Shock. No warning. Company was downsizing, and eliminating the group I was assigned to. I was offered retirement and acceptable severance pay. Luckily I was prepared for this move, as I was well above retirement age. The others in the group was the ones I felt sorry for( time in service and age). At lease the company gave some time to consult with a layer before signing, and a delayed affected date before discharge.
It happened to my father.
I negotiated a good severance package including moving expenses, assistance in finding a new position and an agreement that requests for reference would be answered with a very favorable response and explanation that my termination was not related to my job performance but rather acquisition of the company by a new owner.
Shock and awe!! I made the mistake of not getting some things in writing that were promised (like keeping my job until the end of the following year). All of us that were going through this process at the same time were told in a group meeting that failure to sign certain documents would result in not getting the "package". A couple of folks checked with attorneys. Yup, they can do that. And in addition, by signing to get the "package", you agree that you won't sue them for losing your job due to age discrimination. Yup, they can do that, too. And, of course, down the road a few years, your health insurance for life goes away and they show you how to sign up for Medicare. Gone are the days when 30+ years of service will result in long-term benefits. I did not prepare well for retirement and certainly not for early termination.
Moderately high anguish - could have been worse but I was planning to leave after bonuses were paid and the company got in before bonuses that obligation existed.
Comments to " How prepared are you for the 'HR Surprise'?"
It is never a good thing, but I typically have "feelers" out in the P&P industry as well as others in which my skills can be beneficial.
I think about it but am not prepared. Thanks for the advice on what to do or not do.
I am currently self-employed.
Self employed - but know customers can do this to me any day.
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