What happens when you get laid off? Do you get to stay until the end of the day? Do you say goodbye to people or try to leave without anyone noticing?

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They shut off your email before you leave the room and then they wipe your coworkers memory of you completely

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Depends- standard is you’re called into a meeting with HR or one is put on calendar. You walk in and if you see someone you know with someone you don’t and there’s a folder you know what’s happening. They’ll explain what’s happening, tell you your severance, COBRA details and generally walk you out the door. If it’s a mass layoff they won’t want others to catch on so they’ll mail you your stuff. Don’t sign anything that day and don’t say much. If you have a sense this is coming save your stuff off your laptop now. And don’t worry- this isn’t the end of the world even if it feels like that for a bit. Enjoy the new day off, do something nice for yourself and use the free days to make finding a better place your new full-time job in the meantime.

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Depends on the place... usually you have to get out of the building right away, sometimes with an escort.

Nicer places let you keep your dignity and let you pack your own shit and quietly say good bye.

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Immediately escorted out of the building.

Unless you’re the HR Manager’s boyfriend, then you pen a huge manifesto of a goodbye email in advance and send it to the entire agency, then hang out until the end of the day canoodling with your HR Manager girlfriend on the lobby couches and make it uncomfortable for everyone else.

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They wrap duct tape around your mouth 3 times, draw a happy face on a paper sack with two holes punched for your eyes and put it over your head. Then you’re rolled up in a carpet and thrown down the trash chute.

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Been laid off twice and it was handled differently both times. First time my boss and a security guard showed up at my desk. (Apparently someone didn’t take the news well last round of layoffs so security was SOP) asked me to join them and off to HR to get the BS story. Was actually relieved even though I was caught by surprise. Second time, I was told 2 months in advance the whole team was being laid off at year end as part of a team meeting. Our project wasn’t being funded anymore so we could use the time to wrap up things, apply for jobs internally and start looking.

Here’s the thing. If you even smell a layoff is in the air, start copying the files you need for your portfolio. The surprise layoff could have screwed me hard if a friend of mine hadn’t backed up my best work when he heard I was laid off and got it to me later that week.

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I've experienced both.

1. Here is your envelope, leave the office (without escort), don't make eye contact while you walk out, don't touch anyone or anything, definitely don't say good bye or wave your hand. Close the door behind you and try not to make any noise. Go directly into your car and get outta here.

Or.

2. The CEO and my CD sat me down, broke down the news, if the agency doesn't pick up any new business within a month they have no choice (it was a small agency). My CD also broke down during all this. We had a nice good bye dinner at the end of the month and we parted ways.

Either way, being laid off is great. Take a mental break. Go to Vegas for a little while. Then, hopefully, you'll land on your feet.

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You don't get to stay. Someone may walk back to your desk with you and watch you collect your stuff. If a lot, they'll provide a box, then they'll mail it to you but you get to pack it yourself. Then they escort you out, take your badge and company cell phone. It's very civil but efficient, no getting cute or sentimental.

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I was escorted out but ran into some peeps on the subway.

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Why do they escort people out? Are they worried you’re going to give a Jerry Maguire speech and take people with you?

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So that you don't take company information or physical property with you and so you don't make a scene

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At my agency, if you're behaved in the meeting, they let you grab your bag from your desk unescorted. If you seem like you'll make a scene, you'll be escorted. Most other belongings are boxed and mailed.

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