Tag Archives: layoffs


Nov 24, 2010

Gwen Works Her Face Off, Then Gets Fired – “The Pain Of It All” Video #3

As part of my ongoing “The Pain Of It All” video series, I interview Gwen about her job loss from a financial services firm. Yes, her name is just Gwen – like a Brazilian soccer player. No last name. :-)

Gwen’s story is unfortunately not atypical. She worked at a company where folks were losing their jobs all around her, even in the face of financial success. As more and more friends fell by the wayside, her workload drastically increased. Cliques developed. Anxiety and depression set in. Finally, she decided to talk to HR about her concerns, and she was almost immediately dismissed.

Several things made her story notable to me:

1. She demonstrated a strong work ethic. It’s always great to see young people working hard at their jobs, and caring. I was not working as hard at my job when I was her age.

2. As coworkers lost their jobs, she was handed their work. Her workload dramatically increased. I can’t imagine the stress of watching friends lose their jobs, while being handed an amount of work that could just not be completed.

3. Everyone’s worst nightmare happened to her – she decided to talk to management about her concerns, and her reward was a pink slip. And this was after receiving a positive review and a bonus just two weeks before her termination.

4. After getting fired, she doubted herself. When talking with me, she used the word “depression.” With no support from her former employer, and getting fired under extremely bizarre circumstances, how else could she be expected to feel? She did say that she had an immediate desire to go kick some ass – do something, achieve something. She had two job interviews that she felt she was highly qualified for, but didn’t get either job. She then wondered if she just needed to take a break and breathe a little bit. However, her impending marriage, bills, and other pressures of life wouldn’t allow her to remain unemployed for too long.

5. A happy ending – she starts a new job after the Thanksgiving holiday! I could tell she was quite excited. She’s filling in for a friend’s maternity leave, with the potential to stay longer term. The best part is that she wants full-time work, and the employer knows this. They have a great up-front understanding that should serve them both well.

Thanks again to Gwen for her candor. After 15 or so minutes working out some Skype audio issues, I think we had a great interview. If you want to find Gwen on the webernet, check her out here:

Twitter: @allthingsgwen
Facebook: Fit Friends
Blog: AllThingsGwen.com

And a reminder: if you’re interested in being interviewed for this series, or know someone who might, have a look at my blog post here where I explain what I’m doing. I’d love to talk with you.





Oct 25, 2010

Christopher Cloud Discusses The Implosion of US Fidelis – “The Pain Of It All” Video #2

In video #2 of my interview series “The Pain Of It All,” Christopher Cloud discusses the best job he ever had, and it suddenly went away. When US Fidelis begain laying people off, it was only a matter of time until Chris got word that his job had been eliminated. A once high-flying company with executives driving Lamborghinis and building $27 million houses was now crawling with state attorneys general and lawyers trying to figure it all out. $100,000 in go karts went missing. Really?

Two aspects of this interview that really strike me:

1.  I want a Lamborghini. To think these brothers, the co-owners of US Fidelis, had Lambos and Ferraris, and somehow pissed it all away…. frankly it pisses me off! Oh yeah, and St. Louis lost 1,400 jobs too. That part also sucks!

2.  When bad things happen to me, I tend to chuck aside the entity or individual that thrust the badness upon me. I find it hard to say nice things about those that put me through pain! US Fidelis chucked Chris aside, collapsing under the weight of massive superduper fraud. And yet, he still feels it was the best job he ever had. He worked incredibly hard, and really liked the place. (I mean, they had a basketball court there!). While extended auto warranties are not the absolutely cleanest business, Americans do still buy them. This company could have been run differently, and a whole bunch of St. Louisans could still be employed there.

Chris is a really nice fellow, and I thank him for chatting with me about his job loss. Find Chris on LinkedIn here, and on Twitter, he is the world-famous iAmCloud.

A few interesting links on the shenanigans at US Fidelis:

US Fidelis Owners’ Lavish Lifestyles At Risk

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against US Fidelis

Directors Accused Of Siphoning Millions From US Fidelis

Brothers File Bankruptcy In US Fidelis Case