Monthly Archives: February 2009
A few days ago we reported on those sketchy peeps from Northern Trust Bank, that recently held lavish parties in LA despite receiving taxpaper “bailout” money.
AP reports that the shady company recently changed course and said that they would repay the $1.6 BILLION loan “as quickly as prudently possible.”
President and CEO of Northern Trust, Frederick H. Waddell, wrote a letter to the U.S. House Financial Services Committee on Friday saying, “We deeply regret that some of the events associated with the Northern Trust Open have distracted from the positive nature of an event that has raised more than $50 million for charity since its inception. We will redouble our efforts to ensure that these activities are appropriate given the current environment.”
Time recently posted an article with helpful advice for what to do and how to behave once you get the heave-ho by your employer.
Some choice excerpts:
What if someone tells you that you’re being let go? What do you do and say at that awful moment?
Keep your mouth shut. Keep your hand away from the pen. Sign nothing. Keep your thoughts to yourself. Ask questions. At the risk of sounding adversarial — and I don’t like to do that because I’m a huge booster of the HR profession — these people have a script. HR and the layoff managers are war-gamed against a script because they need to protect themselves legally. If you only ask questions, in a really calm way, you can get them to move off-script. And when they move off-script, they could say something that you can use in your favor. Not necessarily against them, but certainly in your favor. So don’t sign the severance package at that moment; find out what their reasoning was behind you being selected as someone to lay off. And expect a nondescript answer. “It wasn’t you — it’s us.” That typical breakup line.
What if you burst into tears? (I did this)
I think that’s completely normal and natural. I think if you’re dealing with a humane terminating manager and a humane HR person, their hearts are breaking too. It’s just painful all around.
Is it O.K. to express that you think the layoff is unfair, if you think it really shouldn’t have been you? (I did this)
Probably not. The reason why is that it makes no difference. They’re not suddenly going to press the rewind button and totally unlay you off. It’s just going to make you look petulant, and it’s going to leave a bad taste in everybody’s mouth. And you’re going to look back and say, “Gosh, I wish I hadn’t said that.” It gets you nowhere, and dignity will get you everywhere.
Any tips about health insurance? (This is a sore subject for me)
One of the experts that I talked to said that if you think you’re about to be laid off, get your physical done while your company coverage is still paying for it. Get a recent document that says you are in great shape, so when the time comes for you to go out and get your own coverage, you have a document that’s new that you can show to insurance companies to prove that you’re a good health-insurance risk. When people see how much COBRA costs on a monthly basis, the reality of that sets in really fast. There are all sorts of ways of getting coverage, including the warehouse stores. Costco is offering health-care coverage now. So there are alternatives. A lot of the associations are offering something. So there are ways of patching together coverage so you never have to be totally without.
What do you tell a prospective employer about your layoff? How honest can you be? (I did this and am still sans job four months later)
I think you can be completely honest. In fact, in this phase, if you’re not, the employer is probably going to wonder. Don’t lie. This is the era of the no-fault layoff. Anyone who judges you for having been laid off doesn’t know what they’re doing.
Since I don’t live in “regular Amerika” and can’t fit normal sized appliances into my apartment (my range is 20″ wide, I had to get that from the “fake Home Depot” in Manhattan) I don’t know what people buy at Sears except things by ADD-extraordinaire Ty Pennington, only because before I had cable I was resigned to watch a lot of “Extreme Makeover Home Edition.”
According to Reuters, the mega-retailer closed 28 stores during 2008 and an additional 24 last month. The shuttered stores were in Ohio, Florida, and Indiana. No word on how many jobs were lost because of it. Booooo.
…global jet setting! Okay, that’s mostly the out-of-work finance guys — and me — but my story is something else. I actually have $500 to my name and am in a third-world country in Asia. Don’t ask, I’ll be back in the United States soon enough.