Author Topic: How to get laid off just in time for FIRE?  (Read 1592 times)

Luck12

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How to get laid off just in time for FIRE?
« on: November 08, 2018, 09:12:21 AM »
Asking for a friend :) 

What steps would you take if you were say 4-6 months from quitting?   Let's say the division and company is doing well this year so mass layoffs are not expected.   

My friend has been slacking off (long lunches, work hours are like 9-4, does the minimum to do an OK job, etc) but still getting "meets expectations" but certainly if there were layoffs he'd be the first to go because his co-workers are overachieving types.     


JoJo

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Re: How to get laid off just in time for FIRE?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2018, 10:46:58 AM »
Unless the company is going through some major cost saving measures, this might not be possible.  If they go too far may even mean firing (no severance, but would likely need to be on performance improvement plan for sometime before this is a real risk).

Best chances is if friend hears of any cost savings, may be an opportunity to offer to leave, but best to wait until close to the end.  I've thought about this a bit... our corporate parent gives us a new cost saving goal every year, cut, cut, cut.   Because of these cuts, I offered to go part time (65% time) two years ago and they accepted. 

bognish

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Re: How to get laid off just in time for FIRE?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2018, 10:55:19 AM »
Have the President put massive tariffs on the components and raw materials that your company uses to make its products making you noncompetitive with foreign competition and drying up new orders. That worked for me.

Padonak

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Re: How to get laid off just in time for FIRE?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2018, 11:03:33 AM »
I would never do it.

DS

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Re: How to get laid off just in time for FIRE?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2018, 11:05:08 AM »
Why?

Dave1442397

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Re: How to get laid off just in time for FIRE?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2018, 11:14:43 AM »
I work for a large corporation, and we've had random layoffs over the past few years. Our management told people that if they want to be considered when layoffs come, just let them know. They added the names to the list starting maybe five years ago.

In that time, only one person didn't get the package, and ended up quitting. The others were all within months of retiring, and all got 26 weeks pay when laid off. They were all very happy with that, and so were our managers, as they didn't have to deal with losing people who wanted to stay.

marty998

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Re: How to get laid off just in time for FIRE?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2018, 01:25:45 PM »
I first read the title of this thread as "How to get laid", so congrats on the clickbait :D

Even if mass lay-offs are not i the works, you can suggest your 'friend' to automate their job out of existence.

Or if they are a key person, carve up the responsibilities amongst others.

I would not advise "doing nothing". It's not good to burn bridges by being a slacker, especially if you need a reference in future.

Duke03

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Re: How to get laid off just in time for FIRE?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2018, 01:39:28 PM »
My company have layoffs/buy outs once a year even when things are going great.  Bad thing is even if you put your name on the list there is no guarantee they will pick you.  I love to spread the rumor that it's a trap.  You put your name down and if they don't pick you it's the kiss of death.  My buddy got picked last year.  Got a cool 70k to walk out the door along with tuition reimbursement for 2 years.  He's going back to school.

Slee_stack

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Re: How to get laid off just in time for FIRE?
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2018, 01:47:55 PM »
I suppose I accidentally find myself in the exact title situation.  I'm mulling the first severance offer and will be countering back in another week+ to wait for some vesting before being a pain.

My last day is 12/7/18.

We probably do have enough, but SO has a huge pension and medical coverage carrot hanging out there.  I would feel guilty being RE while SO pressed on.

I will probably get another job, but I am hoping for a far shorter commute and hopefully shorter hours.  We could change our mind at any time though.

As to my selection for layoff..I was actually surprised and not surprised.  My last few years have been a rollercoaster here for sure.  There's quite a number of folks who seriously coast here though.  Its shocking to see certain people stay yet others go.  I don't think there's a lot of logic behind it.

Once I burned out and started saying 'No' to excessive tasks, I started working on what I wanted to...which ultimately was less than what I used to be saddled with.

I found myself in a jack of everything kind of place.  About 8 months later, my employer decided that my 'untitled' job is redundant.   All in all I'm good with their notice (5 weeks) but need them to up their paid weeks severance offer.  I do think I deserve more.  Don't we all?
« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 01:52:53 PM by Slee_stack »

Blackbeard

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Re: How to get laid off just in time for FIRE?
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2018, 02:40:00 PM »
Ive been involved in engineering several lay-off for the companies Ive worked for.  Not my favorite part of my old job, but hopefully my experience will help here.  I just recently designed my own lay-off.

There are two common myths, managers are idiots and there is no rhyme or reason to who gets laid off. 

First, in big mega corps there are always dud managers, all in all most senior people have skill sets that serve the company well, or customers.  Most good supervisors/managers keep around cannon fodder.  I know I did it.  Every year you had to save X% so best way to do it is remove a head.  Thats why you see a pattern in layoffs.  But during the course of the year Id always get the high achievers complaining about Bob in the corner.  Then a few months later Bob would be gone and wed all get raises, accounting to less than Bobs salary.   Heartless but true.

Second, unless it is a small company there is a very well thought out way to who gets laid off.  There are so many legal hoops to jump through its got to be done right.  Typically there is a grid ranking system at a minimum.  For white collar salaried workers there really is no recourse, were all at will workers.  The severance is done for a few reasons.  1.  Face savings for EE and the Company. EE get something the company doesnt seem like as big a dick.  2.  The EE by signing the paperwork essentially gives up any ability to sue.  Of course they could sue but, but theyd lose if they sign.  3.  Managers get laid off as well, so they want to establish a baseline for their future compensation.  4.  If the company is public or owned by Private Equity- there are some accounting things that can be done to keep the restructuring costs out of earnings, so it becomes a one time fee.  This helps with earnings per share or valuations for PE companies.

As for getting a severance without there being a lay-off in the example by the OP.  I see absolutely no way Id give a mediocre person that is potentially my cannon-fodder a severance ever.  The abbreviated conversation would be,

Employee:  blah blah blah i might quit if youd give me a severance.
Me:  did you just resign?
Employee: yes if you give me a severance.
Me:  overly nice, your goodbye party will be in two weeks, its been great working with you, thanks for all of the hard work.

In my experience the best people, including me are the ones that put themselves on the list.  Most of the time theyre the ones you keep.

What I personally just did after I was FI.  Im a partner in the business and WAS a senior VP.  I had a tremendously honest conversation with the CEO about my intentions.  At the end I gave 4 options that I was good with.
1.  This was my two week notice.
2.  Ill stay another 8 weeks while my replacement was found, but I get 6 months severance.
3.  Ill drop back to 2 weeks per month for 12 months and take half my salary.
4.  Ill be a consultant on reserve.  You pay me 150% of my salary for 3 months and I wont look for another job and Ill be on call.  Anything past 8 weeks of work in the first year you pay me 180% of my weekly salary.  This is normal in executive consulting.

They chose a modified version of 2 and 3.  Were all happy.  The bottom line, youve got to be flexible and way better than the average employee to get a severance when youre not being asked to go.

jim555

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Re: How to get laid off just in time for FIRE?
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2018, 10:56:24 PM »
My company would routinely have lay offs.  I made it known that I wouldn't mind leaving.  They sent my job to a lower cost office and I got my severance eventually.

Dances With Fire

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Re: How to get laid off just in time for FIRE?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2018, 06:46:19 AM »
My company have layoffs/buy outs once a year even when things are going great.  Bad thing is even if you put your name on the list there is no guarantee they will pick you.  I love to spread the rumor that it's a trap.  You put your name down and if they don't pick you it's the kiss of death.  My buddy got picked last year.  Got a cool 70k to walk out the door along with tuition reimbursement for 2 years.  He's going back to school.

I have approached HR to go part-time with no luck so far as well as asking for any possible buyout. One problem we are having is NOT being able to hire/find "enough" people.

If Mega-Corp offered me 70K to walk, I would be cleaning out my desk today....

avrex

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Re: How to get laid off just in time for FIRE?
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2018, 11:52:02 AM »
  The abbreviated conversation would be,

Employee:  blah blah blah i might quit if youd give me a severance.
Me:  did you just resign?
Employee: yes if you give me a severance.
Me:  overly nice, your goodbye party will be in two weeks, its been great working with you, thanks for all of the hard work.


@Blackbeard, I'm confused.

Are you saying that you fired this employee without severance?

SKL-HOU

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Re: How to get laid off just in time for FIRE?
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2018, 12:08:51 PM »
  The abbreviated conversation would be,

Employee:  blah blah blah i might quit if youd give me a severance.
Me:  did you just resign?
Employee: yes if you give me a severance.
Me:  overly nice, your goodbye party will be in two weeks, its been great working with you, thanks for all of the hard work.


@Blackbeard, I'm confused.

Are you saying that you fired this employee without severance?

I believe he is saying if a crappy employee tries to negotiate a severance to quit, he would tell him "don't let the door hit you on the way out", no severance. It hasn't happened.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 12:10:26 PM by SKL-HOU »

SwitchActiveDWG

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Re: How to get laid off just in time for FIRE?
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2018, 12:14:17 PM »
FinancialSamurai has some good stuff on this topic.

jim555

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Re: How to get laid off just in time for FIRE?
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2018, 01:16:51 PM »
  The abbreviated conversation would be,

Employee:  blah blah blah i might quit if youd give me a severance.
Me:  did you just resign?
Employee: yes if you give me a severance.
Me:  overly nice, your goodbye party will be in two weeks, its been great working with you, thanks for all of the hard work.


@Blackbeard, I'm confused.

Are you saying that you fired this employee without severance?

I believe he is saying if a crappy employee tries to negotiate a severance to quit, he would tell him "don't let the door hit you on the way out", no severance. It hasn't happened.
If they are firing you they definitely want to give you a severance.  They don't want a lawsuit later.