After you’ve been layed off, how do you say goodbye to people that you have worked with for almost a decade? Employees of my company work virtually and remotely – some reside in Cali., some in Houston, Omaha, Tennessee. I’m in Georgia. As I’ve never met my recent team mates face to face, my first thoughts were to leave quietly. I discussed the WFR only to those cubemates close to me in proximity, and the cafeteria lady. So for the other hundred or so people that I’ve actually worked with over the years, should I not say anything at all, like I’ve never made a footprint? Nope, I deserve more recognition and acknowledgement than that.
My heart tugged a little as I started putting down words. It was an instant dilemma as I so did not want to leave a cliché message. I’ve received multiple emails over the years from others that have been axed. They are usually upbeat with lots of hopes, anticipations, and dreams for the future, visible greener pastures, yada, yada. While I do feel that for myself, do I want to avoid their pity by leaving this over the top, upbeat prophetic message to all those remaining? It doesn’t work and I’m not trying to assuage their feelings. Let me be the recipient of their encouragement; bring it on. A recent trend from those WFR’d in our Asian offices are emails that blast everybody and everything from the last five years in lengthy, massive All Company email distributions (with attachments). As cathartic as that sounds, do I really want to burn all bridges that I worked so hard to build? Hmmm, not so much.
After a brief internet search of layed off farewell letters, I found a pleasing idea—to use humor. I copycatted a subject for my email, titled it “Free Food in the Employee Cafeteria.” It made me laugh as I clicked the “send” icon. I made brief mention that I was happy for the opportunities I was given, had enjoyed working with them (civil and true), and left contact information. All the recipients opened the mail immediately, lol, and I received back lots of encouragement. In retrospect, the humor made me feel less morose about the farewell, however I wonder if it left my boss thinking that I was ok with being WFR’d. In a way, I kinda am.
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