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- A former engineer at Google told Insider she was laid-off while on vacation with her family.
- She found out about being laid off via a message on LinkedIn from her manager.
- The firm cut perks and increased work pressure in the months leading up to the layoffs, she said.
A Google engineer of five years said she found out she had been laid-off while on vacation after getting a LinkedIn message from her manager.
The former employee — who asked to remain anonymous over fears speaking to the media could hurt her future job prospects — said that she was on a vacation with her family and had not checked any of her work emails.
Her identity and termination by Google have been verified by Insider.
“I had some friends randomly text me checking in but I thought they just wanted to know how my vacation was,” she told Insider in an interview. “It didn’t occur to me that they were checking to see whether or not I had been laid off. Nobody told me that happened, I was just blissfully unaware.”
The engineer said that she ended up checking one of her two personal emails, when she realized that her manager had sent her a message on LinkedIn.
“I was like ‘oh my gosh.’ There’s no reason why he would try to contact me on LinkedIn,” she said. “‘Why would you not email me or send me a message on chat? There’s so many other ways you can reach me.’
“So I knew immediately. My heart just dropped when I saw that.”
Her manager apologized in the message he sent to her and informed her that she had been laid off, she said. The manager said he had no other way of contacting her and her termination notice had been sent to her second personal email at 5:00 a.m. which she rarely checks.
Insider reviewed a copy of the employment termination notice she received.
“It was like a whirlwind of emotion because I just couldn’t contact anybody,” she said. “Also to have it happen not on your terms and have it be abrupt with no closure and no explanation was really hard”
She added: “I think it’s hard to give so much of your time and energy to building something for somebody else and make them money off your work only to just be brushed off and let go that easily.”
She was one of 12,000 people to be laid off by Google in a major cost-cutting effort by the tech giant. CEO Sundar Pichai sent an email to staff on January 20 saying employees were being let go globally across various divisions and functions.
The former employee told Insider that “morale was really low already” before the layoffs because of cuts to perks, as well as increased pressure to perform well, so she hadn’t been planning to stay at the firm much longer.
However, the way the tech giant had executed the layoffs was “horrible.”
“I know it’s hard to do a layoff on that scale, but I feel really confident that they could have come up with a better way to do it to at least give people some dignity and some notice,” she said.
She said that she heard that a current employee who had avoided layoffs resigned in the aftermath because they were upset with the company’s handling of the matter.
“People are really really upset with how this happened and I think everybody, even the top performers, are really on edge after this,” she added.