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This Breakfast Will Leave A Terrible Taste In Your Mouth

, , , , | Working | March 14, 2023

I am the author of this story. This event occurred about fifteen months later.

Late on a Thursday afternoon, I was asked to help set up the conference room that was located diagonally across from the mailroom where I work. There was a “breakfast” meeting scheduled for the next day at 7:30 am. They wanted it set up with tables and chairs for thirty-eight people so they would have a place to sit and eat, along with a table in the back for the food and one in the front for the presenters.

The next morning, everyone arrived for the meeting. At 8:00 am, I noticed a Vice President arriving for the meeting along with a Human Resources representative — the same one to whom I had complained about my situation the previous year.

After barely even ten minutes, the doors opened and people began filtering out one or two at a time. I got this feeling of foreboding that something was up — you know, just that sense that something is wrong. Everyone coming out of the conference room had this gloomy, depressed expression on their face, and each one had a manilla folder in their hands.

Afterward, I spoke to several of the people that I knew particularly well, having worked with many of them for ten years or more. They had been told the previous afternoon to attend a 7:30 am breakfast meeting scheduled for the next day and to “be on time or a bit early” to allow for a prompt start. Many of them did arrive five to ten minutes early so they’d be done eating before the presentation began, which they were informed would start promptly at 8:00 am. By 8:00 am, everyone was finishing up with their breakfast when the Vice President came in with the HR representative and gave this brief presentation to the thirty-eight people who were called to this meeting.

Vice President: “Good morning, everyone. Thank you for coming to this early breakfast meeting. Has everyone had a chance to enjoy their breakfast?”

The breakfast served was a full breakfast with scrambled eggs, French toast, bacon, sausage, coffee, and juice. The group responded with all sorts of positive comments and thanks.

Vice President: “Okay, very good. The reason you all were called to this meeting is that you’ve all been laid off, effective immediately. [HR Rep] here has your folders with your respective severance packages, so please line up, and [HR Rep] will explain everything to you.”

At that, he turned and left the room, displaying no more emotion than if he’d just gotten a haircut. He left the remainder of the task to [HR Rep] and three Benefits Administrators, who arrived shortly after the Vice President left. They all said that [HR Rep] seemed genuinely upset and felt bad about the rather callous way it had been handled.

The Vice President gave no explanations, no sympathies, no kind expressions, no “thank you for your many years of loyal service”, no “I’m sorry we had to do this due to…”, or anything. Just a short, cold, emotionless dismissal.

Not Taking Anyone’s S*** Today

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