The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Laugh In The Face Of Authority …

Redundancy is horrible.

It happens but that doesn’t stop it being horrible.

You feel discarded, worthless, devalued.

Even if you know it is absolutely none of those things and you’re just a victim of circumstance you can’t escape the feeling you have been singled out.

It’s even worse when companies approach it as “business, not personal”.

I appreciate that there are countless legalities that you have to jump through but while it might be business for the company, it is always personal for the individual being let go.

That doesn’t mean you want to receive any sense of contrived compassion but you do want to feel respected as an individual.

I remember being let go once and then told that because they knew my visa would mean I’d have to leave the country in 28 days – they would happily delay telling the authorities for a month [to allow me more time to find a new job] but – and it’s quite a big but – if I sacrificed the residency payment I was legally obliged to have been given.


[Though it gave me the resolve to start cynic so it wasn’t all bad – but absolutely no thanks to them]

Anyway, the reason I am writing all this is because I read a story of someone in NZ who was being made redundant who dealt with the situation in a unique way.

Not only did they ensure they owned the situation but they also ensured it was the company letting them go who felt the awkward ones.

It all started when the individual was told they were being let go and informed they could bring someone to the meeting for support.

Who did they bring?

A partner?

A parent?

A colleague?

A lawyer?

Nope … a clown.

A bloody clown.

You can read the story of my newfound hero here … even though when I first heard the story I thought it was the agency who brought in the clown to try and make the mood lighter.

17 Comments so far
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I read about this and it is hysterical. When I told Sarah, we both agreed it was the sort of thing we would expect you to do.

Comment by Pete

Rob has been the clown in meetings for decades.

Comment by Bazza

Thanks Pete and Baz. It’s so nice to be clear about what you really think about me. Ha.

Comment by Rob

Brilliant move. I’m even impressed the agency embraced it, though it would be pretty harsh if they didn’t when they were letting him go.

Comment by Bazza

I know what you mean …. I could so imagine some HR jobsworth saying ‘that is not going to be allowed to happen’

Comment by Rob

The story is hilarious but the upfront of your post is very good also. Losing your job Is extremely stressful which is why this is the exact moment employers can prove their people, even the ones they are letting go, are important to them. Instead they are treated like an inconvenient commodity who can be discarded without conscience because they hold all the cards in terms of severence and references. As you say, it might be business for employers but it is personal for the individual.

Comment by George

Yes …. that is exactly it. It’s why I judge a company as much by how they treat their old colleagues as they do their new. The whole ‘our staff is our greatest asset’ language needs action not just words – especially at times where it either helps the company PR.

Comment by Rob

employees are cannon fodder for shareholders. every fucker knows it but by not saying it every fucker can pretend to be something resembling a human.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by DH

This line “not only did they ensure they owned the situation but they also ensured it was the company letting them go who felt the awkward ones” is excellent.

I understand why Peter and Sarah could imagine you doing this.

Comment by Lee Hill

because campbell is a fucking joke.

Comment by andy@cynic

But at least he’s not a sick joke like many industry leaders and their blinkered commitment to the company line.

Comment by George

The above comment came out far meaner towards Robert than I intended. However any nastiness towards other industry leaders is without apology.

Comment by George

Office Space is a memorable movie.

Comment by Alien Resort

office space should be a fucking mba claas to try and stop them becoming white collar wankers.

Comment by andy@cynic

That would be a brilliant lesson.

Comment by DH

A good post that shows you really understand this issue. A welcome contrast with the chap who was going ballistic because he thought HR had hired the clown.

Comment by John

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