With our stock at 1/7 of its January 2008 value, there will be layoffs, right before Christmas.
This time there's a buyout offer. We have the option of voluntarily leaving and getting the same package. Most of us don't qualify for Social Security, and with the economy tanking, we aren't likely to find work elsewhere.
Past layoffs were based on seniority: new people were selected, it was temporary, and after several weeks, they could expect to return.
This time, though, it's severance, and the selection process is a different calculation. Whatever job they deem superfluous or too costly gets the ax. "Too costly" could include old-timers who are paid more than newbies. After thirteen years, I am an old timer; real old timers got it last year.
As my daughter, the VeggieGirl, noted: I am always on notice for layoff, so what's the difference? The difference is that I have been caught in several layoffs in my life, and we never quite recover. They lay waste to our lifestyle, ruin our credit, and in general, trash my self-esteem.
On the other hand, frequent layoffs tend to leave survivors glad to be working. Even if they are tough on the nerves.