We had a good couple of years of growth, then the economy took a downturn. We lost a couple of contracts, and we had to close two of the three data centers we had in other cities. We also had to lay off employees. During all this, we did have need for another network engineer. We hired a young man straight out of college and paid him next to nothing. He had no real job experience and was happy to be employed, so this was OK for him. I thought, "This is great -- I have someone to help with the network." It turned out to be anything but great.
I'll never forget that certain Friday in May. The CEO and CFO of the company called me in to the main conference room. They told me that the company had taken yet another financial downturn and they were going to have to let more people go. They then told me I was one of them.
I asked if my reputation with the customers or my deep knowledge of the company held any value whatsoever. I also reminded them that I had recently turned down a director's position with a higher salary at another company because I believed in our business.
Their response: It wasn't personal. It's just that I was one of the highest-paid employees, and they had found a way to replace me and save the company money. They said in no way was it a reflection of my job performance; it was just business.
I was unemployed. I have since moved on and have a good job. I don't, however, believe that there is such a thing as company loyalty or job security. I also look over my shoulder and always seek other options.
This story, "Myths of the workplace: Job security and company loyalty," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more crazy-but-true stories in the anonymous Off the Record blog at InfoWorld.com.