Former Google employee chronicles life before and after layoffs

A faceless email can feel off-putting in the distant work age impersonal and disarmingbut at least there is social media to keep in touch with fellow blinders.

With more than 200,000 tech layoffs in the past few months-which affected the employees of Twitter, Amazon, Facebook-parent Metaand now, Google, there is ample opportunity to do so. Terminated tech employees go online to detail their layoffs, from reception unannounced midnight emails to find out they were kicked out when their access badges failed to open the office door.

This is Jan. 20, Google the parent Alphabet announced that it would slash 12,000 jobs, or 6% of its global workforce. CEO Sundar Pichai said he took “full responsibility” for the cuts afterward a pandemic-fueled hiring spree which increases the company’s workforce by 14% in 2020 and 15% in 2021.

Google’s sudden turnaround from big hiring and spending to the chaos and confusion of last week’s layoffs is captured in the video diaries of Nicole Tsai, a former employee who worked in partner services for of Google’s cloud unit since 2021. Tsai posts vlogs describing her daily life at her company TikTok channel before and after the layoffs were announced.

In videos posted before Jan. 20, Tsai described the luxuries and perks available to her at Google’s Los Angeles-area office in Irvine, which the company says is mostly used by engineering and sales teams. From the ubiquitous free snacks and fruit bowls to the themed meeting room decorated with golden glitter on display on December 30 videoThe lifestyle in the Google offices appears to be luxurious.

A meeting room that Tsai described as one of her favorites on a Jan. 11 video is a “zero-gravity” room decorated with office equipment including a computer and liquid coffee made to appear as if it were floating.

Other features include a speakeasy-themed bar used for happy hours that was spotlighted in a January 11 video, and a giant slide, tiki bar, and kitchen with a DJ board in a video which was published on Friday, the same day Google announced the layoffs.

That video, titled: “Things in my office that make sense: Google edition,” was the last one Tsai recorded before she and thousands of her colleagues were fired.

Tsai documented his dismissal of a Saturday video titled: “A day in the life of being deleted by Google.” She received an “awful” text from her manager the morning before work, asking if she wanted to make a call. After talking to her boss, Tsai checked her work accounts, only to find that she had logged out of all of them and couldn’t get back in, before her manager confirmed that she had been fired.

In her video, Tsai describes conversations and group chats with fellow colleagues who are also reeling from the news on a chaotic morning. It also involved a lot of tears.

“The worst part is that no one was consulted on this decision and everyone knew about the layoffs at the same time. It felt like a bad game of Russian roulette and nothing’ y consistency of who is released,” Tsai said in the video.

Google’s layoffs are algorithmic and not based on performance, Tsai said, meaning many of the laid-off employees were chosen at random as the company sought to cut costs. Long-term employees with two decades of experience in the company as well high income with an annual salary of up to $1 million was also reportedly targeted for layoffs.

Google did not immediately respond luckThis is a request for comment.

“There are a lot of people in the same boat who are equally shocked and blindsided but it helps me feel less alone,” Tsai said in Saturday’s video.

“I spent so many days crying that I felt exhausted from the sadness and really just wanted to do something that would make me feel better,” she added, saying she took advantage of an annual pass to spend the rest of the time. day at Disneyland.

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