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Massive Layoffs At AOL 565

Posted by timothy
JLavezzo writes "Several news sites are reporting that the United States' largest ISP has laid off 750 employees. My sources at AOL put the actual number at approximately 950 regular employees and 300 contractors from various departments including new technology and marketing. The contractors aren't mentioned by the news outlets. Severance packages are known to include up to four months pay and keeping laid off employees on the AOL payroll through February (to retain health insurance). With most of the layoffs coming from the Northern Virginia offices, what are their hopes for finding new jobs?"
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Massive Layoffs At AOL

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  • by Skyshadow (508) * on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:15PM (#11026347) Homepage
    What, a measly 950 people is what passes for a "massive" layoff nowadays?

    Bah, you kids. Back in my day (2000), we didn't feel right about going to lunch unless we'd shitcanned at least 1000 people by then. And two months on the payroll plus four months of severence? Bah! Back in my day you were lucky if you didn't have any personal possessions in the building when it was locked and the contents auctioned off on behalf of angry creditors.

    We *knew* how to make employees feel worthless. Layoffs via SMS! Contracted goons standing in the office in case they went postal! Taking away their razor scooters!

    Now get off my lawn, you damn kids.

    • by iammaxus (683241) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:22PM (#11026445)
      ...Slashdot Headlines Consistently Sensationalize Everything!!!
    • by Mwongozi (176765) <slashthree@david ... minus physicist> on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:22PM (#11026447) Homepage
      You think he's joking too. Layoffs by SMS [theinquirer.net] have happened.
    • by pcmanjon (735165) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:23PM (#11026458)
      I'm friends with Tag Loomis (guy who programmed shoutcast) over at Winamp. He's a really nice guy.

      They had 3 programmers working on winamp, he never did work on winamp, only shoutcast.

      They also had a visualization skin programmer too.

      They were all fired, and he's the only one left, and sole programmer of Winamp now.

      I've brought several bugs to his attention, but he just can't keep up doing it all alone..

      He tells me that he expects nullsoft to be terminated soon because it's definately not making them any money. He says the only reason AOL bought them was so they could compete with Media player if they decided to push advertising for it. Kind of like netscape competing with IE.

      I asked him what he'd do if he's fired... he said he's probably start delivering pizza again, cause he's looked and looked for a job to transfer to and can't find one.

      He worked for Pheonix bios for several years, and if you have that bios your system is likly running code he's written.
      • by c0dedude (587568) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:53PM (#11026852)
        Oh god that's scary. A fairly famous programmer can't get work, and we're supposed to compete right out of college?
        • by MP3Chuck (652277) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @09:20PM (#11027133) Homepage Journal
          No, you'll get a job because you're fresh ... thus easier to pay. A Famous Programmer will want twice what a college grad will get...
      • by EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @09:12PM (#11027054) Homepage Journal
        He tells me that he expects nullsoft to be terminated soon because it's definately not making them any money

        This was rumored for a while, right? Like these articles [slashdot.org] from 3 weeks ago [slashdot.org].

        The Winamp guys have my sympathy, but they will find jobs if they try hard enough. If I can get a job (Laid off twice since 2000, I will be laid off next year, my coworkers are leaving for other jobs before they get laid off), the programmers of one of the most famous pieces of software will also find jobs.
    • by Scorchio (177053) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:29PM (#11026548)
      Back in my day you were lucky if you didn't have any personal possessions in the building when it was locked and the contents auctioned off on behalf of angry creditors.

      So you worked for Acclaim, I gather?
    • Sometimes I felt that really was the case.
      The part about the goones at least I know to be true!
      -nB

      [that damn 2 min timeout should not apply across threads!!!]
    • by Salgak1 (20136) <salgak@speake a s y . n et> on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:31PM (#11026578) Homepage
      Assuming you have real skills, not a problem at all. . . I routinely ignore 2-3 pings from headhunters a day here in NoVa. . .and I'm mostly a Windoze admin these days.

      Admittedly, as I'm cleared, I have a far easier time finding work in DC Metro, but this area is about as recession-proof as it gets. . .

      Yeah, clearances help, but Homeland Security is hiring people, either directly or as contractors, by the metric butt-load. DOD is growing, as are some new dot-coms in Northern Virginia.

      Now, if you're in Marketing or Biz Dev, it may be another story. . . .

      • by quarkscat (697644) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @12:15AM (#11028685)
        Oh yeah, right!

        Let's see. You are a Windows administrator
        (probably with an MSCE cert), and have a
        security clearance.
        Guess what? Since DHS has settled on MS
        OSes (read some irony here), AND you have
        a security clearance, then I wouldn't wonder
        that you are getting calls from headhunters
        every day.
        I have been staring at the VERY SAME "WP" job
        postings from government contractors for the
        past 1-1/2 years: the same title, job code,
        location, and scope of duties == same job,
        which cannot get filled because they are
        looking for current active TS/Poly/Lifestyle
        security clearances. These contractors will
        not hire uncleared personnel and "park" them
        somewhere until they get vetted for the security
        clearance (in 1-1/2 years and $50K USD later).

        If you are a "*nix" administrator w/o a security
        clearance, you are SOL. I should know. While
        I did come from desktop & server support, I had
        spend 7+ years on various "*nix" (HP, SGI, SUN,
        linux) servers and workstations as SA (plus CM
        and Deployment). Those jobs ARE NOT here anymore.

        I don't know what the RIFfed AOL employees will
        wind up doing for employment, but at least they
        have some breathing room with the 4 months pay.
        They could make a gamble and go into debt to go
        back to school, but I wouldn't recommend that
        personally. IMHO, the IT job situation is ONLY
        going to get worse (along with any high tech or
        many manufacturing positions.) And between the
        growing national debt and the horrendous balance
        of trade deficit, I expect the the old halcion
        days of the Carter administration will come back
        to haunt us -- with the state of the economy
        measured as the "misery index" (of unemployment
        rate, interest rates, and inflation rate).
        The Federal government has embraced outsourcing
        as "good for the economy", with a corporate tax
        structure that encourages moving jobs offshore.
        The destruction of trade unions, as well as
        forcing USA wages lower, appears to be the agenda.

        BTW: When the unemployment runs out, the jobless
        do stop getting counted. And one part-time
        McJob is just as good statistically as the IT
        job lost. What we are witnessing is the slow
        disintegration of the USA's middle class.

        • by Salgak1 (20136)
          . . . Nope, no MCSE, just an ancient NT 4.0 MCP, with background in Windoze, Unix, and Linux. Some Cisco experience. Quite a bit of security experience, especially firewalls. And yes, a security clearance, but only a SECRET. But I ALSO do documentation, have experience in structured CMMI-compliant engineering processes, and can translate techspeak to management.

          In other words, I'm NOT a one-trick pony. I style myself a "Network and Systems Admin", NOT a Unix admin or a Windoze admin. Flexibility is

    • A piece of trivia came up in my department meeting today. The company I work for has 60,000 software developers worldwide. That's just the software developers. So reading that 750 got laid off doesn't make me raise any eyebrows.
  • waiting tables, burger flipping, etc....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:16PM (#11026358)
    "You've Got Severance!"
  • by PornMaster (749461) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:16PM (#11026363) Homepage
    Come on... my employer cuts thousands...

    Besides, hasn't anybody of worth left already?
  • Iraqi government is hiring US contractors to help them count ballots.
  • boo (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:17PM (#11026383)
    if they'd only spent less on all those darn cds...
  • 750? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rudy_wayne (414635) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:18PM (#11026392)

    It shouldn't take 750 people to run the entire company, let alone having 750 extra people hanging around that they really don't need.

    AOL management is as stupid as their users.

    • Re:FC link (Score:3, Funny)

      by oasisbob (460665)
      [fuckedcompany.com]
      Anyone else find it ironic that the [url.com] link disclaimer which is meant to keep things work safe actually made this post less safe for work?

      The poster was very kind to refer to it as FC...

  • by CrackedButter (646746) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:20PM (#11026418) Homepage Journal
    You got ... DOLE!
  • by Rosyna (80334) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:20PM (#11026421) Homepage
    What a lovely gift. No?
  • by Helevius (456392) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:21PM (#11026436) Homepage
    The job market in northern VA is strong. Check out these unemployment rates [virginia.gov]:

    US (nation) for Oct 04: 5.1%
    VA (state) for Oct 04: 3.2%

    If these poor souls have skills, they will find jobs here. I doubt most of them have security clearances, but those that do will be immediately re-employed.

    Helevius

    • Northern Virginia is a D.C. suburb. They should have little trouble finding new jobs. Big Brother always needs helpers.
    • VA? What, Vancouver is a state now?

    • Yeah, Northern Virginia is an excellent place to be looking for a tech job. I used to live there but decided I'd try my hand at getting a job down here in Northwest Arkansas. I'm now contracting with a company back in Northern Virginia, but at least I get to stay here in Arkansas :-)

      And you can keep the Arkansas jokes to yourself. Whatever people may say about the state, NW Arkansas is actually very nice and where I live, pretty liberal.
  • Not good news (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FadedTimes (581715) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:22PM (#11026443)
    Even though AOL is heading downhill and many people are happy to see them head that direction; it's never good news to hear that many people getting let go. I always hoped AOL would evolve and not sink.
    • I feel that if you choose to work for a place such as AOL or any company involved with illicit bussiness, you are responsible for the situation you find yourself in. Consider the construction crews on the Death Star....

      (Oh, if you're out of work for two years and finally a company offers, you're just as guilty as if hundreds of jobs are flying your way)
  • by Telastyn (206146) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:22PM (#11026448)
    Anyone have the over/under on the time it takes someone to edit the new AOL commercials with the swarms of customers asking for change into swarms of fired employees burning the place down?
  • by sharkb8 (723587) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:23PM (#11026451)
    I think even McDonalds would think twice about hiring them:

    Manager: "So do you have any customer service experience?"

    AOL Scab: "Well, I worked tech support at AOL for 2 years."

    Manager: "We only hire people who will fuck up small stuff. We can't handle AOL sized crap here"

  • what are their hopes for finding new jobs?" With AOL's reputation for great customer service and product excellence, I would think that former employees would be snapped up....... what AOL..... oh never mind.
  • Good luck! Oh, and have a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year!
  • by TiggertheMad (556308) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:23PM (#11026459) Homepage Journal
    ...The severance package was particularly generous, as it include two AOL trial CDs, with a combined total of 2048 free hours.
  • Ok (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cubicledrone (681598) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:24PM (#11026478)
    With most of the layoffs coming from the Northern Virginia offices, what are their hopes for finding new jobs?

    What's the point? 950 regular employees were just laid off for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON WHATSOEVER. What's going to stop the next employer from doing the same thing? What is the point of trying to build a career that can be stolen arbitrarily?

    The economy is doing VERY well. AOL is not about to go out of business. They still have millions of subscribers and they are probably earning about $40M a month in subscriber revenue. If the company were about to go out of business, that would be one thing. This is just arbitrary.

    It is standard corporate thinking. Just pick 1200 people and fire them. Who the fuck cares if they have mortgages? That's their problem. Short-term money grab thinking.

    Disney did the same thing earlier this year. In fact, they fired an ENTIRE STUDIO that was directly responsible for NINE FIGURES in top-line revenue. Why? Because they felt like it.

    This is no different. W-4 employment is a sham. No business would ever depend on a similar agreement for anything, especially anything upon which revenue depends. W-4 employment is unfair and obsolete, and layoffs like these are cruel, groundless and destructive.
    • by radish (98371)
      Welcome to capitalisim, enjoy your stay.
      • Re:Ok (Score:3, Informative)

        by cubicledrone (681598)
        Walt Disney was a capitalist? Right?

        "No matter what the provocation, I never fire a man who is honestly trying to deliver a job. Few workers who become established at the Disney Studio ever leave voluntarily or otherwise, and many have been on the payroll all their working lives."

        --Walt Disney
    • Re:Ok (Score:3, Funny)

      by daemonc (145175)
      "The economy is doing VERY well."

      Have you been watching Fox News again?
    • by Tackhead (54550)
      > What's the point? 950 regular employees were just laid off for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON WHATSOEVER. What's going to stop the next employer from doing the same thing?

      Nothing.

      > What is the point of trying to build a career that can be stolen arbitrarily?

      The point is to build enough savings that you can start investing those savings and make some money.

      Once you've got enough cash in the bank, you look forward to being laid off. It's called "retiring, and they give you a couple more weeks' pay as

    • by grawk (107524)
      You don't own your job. Your employer also doesn't own your life.

      AOL doesn't randomly lay off people, they specifically lay off the bottom 10%. Every company should do that. People who aren't capable of being in the top 90% of a group probably need encouragement to find new employment.
    • Re:Ok (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Brandybuck (704397) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:46PM (#11026780) Homepage Journal
      You are so out of touch with reality it's not even funny. There are many purposes to business, but being a guaranteed source of employment is not one of them.

      You may of course complain all you want about the whacked out corporate culture in North America and Europe, and I'll probably agree with you. It is whacked out. But your solution, making employment an entitlement, is even further out past the fringe of reason.

      Did you want AOL to provide "make work" employment for these people? Send them out back digging holes in the morning and filling them back up again in the afternoon? Send them all out in vans to shopping malls across the country to hand out AOL CDs?
      • But your solution, making employment an entitlement, is even further out past the fringe of reason.

        I never said it should be an entitlement. Why did AOL hire them in the first place if they didn't need 950 employees? Being an employer carries a responsibility.

        Did you want AOL to provide "make work" employment for these people?

        Better than throwing them into the street after mortgages were signed.
        • Re:Ok (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Cecil (37810)
          Better than throwing them into the street after mortgages were signed.

          I say this to the hypothetical person who is now in dire straits because he or she just signed a mortgage and then lost their job:

          If you didn't know this was a risk when you signed the mortgage, then you're naive at best, and fiscally irresponsible at worst. As long as we're talking about "carrying responsibilities", how about some personal responsibility?

          There are plenty of things YOU could've done to avoid finding yourself in such a
          • Re:Ok (Score:3, Funny)

            by telemonster (605238)
            "There are plenty of things YOU could've done to avoid finding yourself in such a dire situation. YOU could've saved up some money or not gotten such an expensive mortgage. If you're driving yourself at your financial red-line and praying nothing goes wrong, that's a pretty big risk you're taking, bucko. Regardless of how you rationalize it."

            (Sarcasm)
            But it was America's duty to do their share after 9/11 and shop! To not consume was to be un-american!

            What we have is short-sightedness.
      • Re:Ok (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bombadillo (706765) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @10:20PM (#11027623)
        In Iraq they are paying Iraqi's to perform jobs that can be done more efficiently with modern technology. Why are they doing this? To create jobs and distribute wealth into Iraq. Similar things were also done during the Great Depression. Keeping a stable society comes at an expense. Corporations are in the Business to make money. However, they are also making their money from society. Therefore they should have a moral obligation to also do what is good for the community. I understand that lay offs are necessary to keep a company in business. However, Corporations that lay off people to soley chase huge profits should be taxed more than a company that keeps it's employee's. Similar to the idea that the idle wealthy should be taxed more than the working wealthy.
      • Re:Ok (Score:3, Insightful)

        One of the original reasons for creating corporations was in exchange for allowing the corporate structure to have the the legal rights of a person was so that the corporation would provide employment just as a sole proprietorship or partnership would. In exchange the investors were allowed the opportunity to accrete wealth

        In the late 80's the idea came about that the only purpose of a corporation was to 'Maximize shareholder value' as direct result we have seen the corporate scandal's and offshoring an
    • Ummm how about AOL doesnt want to retain them? A company is not in business to provide handouts for employees, its in business to make money. Plain and simple.

      If employees benifit, its purely a side effect.

      Sounds like you need to grow up before you leave your parents basement and head out in to the real world...
    • What's the point? 950 regular employees were just laid off for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON WHATSOEVER. What's going to stop the next employer from doing the same thing?

      The free market system and a desire to finish IT projects and turn profits? Just a guess, since most corporations (you know, thos big evil things you blindly hate) need to employ people in order to get anything done.

    • Re:Ok (Score:3, Insightful)

      What's going to stop the next employer from doing the same thing?

      Absolutely nothing, thankfully. That's capitalism. If something were to stop the next employer from doing the same thing, you'd be paying more for everything, and you'd REALLY be bitching. Especially since companies would be going out of business, companies you depend on.

      What is the point of trying to build a career that can be stolen arbitrarily?

      Stolen career? A career is "a chosen pursuit; a profession or occupation." While someone's c
  • by Albanach (527650) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:24PM (#11026482) Homepage
    In related news, the USPS today announced 1,250 redundancies after a recent analysis suggested a 90% reduction in 2005 postal volume from the Northern Virginia area.
  • by phalse phace (454635) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:27PM (#11026512)
    Last month, the company released a new version of its software designed to lure new subscribers with antivirus software and other online safety and security features.

    When will AOL learn. People are leaving because competitors are offering cheaper and faster services. If you want to stay competitive, lower your prices. People are not going to continue to pay $23.90/mon. when they can get DSL for a couple dollars more, or dial-up for less than $10/mon. [aol.com]

    • That's really harsh, using AOL's own search engine to prove how ludicrously overpriced their "service" is. I mean, come on... you could at least save them a little face and use MSN Search or something.
    • AOL has local access numbers everywhere, whereas most cheap dial-up ISPs don't. If you travel a lot, the local dial-up is nice.

      As a "portal", it depends on what you like. My parents like it, and I know some other people who do as well. The email is also easier to use than setting up POP3 or IMAP plus SMTP, especially if you want to use it from multiple locations, although with gmail that may no longer be a major strength (but most people who sign up for AOL don't have the infinite stream of gmail invite
  • {S Goodbye

    *watches post get modded away*
  • Hrm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by techsoldaten (309296) * on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:27PM (#11026522) Journal
    On the one hand, I feel really bad for all those people having to find places to go in the NOVA job market. Right before the holidays too, raw deal.

    On the other hand, I bet that whinny, nasally actress in the commercials playing the mother sneaking into the AOL boardroom is having a fantasic Christmas. She's probably making tons in residuals for one or two days work.

    AOL must have spent hundreds of millions broadcasting those commericals, I hardly even watch TV and see them all the time. It's almost as bad as the promotional CDs that still pile up everywhere in my home.

    1999 taught me never to trust a company that spends that heavily on marketing.

    M
  • With most of the layoffs coming from the Northern Virginia offices, what are their hopes for finding new jobs?

    Ask the president for a job:

    well mr president - it's the bees and the spiders again - they stole my food stamps and sold 'em to the rats, and I tried to get down to my car to honk the horn for help, but the snakes are guarding it for the cockroaches! I go back upstairs but the spiders have jammed the police lock - I AIN'T BEEN INSIDE FOR A WEEK!!! And I know my wife is sleeping with the bees!!!!

  • This layoff was announced weeks ago, it's really no surprise. But for the employees who are staying, AOL rented the new Udvar-Hazy Smithsonian Air & Space Museum for the Christmas party.
  • With most of the layoffs coming from the Northern Virginia offices, what are their hopes for finding new jobs?

    Assuming these were tech positions, if you were a hiring manager would you look favorably on someone laid off from AOL with all of the other out of work tech workers on the market?

    As /. knows AOL doesn't exactly have a terrific reputation among technical people.

  • Fact: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    In Soviet Russia, vodka would solve this and any other stressful situation.
  • Massive? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vought (160908) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:33PM (#11026614)
    Apple. March 14, 1997. That was massive layoffs.

    This? Not a big deal, by comparison. I don't think the headline is misleading, but it is a little sensationalist.

    I feel for those losing their jobs. hopefully they land on their feet and get decent separation packages.
  • Uhhh, very good, especially considering the fact that is right on top of DC and hence a great place to work as a government contractor. Not to mention there are a few other major ISPs around. It has been called the second Silicon Valley more than once.
  • Severance? (Score:2, Funny)

    by underworld (135618)
    Severance packages are known to include up to four months of FREE AOL SERVICE!

    Woo hoo!

  • There is 2% unemployement in the DC area, and in nearby Fairfax county it's only 1.5%. I think their chances are pretty good.
  • Take it from someone who lived there up until 5 years ago, and whose parents still live there -- the average price of a new home in Northern Virginia has stayed rock steady at about $600,000 (totally unscientific hand-waving based on neighborhood drive-bys). My parents' houses have both almost doubled in value in the last 5 years *and* stayed there.

    No.Va. has benefitted tremendously from the steady upswing in government spending post-9/11. Last time I went back and drove around a bit the number of new an
  • Old news (Score:2, Informative)

    by kyoko21 (198413)
    Someone from AOL (I presume higher-ups) that uses craigslist posted the news last night about the layoffs at 10:05PM EST. You can see the original post here [craigslist.org].
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @08:46PM (#11026779) Homepage Journal
    American On (the Unemployment) Line
  • I think the military is hiring.
  • Since when is 750 a massive amount of peole. Kodak was laying off 1000 people every 4 months up in Rochester, and about another 2000 worldwide.
  • what are their hopes for finding new jobs?

    If they don't mind working for the government, they're great. The area has a lot of tech jobs and potentially even more if the intelligence office proposed in the new overhaul bill has a technology component.

    I however, am a government contractor in that area and don't want to work for the government anymore and the market is going to be flooded. Looks like I'm stuck working for the Man a while longer...
  • by SethJohnson (112166) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @09:02PM (#11026956) Homepage Journal


    what are their hopes for finding new jobs?

    I recommend they print up millions of copies of their resumes and mail them out to everyone in the United States. If they play their cards right, they should be able to get computer manufacturers to place an icon for their resume on the desktop of every computer sold. They should also cut deals with publishers to include their resumes bundled with mainstream consumer magazines. They should print their resumes on non-biodegradable media so that someone will start a website called "NoMoreAOLResumes".

    Appropriate plug [nomoreaolcds.com] for above reference.
  • by SomeOtherGuy (179082) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @09:59PM (#11027447) Journal
    What is with all the posts blaming this a sour economy?

    It is NOT an economic failing when an antiquated dealer of yesterdays technology downsizes...And then eventually goes away.

    Think about it. A majority of people are hooking up with local broadband dealers (cable, dsl, wireless), I would not be surprised to see AOL go the way of the Cart and Buggy dealers of old....And it will not be the economy that does them in, it will be the fact that their main product is obsolete.

  • by ferrocene (203243) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @10:37PM (#11027775) Journal
    Look, I worked at AOL tech support for a year. In some towns, you can't throw a rock without hitting someone who hasn't (Ogden, Tucson, Reston, Jacksonville, etc).

    This is how it goes: normally, it's your first "real" tech job. Before this, you were the guy your friends and relatives called for help. In my case, it was my first job, ever. No McDonalds, no BK or Gap, or Orange Julius in the mall. Straight to the tech world. Your parents will be so proud.

    Then you actually start working there. The hell that is (nearly) 24/7 tech support with some of the dumbest people, both coworkers and customers, is nearly endless. You realise how large and illiterate most of America (nay, the world) really is. Not computer illiterate, the plain' old fashion kind.

    You enjoy the banana splits every time the stock splits, but you're a part time employee 'cause you're workin' your way though school. So you don't get any stock. Your fellow coworkers try to plan a coup and go on strike, form a union or something (which is strictly forbidden in the contract agreement). But it falls flat and you watch some good men and women go down. You get a small promotion.

    Then you get sucked into the workload, dumping your calls at 7 minutes, 'cause hey, you have an average call time to maintain. Fuck being helpfull, if granny's PC is taking too long to boot or you thought you'd try to blindly import her mail from Eudora or Caldera on an OS7 Mac, tough shit. She gets the dreaded call transfer.

    By trying out some of our special offers, she can get a month of free service. No really, it is a good deal. The trust that we've maintained over the last 6 minutes is a great thing to shatter with that "please hold." Hopefully she'll hang on the line just long enough that she'll be the 10th tel-save today, lest your boss compare your marketing transfer scores to the woman with the honey-sweet voice a few cubes down.

    Screw women, this is where you become a man. A hardened, overtly-bitter and disgruntled man. You also hone your skills in down pat. Everything can be done with your eyes closed "sleeping" at your desk, or shooting nerf balls at the hottie down the row. Don't worry, she'll never know it was you. The security guy at the front desk might, though.

    It only takes a few months to hate all people and computers. But at 17-24 years of age it will look damn fine on your resume. Future employers will go "wow, AOL, huh?! How'd you like that?"

    And like Michael Bolton, you'll tell them it was great. And you can't really pick out your favorite moment.

    As for people over the age of 30 wearing birkenstocks or tie-dyed shirts, please don't. It's just sad. We know you like your Mac. It says so right on your shirt. And no, you're not really "the" mac daddy. But nice try.

    Anyways, you needed a goot boot in the pants to get you into a "real" tech job. Because by now, you realise that AOL isn't. So mourn for a few days, then get your ass in gear. You've got Interviews.

  • by gelfling (6534) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @10:42PM (#11027830) Homepage Journal
    Ahhh Christmas in George Bush's America. I can practically smell the trashcan fires burning.
  • The WARN Act (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gtrubetskoy (734033) * on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @10:58PM (#11027959)

    Having been through a "massive layoff" in the bubble-burst days, one nice thing was that there exists the WARN act which dictates that if a company of at least certain size (which I'm sure Time Warner is) is laying off more than 50 people in one metropolitan area, they are obligated to give 2 months notice. For us this turned out to be two additional months to the severance, since the management doesn't really want you to show up at the office once you've been given your notice.

    Overall this is bad news, since this area (VA/DC/MD) has now pretty much two kinds of techies - those who have clearance, and those who are unemployed, and the AOL layoffs sure do not help.

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