A few odd things happened as part of the entire severance process (many years ago) that I lived through with Nortel, my former employer. This incident was the most macabre.
Given the nature of this post, I make the following opening comments:
- I post this mostly as humor because in hindsight it is quite funny
- Nortel out-sourced a lot of their HR duties so this whole incident was actually done by an external firm.
- I have not altered the post. Remember it was written in August 2008. I still had a fair amount of venom in my system about getting laid off.
Questionnaires for Everything
Have you noticed that every time I interact with anyone via a phone or a computer, I am sent a questionnaire asking me to evaluate the person and how well they did their job? I find these questionnaires annoying at times, but I fill them in and am pretty honest most of the time. I know that folks’ job ratings are somewhat connected to these questionnaires. However, in this case, I made an exception.
The Most Obtuse Questionnaire Ever
Monday morning, I received an e-mail from the HR department at Nortel (I was still in their employ until the end of September 2008). I had asked a few questions about returning equipment and important dates about things, so I opened it. I was expecting to find responses to my queries.
It was morbidly amusing to see that this questionnaire asked me how I enjoyed my layoff. I am not entirely sure that is what the questionnaire was about, but given the topic of the questionnaire is “Involuntary Employment Termination – Workforce Reduction,” I am assuming that is what the questionnaire was about.
I read the e-mail three times wondering, what in the name of Abraham Maslow would cause anyone to think that they should ask folks that have gone through a severance process “how it all went”? It was so bizarre all I could think of was the scene in the Princess Bride where the six-fingered man is questioning Wesley on how he enjoyed his Machine of Pain in the Pit of Despair!
But Wait There is More
After walking away from the e-mail for about 2 hours, I decided maybe I should fill it in to see what questions they might ask me. The e-mail had a “click here” on it, so I clicked, and nothing happened! I was not transported to a website, nor was I sent to the Pit of Despair. My cursor sat there.
Another 1/2 hour passed, and I decided to send an e-mail to the folks who sent me this correspondence about how their e-mail didn’t work. They replied a while later with another link apologizing for their mistake.
I looked at the questionnaire and filled it in dutifully, pressed the “SUBMIT” button, and it didn’t work. It gave me an error. The words that exploded from my mouth I will not print, as they were out of frustration.
I sent one final e-mail to my contact outlining the steps I had taken, and I finally was frustrated enough that I included the following question:
“Are you asking me how I enjoyed my layoff?”BCM asking about Layoff Questionnaire
I never got a return e-mail or more instructions on filling in the questionnaire.