General Question

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Have you noticed a palpable sense of tension and paranoia in the workplace given the state of the economy?

Asked by The_Compassionate_Heretic (14596points) April 9th, 2009 from iPhone

People are on edge where I work including me. Everyone’s afraid if they make any error that it could cost them their job. Very tense environment.

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18 Answers

squilky's avatar

Not just in the workplace, I feel that tension and paranoia just about everywhere I go. Not sure if it’s all related to the economy or not, but people just seem more grumpy in general lately.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Yep. Sure have. They’re “letting me go” next week and it’s very, very tense here. There is so much they want me to do before I go, but of course, I have no real incentive to work super hard.

VzzBzz's avatar

@EmpressPixie: I feel for you also, it can’t be a small feat to navigate the awkwardness.
Where I work, over a 100 people have been let go since last fall, including me. It feels like everyone is on edge to make small talk or suggestions or complaints.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Thanks! No worries though, I’m applying to school for the fall and will figure out something awesome to do this summer annnnny minute now.

Yeah, the air of “someone’s been fired” just really, really adds a lot of awkward. They let me know 2 months ago that this had a 90% chance of coming. It’s made for a very strange last couple of months.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

That’s messed up when companies do this. They announce they’re showing you the door soon and then expect you to work your ass off. So many companies try to squeeze every last drop out of you before they toss you aside. It’s soooo not right. People deserve better.

Good luck to you on your schooling. Going back to school can have a major positive impact on your life as it did on mine.

I hope your company gives you a generous severance.

Dog's avatar

@EmpressPixie I was laid off and it gave me the fire to return to college and get my BA. Bravo to you for moving forward better and stronger.

wundayatta's avatar

My wife is very anxious, and that is spreading into the family. She works in the financial sector, for a bank that was acquired. There will be a restructuring as the two banks combine, and no one knows if they will have a job after that. She believes her division will be eliminated. We also hear that the acquiring bank has a much lower pay scale. Maybe in the short run, during the recession, they might get people to work for 20K a year less, but people will be leaving in droves as soon as they find new jobs, if the bank doesn’t pay attention to local labor market conditions.

They tend to move offices out to the country somewhere. That, of course, will reduce service, and get more customers to leave the bank. Oh well. Can’t manage the bank from here.

eenerweiner's avatar

Yeah it is a little tense where I work, newspapers were not doing great anyway but in the last few weeks our ads have picked up quite a bit which is somewhat encouraging. So far there has been not talk of letting anyone go, just cutting back hours especially on those known to be intentionally slow in order to get all their hours in.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Yes, a few people in our company are being made redundant. This scares me because I have to wonder, am I next?

aprilsimnel's avatar

It was there for months before I was laid off. Thick, knife, you know. Then again, I worked at an investment bank. People really started freaking out when a Managing Director in the Healthcare sector was escorted out with three bankers’ boxes. All the analysts and associates just gave each other these looks. We admins knew we’d be sacrificed, so we carried on as usual. If an MD could get laid off, then anyone could be next, was the feeling among the bankers, and a low-level panic ensued.

cak's avatar

I just held a company meeting to discuss the tension and get things out in the open. Evidently, the cat seems to think that at least one of the dogs must go. The guinea pig says the hamster is the newbie, so he should stop looking for pay (food) and just be happy to have a fun crate. The fish seem to be scaling back on their own – we’re missing a fish, just how the hell does that happen? The eldest dog says all the others should shut it, she has seniority. The boy (6yrs old) says he is the president, the husband just declared he’s an unpaid intern and the daughter is gone, as usual. She’s a traveling employee. The boy informed me that I should get a raise. I agree.

I’m self-employed, but today was a very sad day for me. Someone that I used to work with (at the last company I worked for) was laid off, today. She worked there for 11yrs. She started a division for them, sales in the multi-millions. Loyal, gave of herself. Traveled, often. Unceremoniously laid off, today. Barely a, “Thanks for your loyalty.” She called me and asked if I had any work for her, I have 4 new projects, I have work for her, for now. She knows that she’ll only be a contract worker, but it keeps her feet in the fire. She’s the 3rd person that has called me, today. I wish I had jobs for everyone.

@EP – here’s to good things for you! ;)

Dog's avatar

@cak I agree that it is a sad day when an employee such as your friend gets laid off with out second thought.

casheroo's avatar

My husband’s already been laid off, back in October..if it happened again, it won’t be as earth shattering, but more expected.
My mother works for a company that doesn’t do lay-offs, they get more strict with their performance reviews, and lower the bonuses though. She works at The Vanguard Group. My father isn’t worried either, he’s the top HVAC guy, for commercial. The company needs him, or they’d lose a ton of customers.

SeventhSense's avatar

Yes I certainly have if by “Palpable tension” you mean anxiety ridden misanthropes that shoot from the hip and by “Paranoia in the Workplace” you mean Fluther.

Judi's avatar

I was in Macy’s yesterday and I was really shocked. As a customer, you would think they would be anxious to help and to serve. I was looking at the jewelry counter and could get no one to help me. They kept busy unloading boxes, no one even said “I;ll be with you in a minute.” This was Bakersfield, CA.
The funny thing is that I was at Macy’s in New York a few weeks ago and I was shocked and surprised at how friendly and helpful the staff were (except at the customer service counter where you get your tourist discount card. He was on the phone with his S.O. and didn’t want to talk to me.) Actually, Everyone in New York seemed overly friendly. I was not expecting that.
Here in Bakersfield I sense the anxiousness, but I don’t sense anyone making the extra effort to do a great job in order to keep their job.

bea2345's avatar

but I don’t sense anyone making the extra effort to do a great job in order to keep their job. Possibly there is a sense that nothing will preserve their jobs. Sounds like poor management on the part of the employer.

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