Over the last several months, waves of layoffs in the technology industry have left many without jobs as companies trim their workforce in anticipation of a potential recession.
One former Google employee says her position was eliminated while she was on a work trip and actively meeting with clients. A video posted to TikTok by @__kimberlydiaz telling the story of how this happened has drawn over 1.3 million views on the platform.
@__kimberlydiaz said she had been attempting to make some last-minute adjustments to a work presentation just before a client meeting when she realized she could not get into her company email account.
In her TikTok, @__kimberlydiaz said she worked at YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet, Google’s parent company, specifically with retailers who were spending ad money on influencers and creators.
“I couldn’t get into my email, but for some reason my chat still worked,” she says in the video. “I think I got in it before they closed it down because it was so early. I texted my colleague who was there and also leading the meeting, to be like hey, are you having an issue with your email, here’s my phone number.”
It soon became apparent why her access did not work and she relied on a coworker to help her change her flight home, which was set for 12 hours later.
“Maybe 10 minutes later I got a follow-up email from Google that was like, your position is eliminated effective immediately,” she says. “She was kind enough to share her credit card with me so I could change my flight and get home as soon as possible, because the last thing I wanted to do was sit in Fort Myers, Florida airport until my flight at 6pm when it’s 6am”
The Daily Dot has reached out to @__kimberlydiaz and to Alphabet, Google’s parent company, directly via email regarding the video.
Viewers were critical of the move to dispense with her position while she was engaged in direct contact with her client.
“The way this starts off such a bad tone for the client too? Like the client is expecting you and Ggoogle’s just like ‘nah let’s ruin that relationship’,” one commenter wrote.
“I genuinely don’t understand how these companies get away with not treating employees like people,” another commenter wrote.
In a call with remaining employees, Alphabet CEO Sunday Pichai said that the company was too big to do cuts the way it might have preferred.
“If you don’t act clearly and decisively and early, we can compound the problem and make it much worse,” Pichai said, according to Fortune. “These are decisions I needed to make.”
“In an ideal world, we would have given managers a heads up, but we have over 30,000 managers at Google,” Google’s chief people office Fiona Cicconi reportedly added. “We wanted to give certainty sooner.”