Cloudflare layoff fail

@SMB_Attorney/X rafapress/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘He has given me nothing but I am doing a great job’: Cloudflare worker gets fired in video call. But HR can’t explain why

'Can you explain what those performance metrics are?'


Kahron Spearman


Posted on Jan 14, 2024   Updated on Jan 14, 2024, 1:24 am CST

In a compelling TikTok video that has amassed over 520,000 views and is trending on Twitter, Brittany Pietsch (@brittanypeachhh) shares her experience of being laid off from Cloudflare. The 9-minute clip shows a calm and collected Brittany on a video call with Cloudflare representatives, where she confronts them about the reasons behind her termination.

The video begins with Brittany being greeted by Rosie from HR, followed by another Cloudflare representative, Dom. They inform Brittany of her performance evaluation for 2023, concluding that she “has not met Cloudflare expectations for performance” and that they have decided to part ways with her. Brittany, taken aback, immediately challenges this assessment, “I’ve been on a three-month ramp… I have had the highest activity amongst my team… I have had three contracts out.”

Brittany’s defense highlights her short tenure at the company, active engagement in her role, and progress in managing deals. She points out her manager’s lack of negative feedback, “He has given me nothing but [that] I am doing a great job.” Her rebuttal underscores a disconnect between her understanding of her performance and the company’s evaluation.

The conversation turns when Brittany questions why her direct manager isn’t involved in the termination process, expressing confusion and seeking clarity: “This seems a little odd that my manager has no idea that this has been happening.” The Cloudflare representatives struggle to provide a clear rationale for her termination, emphasizing that it’s part of a collective performance assessment at Cloudflare.

Brittany persistently seeks a specific reason for her dismissal, questioning the validity of the performance metrics. “Can you explain what those performance metrics are? Or is that just like a vague term to give to everyone that you’re speaking to today?” she asks. The lack of transparency and specific reasoning in the representatives’ responses amplifies her frustration and disbelief.

@brittanypeachhh When you know youre about to get laid off so you film it :) this was traumatizing honestly lmao #layoffs #tech #techlayoffs #corporate ♬ original sound – Brittany Pietsch

Many people commended her for their resolve while recommending a career change: “Go to law school- speaking clear and [focused] when faced with emotions is your gift; you’d be a great lawyer.”

“That’s what people always tell me, lmao,” she responded.

“HR pro here—Let me just say that it is HR’s JOB to have all of the details to explain why this happened if it is truly performance related,” said one person, relating to the fuzziness over the reasoning for her termination.

The video was also covered by @SMB_Attorney on Twitter, with some interesting comments from that post.

“To play devil’s advocate, she started in Aug and was given Sept/Oct/Dec to close software business?” asked one commenter. “That is insane. If the deals are anything over 10K and up, you have to give someone six months to a year to build/manage funnel, close deals, and achieve quota.”

Cloudflare CEO Matthew Price also posted a response to the viral video on Twitter, stating: “Sadly, we don’t hire perfectly. We try to fire perfectly. In this case, clearly we were far from perfect. The video is painful for me to watch. Managers should always be involved. HR should be involved, but it shouldn’t be outsourced to them, No employee should ever actually be surprised they weren’t performing. We don’t always get it right.”

The video poignantly captures the emotional toll of such corporate decisions on employees. But there are some who believe these terminations are meant to curtail workers’ collective strength. Brittany’s dismay is evident as she reflects on her dedication to the job, “I have really given my whole energy in life over the last four months of this job, and to be let go for no reason is like a huge slap in the face.”

Her experience sheds light on the often impersonal nature of corporate layoffs and the need for more empathy and transparency in these processes.

Brittany’s case, shared widely on social media, resonates with many who have faced similar situations. It raises important questions about corporate communication, performance assessments, and the human aspect of organizational decisions.

The Daily Dot has contacted Cloudflare and Brittany Pietsch (@brittanypeachhh) via TikTok comment for further comments on this unfolding story.

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*First Published: Jan 14, 2024, 2:00 am CST