What NOT to do in a Meeting Where You’re Set to Announce Job Cuts [Video]


I’m no executive wearing suits and making important decisions that could affect the lives of hundreds or thousands of employees, or anything. Having said that, I think I have a pretty good idea of things not to do at a meeting where I’m about to announce that a lot of people will lose their jobs. This is one of them:

It’s a Telefonica suit playing Bubble Blast on a Motorola XOOM. The footage has caused outrage in Spain from employees affected by the job cuts and those sympathizing with the employees. The guy probably figured: “It has to happen anyway. A quick game of Bubble Blast can’t hurt, can it?” Yes, sir, it can.

It shows that you don’t really care about the people you’re letting go, even if you really do. If you’re going to lay someone off, at least show sympathy and concern in a time where your hands are tied either way. Layoffs happen and we get why they need to happen sometimes, but throwing fuel onto a fire that big is sure to cause an explosion.


Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Looks like the number of people about to let go is about to become 8501

  2. I thought this was going to be “Were laying off 8500 people. Next order of business, all management will be getting Xooms to increase productivity.” 
    This is almost as bad though.

  3. It’s sad that people are making such a big deal about this.  The fact is, of course these guys don’t care.  They’re not the ones being laid off.  The problem is people aren’t living in reality.  They’re living in a dream world.  A world where they’d rather some executive pretend to care as if that’s going to make them keep their job.  It’s like someone being murdered and they investigate the husband, if the husband isn’t crying like a lil biotch and showing a lot of emotion, then somehow he makes himself look even guiltier.  Maybe he’s just not the emotional type.  Instead he has to fake cry, and then they say his tears looked insincere.  I know I went off the deep end with that comparison but it’s true.

    It’s like you have to pretend to care even when you don’t.  Or pretend to be someone you’re not to give the illusion of something else.  I’d rather someone be a straight shooter with me than pretend giving me the illusion that they actually care, then I buddy up to them only to find out later they don’t give a shyt about me. 


    1. There’s a difference between just not caring and flipping everyone you’re laying off the bird and waving your johnson at them.  This was a lot closer to the latter.

      1. Why? It wasn’t like he was flaunting it or rubbing it in their faces. He was just sitting on the panel obviously with nothing to do and trying to kill some time like how people hop on Facebook in important but boring lectures. No one would haven noticed if the side angle camera didn’t catch it.

        I can see why it upsets the people being laid off but in all honesty I’d do it too if I was the exec.

        1. of course he was flaunting it. he was playing games on his xoom. my guess is that some of the people fired don’t make enough money in a day to buy a xoom. whereas the jerks on stage in suits probably make enough money to buy 2-5 xooms per day. it’s sad when management are not taking cuts first, notably in public schools where teachers are let go before senior executive admin assistants. 

          1. How is sitting behind a desk looking down like every other exec not speaking flaunting it?

    2. I hear you man!  I wanna quote your entire first paragraph for some reason!

  4. What wrong with being selfish

    1. Until recently this kind of stuff whether it be corp. execs or kings doing it could get you a revolution and dead … but in today’s self-absorbed douchebag world .. nothing I guess. Hope you suffer the same fate as these people did … but if you whine about it I hope someone near you puts a boot in your a**.

      1. WTF is wrong with you? I was being sarcasric….. his behavior is obviously unacceptible.

        1. I’m not sure….but I believe Vulcan people struggle with the concept of sarcasm. Or maybe they understand it, but have trouble recognizing it?

  5. For those of you who want to play Bubble Blast 2 here is the androlib link:http://www.androlib.com/android.application.com-magmamobile-game-bubbleblast2-qjiED.aspx

  6. He should have been playing Angry Birds, that way he could have conveyed how angry he was as he flew the birds into the structure.

  7. Sneaky Motorola Xoom advertisement.  

  8. no hablan español

  9. motorola xoom FTW!  bad fot the spanish employee…

  10. if I were that exec, sitting there, with nothing to do, waiting, sitting there, staring off to space bored….
    yeah  I’d whip out my tab/phone n get a game in to.I do crap like this all the time when at meetings when waiting for the meeting to start and I’m not the only one…………..
    I don’t see what the fuss is about in all honesty.

  11. Hey Quentin, usually things have a way of speaking for themselves in varying degrees.  It seems you rather enjoy re-hashing even the most obvious minutia of a situation in your posts, and frankly it’s exhausting.  It’s like watching Michael Scott but not as funny…  We don’t really have a word for it in English, but if I were German; this is how you would make me feel:


    1. Oddly enough, your post made me quite embarrassed for you as well. The solution you seek is…..to stop reading his posts. Surely, you wouldn’t continue to read posts as exhausting as these, when there are much more refreshing posts to troll about?   

  12. BTW they are not laying all these people off because the company is losing any money, its only because they want to give provide the same rate of return that their stock holders are use to.

  13. tbh it was probably really boring so why not?

  14. Shows how much the 1337 in a company really care.  Big bonuses for the big-wigs, employee cuts for the little guy, just like a non-3rd world country.  Seriously.

  15. One more candidate for the layoffs

  16. What if the guy was playing the game to DISTRACT himself before having to make a really big, really hard and uncomfortable speech?

    Unless you’re a completely narcissistic sociopath, the weight of being the bearer of bad news for letting go of so many people is tremendous. Having to stew that over while sitting on the panel and waiting your turn to deliver that news can’t be much help either.

    Unless there’s indeed evidence that this guy is a total prick and indeed was just playing to pass time and didn’t give a rats arse, then full backlash warranted…Otherwise, chide him for the bad decision of using a computer game to help him deal with the stress of a hard speech and move on.

  17. this reminds me of a Leno/Letterman/Conan skit.  or that “what’s Bin Laden watching” where they take footage and project something funny on the screen.  i’m not saying this is fake, i’m just saying it’s so unreal.  funny how truth can be stranger than fiction.

  18. Speaking as a person who has both laid off – and been laid off before…

    There’s nothing personal about it.  Its all a matter of numbers adding up on a spreadsheet.  if the total in column A doesn’t meet the total in column B, then you have to do what you can to make the numbers work.  

    There is a reason why its called a “Human Resources Department”.  You are a resource, whether you like or not.  The only difference between you and, say, a server, is that you cost a lot more to maintain.

    The people who get ahead realize this – and yes – when face to face with the people I’ve laid off, I apologize because I realize that their lives have been impacted and they’ll have to go about possibly lifestyle-changing measures.  However, the fact of the matter is that for every person I have had to lay off, I save about 20 others’ jobs.

  19. haha, maybe if it was Angry Birds?

  20. Hehe, I’m sorry but the guys who are gonna get “fired” are not upset at all… they are making queues to cash the compensation with a glad face. The only guys upset are the labor unions (who aren’t getting their cut of the layoffs, what was the deal until now) and part of the local media who hates Telefonica…

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