You Have Been Googled!

February 1, 2023

If the information in “Google Engineer Who Was Laid Off While on Mental Health Leave Says She Silently Mourned After Receiving Her Severance Email at 2 a.m.” a new meaning for Google may have surfaced. The main point of the write up is that Google has been trimming some of its unwanted trees and shrubs (Populus Quisquilias). These are plants which have been cultivated with Google ideas, beliefs, and nutrients. But now: Root them out of the Google greenhouse, the spaces between cubes, and the grounds near lovely Shoreline Drive.

The article states:

Neil said she had an inclination that layoffs were coming but assumed she would be safe because she was already on leave.  According to Neil, she “bled for Google.” She said she met and exceeded performance expectations, while also enjoying her job. Google felt like a safe and stable environment, where the risk of being laid off was very low, Neil said. She described the layoff process as “un-Googley” and done without care. “Now I’m left here having to find a job for the first time in years after being on mental health leave in quite possibly one of the most difficult hiring situations and housing markets,” Neil said. Google won’t allow Neil to go back to her office to drop off her work laptop and other devices, she said. The company has told her to meet security somewhere near the office, or ship the items in a box, she added.

I want to suggest that the new term for this management approach be called “googled.” To illustrate: In order to cut expenses, the firm googled 3,000 employees. Thus, the shift in meaning from “look up” to “look for your future elsewhere” represents a fresh approach for a cost conscious company.

It may be a signal of honor to have been “googled.” For the individual referenced in the write up, the pain and mental stress may take some time to go away. Does Google management know that Populus Quisquilias has feelings?

Stephen E Arnold, February 1, 2023


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