Reader: Laid-off managers denied computer access

Updated at 8:19 a.m. ET. Regarding the layoff of 100 senior managers who are operating committee members, an employee at a newspaper in a Western state says: “I’ve heard that the OC people that were canned this week had all of their access to files turned off overnight. . . . . All of us have no access and were told it’s a corporate decision. Have you heard any more?”

In a new comment, below, Anonymous@7:36 a.m. says: “I was told that our computer access would be terminated on our official last day of employment, which was Sept. 12 (yesterday). When my publisher told me of my elimination (on Tuesday), I simply walked into my office, grabbed my purse and walked out the door. I learned a long time ago to save files and forward to my home e-mail on a regular basis. I kept nothing personal in my office. I didn’t want the hassle of cleaning out my office as others watched. And I definitely didn’t want anyone else to pack my things and ship them to me.”

Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

Earlier: A tally of laid-off managers; is your paper on our list?

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22 Responses to “Reader: Laid-off managers denied computer access”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    If you are laid off why would you have access to anything? You are no longer an employee. As cold as that may seems it makes sense, doesn’t it?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Really, I was shut off 1 hour after being laid off. They are lucky they had almost a day to go over their files.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    If this is true, it’s a serious violation of the Gannett electronic access policy that we all get beaten with. Considering these were OC marketing, circulation, IT positions, etc. these people were able to steal company data hand over fist after they had been told ‘we don’t want you’.

    I have to treat my laid off employees just as if I had fired them. Once you get the word that you are out, you no longer touch your computer, and IT has already locked you out of the system when you hit the door.

    If the peons could bring ruination to the company with access to their email, why the hell are we letting people who actually have worthwhile info just wander around the system for days?

    The double standard is enough to piss you off. But if we are laying off people to be more competitive, we shouldn’t let our internal data just walk out the door with ex-employees who are looking for jobs.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    What ever happened to trust?
    I would imagine there are some people who wold steal files, and others who would not.

    It sure seems odd for a company to eliminate a job, but keep computer access available to the person in the job for any amount of time. Surely Gannett has a policy that would cover something like that.

    If a company is silly enough to can someone, but give them access to company property during a period of time when they’re not working, shame on that company.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Trust is a nebulous thing when your regional circ director has been coasting on your work and you get canned, while he doesn’t.

    The urge to burn bridges can be incredible. Bridges and anything else you can get your hands on.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    thank god for thumb drives

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Why would someone on the outside world want Gannett data, is information on how to run a company into the ground valuable on the street?

  8. Anonymous Says:

    I also had long ago taken home anything I want — either hard copy or e-mail. All my personal possessions had also been taken home months prior. I put a few things on a thumb drive and I was outta there. It is good practice to be a step ahead of people you know are trying to get you.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Wondering how many names of the departed still show up on the directories readers see? If they had canned me, I would insist they remove my name immediately—or pay me for the pleasure of attaching my good name to such a miserable company.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    9:34 you have that right.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    7:57, if you don’t realize when they bring in a regional director that your days are numbered, than you are in denial my friend.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    It does seem cold, but immediately removing an employee computer access prevents all sorts of mischief from occurring. Even if a company might trust employees, being told “you no longer have job” can put all cards on the table for some people.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    After watching how corporate dealt with last year’s buyouts, I learned the lesson of keeping my persosnal stuff at home and transferring what I needed from the office computer to my home computer. These guys don’t screw around and there is no “nice” about it.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    9:42: Probably all of the names are still there – if they were even accurately listed to begin with. And, judging from the link provided to the Gannett corp web sites after each paper listed in Jim’s compilation so far, all of the previous round exmployees are still being accounted for in the total employment figures. example: my site is still listed as having 100 people more than we’ve had for a while. Accuracy: Who needs it, right Moon?

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Corporate never told IT, so we restored access – it looked like a glitch. Nice work!

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Let this be a lesson to everyone at Gannett Including new hires right out of college. Always treat tomorrow like it is your last day. I hate to be a half empty person, but in a half empty company you have to be prepared. Living out of a backpack is not a bad thing. ALWAYS DELETE ALL EMAILS!!! I have seen managers pour over an employees files after they left. It was like vultures over a dead animal. Completely unprofessional and disgusting.

    As for a backpack. You are mobile and when you’ve had enough of there sh#@ you can raise your middle finger and march out the door.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    I would also add this about computer files: don't forget to export then delete your favorites in the browser; make sure to go through every folder in outlook, export your contact files & remember to delete all appointments from your calendar (past, present & future); and scour every folder of yours in your system's network.

    It's easy to leave things behind that you don't intend to or that you don't want others looking at. I've seen the same thing happen that was mentioned earlier with people rifling through people's personal files, e-mails, etc. after they're gone. And often sharing what they found. Do you really want everyone to know about those shrink appointments?

  18. Anonymous Says:

    4:28, all the more reason not to use your work computer for personal things. If I had a personal email to send, I did it from my personal account. I never used Outlook for much of anything, in part because we had repeated spam attacks and viruses at our paper that almost rendered our email useless.

    The reason they don’t trust employees is because there are some like one who left our place: When she knew she was leaving, she started systematically deleting files from the computer system, including a lot of files that contained historical information about communities in our area, information that wasn’t available in our morgue and that had been painstakingly compiled over a period of 15 or 20 years. It started happening before she gave notice, and by the time folks realized the extent of what she’d deleted, she was gone.

  19. Anonymous Says:

    All of this is SOP for companies laying off workers. Gannett’s not being any meaner (or nicer) than any other major company laying off staff.

    The lesson here, as previously mentioned, is that your work computer is for work! If you have stuff, contacts, etc. you must keep, move a copy of your vital stuff elsewhere — copy it to a thumb drive, burn it to a DVD, e-mail it as an attachment to your own private e-mail address, whatever.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    For future reference the next time Dickey Bob decides to drop the axe again he should coordinate disabling system access in a more timely manor…because after receiving my “golden ticket out of the Gannett World” I skipped back to my office and instantly started deleting files, changing a few budget numbers, and the remaining staff will enjoy their above normal pay increases for next year!

  21. Anonymous Says:

    9:59, thanks for looking out for folks 🙂

  22. Anonymous Says:

    When I was in Corporate IT, we would – under direction from management – shut down access as the person was walking to the meeting room where they were going to be laid off, suspended or fired. By the time they got back to their desk, there was no access to anything and those that were dubious also had a security escort with a 15 minute windows to get their stuff out the door.

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