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Twitter employees talk about being laid off

A New Delhi-based Twitter India employee who had worked for the company for a year said her entire team had been fired. She said she still has access to company systems but was hoping for a confirmation by Friday night or Saturday morning.

“Many from content, partner, curation, communication, sales, and social marketing have been impacted,” she told ET.

Though employees of the social media company in the US had received emails, only some in India got ‘survivor’ emails (a term employees coined for people who weren’t fired) that their jobs had not been impacted.

“People who have been laid off will get an email on their personal email address that they’re no longer employed at Twitter,” she said.

Describing her experience at Twitter she said, “It is nothing like anything I had done before. This is the best place. The work culture here is amazing. It feels sad because no company can replicate the work culture that Twitter had. This is why it hurts. No company be it Facebook, Amazon, Netflix or Google will have a culture like Twitter’s.”

She had worked at two other companies before.

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The New Delhi office, she said, was good despite being a two-room space. The team was lean and budget efficient, she said.“This is the first place I have worked in which wasn’t soul-crushing, where I was treated like a human (except the layoff experience),” she said.

On her plans next, she said “nothing prepares you for this”, and that she would take some time off before looking for other jobs.

“We could have been given some notice. After logging out people they’re being told they’re fired. This is not how you do it. Although our US counterparts are saying that we will be paid for the next 60 days, everyone’s feeling here is that this email could have been a meeting,” she said.

“A lot of people just woke up to revoked access,” she rued.

If an employee is fired with cause, he or she will not be paid severance but if fired without cause, he or she will be paid severance, she said.

As microblogging platform Twitter’s employees in India woke up to emails that their fate at the company will be conveyed via email by Friday night, employees stared at an uncertain future. They told ET they hadn’t planned for this unceremonious exit and that they were taking some time off to process this news before starting job search.

The Bengaluru office in Benniganahalli’s RMZ Tech Park seemed closed with none except a security guard on watch.

A New Delhi-based 25-year-old Twitter India employee who worked for the social media company for two years told ET he hadn’t received an email about him being fired but was logged out of all his company systems, emails and Slack. “This is not just the case with me, but with my entire team, including my manager,” he said.

He said the employees were warned in a “heads-up” email early Friday morning that if they are laid off, they will be logged out of their systems first and be informed later on their personal email address.

He said he plans on taking a break the next two months since a severance pay of two months is being paid by Twitter.

Asked what he had in mind to do next, he said he is contemplating joining other Big Tech companies or pursuing higher studies.

Despite being laid off, the employee quoted above spoke of Twitter in glowing terms. “It was a dream job. This is the most phenomenal company and I worked with the most phenomenal people ever. The people, the work, the culture, and the impact they created were phenomenal,” he said.

He said though he had worked in a consulting firm before no work experience came close to working at Twitter. On the way these mass layoffs were being done, he said, “We’re real human beings who have families to see and bills to pay. There are expecting women among Twitter’s employees who are days away from their delivery. More than the money, they need healthcare insurance.”

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