AOLers Begin Taking Buyout Packages Today

AOL wants 2,500 employees — a third of its headcount — to volunteer for layoffs. Today is the first day AOL employees can tell management that yes, they’d like to take a buyout.

For those who take the offer, their last day at work will be January 1.

As a reminder, here are the packages AOL offered employees who agree to fire themselves today (versus the one they’d get if involuntarily laid-off in a Q1 2010 “reduction in force.”) :

We’re beginning to hear from employees who say they will take the package. One writes:

Friday is the day that the VSP option becomes available for AOL employees to begin to sign up for the voluntary lay off. Period goes 12/4 through 12/11.
Employees are shaken, uncertain, and feel as if it’s a crap shoot either way…unless you’re one of those guys getting 9 months of severance.
It’s going to be interesting to see who goes and who stays. It has been said within the walls of aol that the people who will stay are the ones who believe in the company and it’s mission. That’s almost like saying that if you leave, it means that you don’t believe in the company. To me, this is anologous with “If you don’t support the war, then you are being disloyal to the troops.”
Please know, your site is the way most AOL’ers get news and have a chance to vent. Please keep sending us the story. We were told that if we posted on your site, we would be fired, and so traffic slowed down, but has picked up again lately, I’ve noticed.
I, for one, am taking the package….It’s not that I don’t believe in the company, I just don’t like working there any more. I’m from what was, and over the past four years that I have worked there, I have watched AOL step in, make poor decisions and chew up the culture and enthusiasm that was, and spit us out like the used chewing gum AOL is now using as a logo.
Hope there’s something in here you can use…they can’t fire me…oh, the last day of work for those taking the package is Jan 01.
What a way to start my New Year….FREE of AOL….There IS a God! This package is a gift from heaven, for me!
Take care

Another AOL employee asked us to “put a post up so that employees can find out who is leaving and how many will be let go involuntarily in January.”

AOL volunteer signup program starts TODAY for US, Canada and UK and already in progress for Ireland. Employees are being asked to sign up electronically at the intranet HR site PeoplePlace. PWord in the halls is that not more than 500 will volunteer since the severance package becomes the same if WARN act is applied for the involuntary layoffs (which it most likely will).

Though their might be brighter future on the horizon, it’s obviously another trying holiday season at AOL. We’re Happy to try and help.  Share your stories in the comments below or at [email protected] and we’ll post them here.

Scroll through Tales From The Firing Line >

Tips to help you today cope and move forward.

I'm out too and I'm excited!

I could have stuck around and I could have been excited about the new AOL, but the way they have treated everyone over the last couple of years has been horrible and absolutely draining. Coming from, I'm actually excited to get back out there any use my valuable skills and entrepreneurial spirit that have been squished by AOL's red tape and politics. I know everyone needs to be out for themselves in this world, but this place is ridiculous and has killed productivity!

I have no faith or energy left.

I'm out. For my years at AOL, I have no faith or energy left. You can do a stellar job at AOL it does not matter. The politics is too much to handle. If you are a top producer and the boss likes the average producer, there is no way to win. If some a-hole (got that from Aol.) says negative things about you to the boss that are not true, your history anyway. If you believe there is no list after VSP, that's Ok too 'cause I'm sure there is a Santa. And speaking of Santa, I wonder if there will be more cuts next Christmas for the ones who make it through the current nitemare?

Heads up AOLer's. You are looking at a bright new world.

Heads up AOLer's. You are looking at a bright new world. I am an ex-AOL employee in the lowly world of saves. Unlike some of you noggins I loved my job and they took me out kicking screaming and crying when they shut down our centre. If an opportunity came up I would enlist again. You will be amazed at how wonderful AOL really was when you find yourself in similar/not so similar jobs.

A few happy surprises: as the other veteran noted, employers will love you. They know the world you come from (and the stories theyve heard of the abuse we've suffered.... legendary). The best news is that the longer you were with the company the higher your value.

Be creative with your job descriptions (but honest). You know what you were responsible for and no one is going to dispute your version. AOL hq, bless their little hearts, will only tell prospective employers, your start and ending date, rate of pay and title at the time you left. You should list your trainings, trumpet the contests won or goals reached, talk about your team and your coach or mentor in glowing terms. Tout the company line. You have had it drilled into you now put it to work.

Search the myspace and facebook groups for fellow ex-pats. You will find many people willing to give you leads and references. Look for employers who are already scooping up ex-AOLers. They will pay premium wages to get a complete set. Follow your coach or mentor if you can. We are one. We are AOL. Good luck.

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