Last week Microsoft announced the largest round of layoffs in the company’s 39-year history.
One employee who found himself on that blacklist turned to YouTube to share his experiences and tell the world what it was like to be fired from Microsoft after 15 years of work.
In the 20-minute video, Jerry Berg (a.k.a. Barnacules) goes through what the process was like, what went down, and how he feels about it.
Berg had been a Windows software developer for 15 years until the morning of July 17, when he was called in for a meeting. He had no idea what the meeting was about, and there were no warning signs at all; he hadn’t received any negative feedback on his projects.
He walked into the meeting to find 150 of his coworkers, all wondering why they were there. Upper management got up to talk, and according to Berg, they were even broken up about it. It was really just a shock for everyone.
“It was Microsoft’s best kept secret ever,” Berg said.
Management told the 150 employees that Microsoft was “going in a new direction” and that their roles were no longer necessary. The employees were immediately sent to HR to pick up their severance packages.
“Somehow, some algorithm put me on a list, and that was the end of it,” Berg said. “I’d like to think that I was probably laid off by a computer. A computer put me on a list for whatever reason and sent me packing.”
On a personal note, Berg is concerned about how he will be able to afford treatment for his four-year-old autistic son, since Microsoft’s insurance was one of the few that cover that. But Berg acknowledges his severance package will allow him a couple of months to get himself back on his feet.
In the meantime, Berg is going to work on his YouTube channel “
Barnacules Nerdgasm” full-time. The channel, which he started as a hobby, now has 140,000 subscribers, and Berg is going to see if he can make a living being a full-time YouTuber.