Google’s made no secret of its plans to pare down what cofounder Sergey Brin described last fall as a 10,000-member contractor workforce.
What Google has kept secret, however, is how many of that 10,000 will lose their jobs.
For example, a December SEC filing obtained by the AP puts Google’s contractor workforce at a heavily reduced-sounding 4,300, but Google rep Jane Penner says that doesn’t mean the company’s already cut 5,700.
She said that the 4,300 mentioned are just a subset of Google’s larger contractor workforce and wouldn’t tell the AP how many contractors have actually lost their jobs.
So instead of numbers, we’re left with anecdotal reports, like the one Gawker published from a laid-off Google contractor who used to work in on-site tech support:
I got laid off from Google’s internal helpdesk a few months back; now I’m watching my google talk list drop one by one while a colleague there gives a play by play. When I was there there were 24 people, three of us were axed when I left, two more people have quit in the interim but weren’t replaced in headcount.
Tech Stop Now, the telephone helpdesk, is operated by SlashSupport. It looks like this is being gutted down to a skeleton crew before the contract is up for renewal in April; they probably intend to move the whole thing to the Hyderabad help desk, who are quite a bit cheaper to operate.
Yes, this means that from 9am to 6pm pacific, only eleven people at maximum are available to field tech support calls from across every Google office in the world.
Photo by: technotheory