my job didn’t warn me that I’d be temporarily laid off each summer

A reader writes:

I started a new event manager job in January that I was very excited about. The company I started with was two event facilities that merged and my position was expected to manage all events in one facility, but I would be trained to manage events in the additional facility. The additional facility has 3 event managers already.

A few weeks into the job, I was told by several coworkers and staff who I supervise in my facility that my position gets laid off during the summer because it is slower, with no events.

I eventually met with my direct supervisor and asked her about it, specifically saying, “It’s been mentioned to me that my position gets laid off in the summer. Is this still the case or will I be working on summer projects and train in this additional facility?” She responded that they would put me “on summer projects with another event manager, so no worries.”

Every couple months, I checked back in with her about it to make sure that her answers were consistent and a layoff wasn’t on the horizon. She responded the same and let me know that there were summer projects I could work on. Training would be available at some point as well.

Well, the day came where my facility’s event season was over and there are no events for exactly 2 months. I was called into her office and our HR manager was there. I actually thought that I was getting written up for something random but nooooo! They laid me off and handed me a piece of paper to file for unemployment until they call me to return. They did not give me a set return date, just a “we’ll call you.” I was the only event manager laid off.

With everything I went through months before I got the job ( 1-2 hour commute to work, hit by drunk driver, follow-up car caught on fire, 6-week relocation to my cousin’s house to get to work), I was relieved when I got this job that is 1 mile walking from my home. This temporary layoff after 6 months of work is upsetting, and filing for unemployment, which takes weeks to get, is just ridiculous. Further, they weren’t that helpful with me filing unemployment. NO direction or guidance for a company that does this regularly. I stayed in this city after my MBA graduation to work at this job and get the experience, but with the temporary layoff, I instantly took it as a sign that I should return to my hometown (1800 miles away).

Do I need to tell them that I don’t plan on coming back if they call or should I just head out and deal with it if/when they call for me to return? I like the job for “experience,” but essentially my office is in a basement, no one goes to lunch with me (even when I ask), and it’s just not a culture I’m happy with overall.

What? That’s horrible.

They apparently hired you without mentioning the really relevant fact that they were likely to lay you off during the summer — which is the sort of thing most people want to know before taking a job. And they didn’t even tell you when you asked about it — more than once. And sure, it’s possible that they genuinely believed this wouldn’t the case this year — but if that were true, I don’t think they’d be this cavalier about it when it did end up happening. Normal people in that situation would be falling all over themselves to acknowledge their mistake and to apologize for it.

So no, you certainly don’t owe them any advance notice that you don’t plan to return, unless they specifically asked you to commit to returning on a particular date. And even then, you wouldn’t be obligated to tell them that you’re hoping not to — you’d only be obligated to let them know once you’ve accepted another position. (Arguably, you don’t even have to at that point, but it’s worth being someone who takes the high road.)

These people suck.

P.S. Please do file for unemployment. You’re entitled to it when you’re laid off, even temporarily, and even if it takes a while to kick in, it’s better than not having it.

{ 108 comments… read them below }

  1. Adam V*

    What the hell?

    Not just laying someone off and rehiring them (or hoping to, I suppose; I’d think anyone worth their salt would be like the OP and would immediately seek a more steady job), but outright lying to you about it for *months*?

    Find something else, put in your two weeks (preferably before you’d have to go back), and tell everyone you know about the horrible liars at [company] who think regularly laying people off for two months *while telling them that’s not what’s going to happen* is a valid business practice.

    (All the same, I think as soon as I had heard it from the coworkers shortly after starting, I’d have re-prepared my resume, just in case, and contacted my network about potential availability, because this is such a crappy situation to be in.)

    1. StarGeezer*

      If the company had given the OP a firm return date, I could see being obligated to give notice. With just a “we’ll call you” (will it be 2 months? 3 months? never?) the OP doesn’t owe them notice.

      They can get notice when they call, “Oh you want me back next week? Sorry, without a firm return date, I accepted another position.”

      1. gd*

        I don’t think she should give them any notice. If they are not paying her now, she does not owe them anything.

        1. Cucumber*

          I’m inclined to agree that she owes them NOTHING. Nada. Not a thing.

          Yes, there’s the high road, but they blatantly lied to her – first a lie of omission when she was hired, then repeatedly lying to her about her position continuing – then they laid her off with no notice.

          Use one of your supportive coworkers as your reference from the company, file unemployment, and move on to greener, more honest pastures.

      2. Vicki*

        You’re never “obligated” to give notice. And even with a “firm” return date… something about this job says that “firm” is an illusion.

      3. Angora*

        Do not give notice; you do that you’ll lose your unemployment benefits. Use this job to find a permanent job. If you do not have something when they call you, you’ll have to return or you’ll lose your unemployment benefits … unless you’ve moved outside the area.

        You have to take care of your self. They lied to you in order to keep you on so they would have to do another job search.

        1. Angora*

          Oops .. use this time to find another job; and if you do not have anything when they call you; return to them and get a paycheck while you look for something that will keep you on year around.

    2. Artemesia*

      No notice required. Don’t tell them you are not coming back because it is possible you won’t find anything right away, but start looking and just let them know you are not available when they try calling you back if they do. No requirement for notice AT ALL and no reason to give them a heads up AT ALL. They lied to you from the beginning and consciously and repeatedly; you owe them nothing. And keep looking for something better even if they call you back; if you get called back and a week later get a better offer, put in your two weeks notice then.

      They really suck.

  2. ConstructionHR*

    File immediately for unemployment. Many states allow it to be done online. It should not take much past your second week to get it if you have the right documents.

    Oh, and BTW, that REALLY sucks.

    1. POSTER*

      I filed for unemployment online the day I was laid off.
      Below you can find my comment about what took place.

    2. JoAnna*

      My husband was let go in June, and it took him almost exactly one month before his unemployment was finally approved (he applied, online, the same day he was let go). So, it can take a while.

  3. The Wall of Creativity*

    I wouldn’t even give them two weeks’ notice. If they didn’t give you notice of the layoff, they can’t expect it from you.

  4. Beth C*

    What?! This is so horrible. Apply for unemployment definitely- is there guidance on your state unemployment website or can you contact an unemployment office to ask how to sign up?

    I hope you find a new job and tell people you know they lied and didn’t think anything was wrong with laying staff off while reassuring them a layoff wasn’t going to happen.

  5. sam*

    gah. It’s not even the temporarily laying you off that gets to me, it’s the lying to you to your face about it. If they had been up front, you could have maybe allocated funds, saved up, planned around it, and looked upon it as something to even look forward to (summer off, yay!), or if you couldn’t swing something like that on your income, you could have still planned on finding temporary or permanent other employment during this period with a longer lead time.

    These people didn’t show you common courtesy, they don’t deserve yours.

    1. POSTER*

      You got it right Sam!
      If they would have just told me when I asked that it’s a possibility, I would have saved up and looked forward to it!
      But they didn’t and they were not apologetic about it. Thanks for your comment.

      1. sam*

        yeah – I’m back in the world of permanent employment, but I was temping for a while (it was “high-end” legal engagements, so a little different than normal temping), and I made a point of taking time off between each engagement. I would specifically plan and budget around this, and then take a nice trip somewhere, or just spend some time with friends/family. Or sleep in a lot. sleeping late is really awesome. My engagements were usually a year or longer, so I would take at least a month off in between.

        But I was also truly unemployed for two years after getting laid off, and I didn’t travel anywhere. Because there’s a whole different head space and anxiety involved with that.

    2. Elizabeth*

      Moreover, if they were upfront about this when they posted the job, they might have attracted candidates who would like to have the summer off in exchange for a pay cut – parents of school-age children, for example, or teachers’ spouses/partners.

      1. Cucumber*

        Absolutely true. A friend of mine had a job a few years back where she was expected to be laid off in the late fall, then rehired back in January. The organization was always extremely upfront about this, and gave her lots of warning so she could plan around it. She worked for them for two concurrent years; it wasn’t perfect, but she could use the downtime at the end of the year to look for other jobs and travel.

      2. POSTER*

        I agree, they should post it. It won’t hurt. The pay isn’t that great anywho. I took a $5,000 paycut to take the job after all that happened. A known summer break wouldn’t have been upsetting for me.

        Parents with school age children wouldn’t do well in this job because the events are all over the place and will have you home at all hours of the day/night….

      3. Kimberlee, Esq.*

        Yeah, wasn’t there an Open Thread or something recently where we were all lamenting that we don’t get summer vacations anymore? I’m sure there are tons of people that would love that setup, IF they knew that’s what they were getting into!

    3. manybellsdown*

      Yeah that sucks. I had a similar issue with a job lying to me – they promised me full-time hours starting in the summer, so I quit my second job. Then summer rolled around and I wasn’t even on the schedule. I figured I’d been let go and got a new job. Six months later, they called to ask why I hadn’t come in when they’d scheduled me. Yeah, they didn’t schedule me for six months and then expected me to know to come in.

      You did your due diligence and asked them, and they flat lied to you. They deserve all the courtesy they’ve shown you.

    4. spocklady*

      Yep yep yep. This happened to me in a job once – at least, the lie by omission about no work over the summer (really, between semesters). I should definitely have been more careful, but I was new to the workforce and it didn’t occur to me. And at least when I heard from coworkers there wouldn’t be any work and checked with my boss, my boss confirmed it, rather than lying to my face.

      I would have taken the job anyway, because I needed it, but it would have been nice of them to lay it out clearly up front.

      Ugh, OP these people are awful. You owe them nothing. I’m so sorry this happened to you – that’s reprehensible.

  6. Nina*

    I’ve heard of summer hours in particular industries (like not working on Fridays) but being without work for a few months can be crippling to someone’s income, and they should have mentioned that in the interview. It sounds like a bait-and-switch, and they probably wouldn’t get as many applicants in the summer.

    Apply for unemployment ASAP, and start job hunting.

    1. POSTER*

      I have been applying for jobs and reached out to my network back in my hometown.
      The thing about this job is it was so limiting. Mentally I didn’t use much brainpower and I wasn’t challenged.
      I’m hoping to find something so much better.

      1. Nina*

        It sounds like this job didn’t offer anything for you, and this is the ultimate nail in the coffin. I’m glad you’re applying elsewhere, because you don’t deserve crap like this. Good luck!

  7. Adam*

    Just how big is this company? Not only are they not forthright but no one is willing to be pleasantly office social with you (the lunch thing)? You plainly got a bad rap. I would be professional in any future contact with them but take steps to leave them as far behind as possible.

    Hope you find a job with people who aren’t rotten soon.

    1. POSTER*

      Mmmm the company is about 50-100 full time staff between events, operations, finance, etc.
      Well no one ever came to see me in my basement office unless it was about bullshit, nothing social.
      Funny enough there was a marketing manager around my age who had an office on the floor with all the directors, he created this thing where people would come in his office and draw something related to our upcoming events in order to get staff to come visit him. I was just like – “Sir you don’t have a basement office…”
      Never had lunch with one person, and coordinated a group lunch with other facilities managers one time so I would seem sociable and interpersonal but :shrugs: what can I girl do?

      1. Cucumber*

        Hang in there. You’re obviously proactive, proof is the group lunch you coordinated. And you’ll have a story to look back on as you move on to better positions … “At least I’m not still working at Lying Liars Firm”.

        The fact that it was a basement office says something to me also; years ago when I worked for a mega company in Massachusetts, a department that was moved to the basement was perceived as being punished.

        I think the marketing manager was canny, too – he found a way to get everyone in the company invested in what he was doing. Hopefully if you ever do get an out of the way office again, you’ll have some other location or method of getting people’s attentions – like throwing a coffee klatch at different locations and bringing your services/information to them.

        1. POSTER*

          Thanks Cucumber! The idea the marketing manager had was great. I would love to do something like that once I start a job with an office in the area of people….

      2. Lamb*

        That sounds like a lousy experience, but maybe the fact that the other staff were convinced you’d be laid off come summer had something to do with people not socializing with you. If they figured you’d be gone in 6 months (and after a seasonal lay off with no warning my guess is most people don’t come back), then they’d just be making friends with someone whom they would soon never see again. And by warning you about the layoff, it does sound like they were trying to be friendly/nice.

  8. Lizzy May*

    I’m so sorry OP. That’s an awful situation to be in. The lying for months is so disrespectful. Apply for unemployment and hopefully you’ll find something by the time they come looking for you.

  9. Brett*

    The unemployment office is going to be ticked off at them. In may not be true in every state, but generally employers are required to inform seasonal employees in writing when they are hired that they are being hired as a seasonal worker, and the employer must provide a set return date. Otherwise, it is not a seasonal layoff. “Good” news is, that makes you eligible for unemployment (a lot of states now deny benefits for seasonal layoffs, but you still have to file anyway in the event you are not rehired at the start of next season).

  10. POSTER*

    Hi everyone, thanks for your comments and feedback. Thank you Alison for posting.
    As far as a return date – I failed to mention they said they will call me mid-September. Still not a firm date.
    As far as filing for unemployment – I filed online for unemployment the day of (that was exactly one month ago). I think I begin receiving it next week. HR from this company further didn’t tell me that I need to work more than 6 months in the state to receive unemployment. Unemployment had to contact old job in another state and wait on wages. Unemployment never received wages, I ultimately got a ride to the Unemployment office and gave them my W2.

    1. OriginalYup*

      Yeah. They say they’ll call in mid-September, but they also said you definitely weren’t getting laid off over the summer so their word isn’t worth a nickel to me. They suck so massively that there is a giant swooshing sound in the universe that’s due entirely to them.

      Don’t worry about giving any notice — just focus on your search. If they do call you in mid-September and you’re not working elsewhere, I can see where you might have a dilemma about paycheck versus UE. If you should decide to go back to work for them, keep searching and mentally treat it as a temporary job. I can easily see this as one of the few exceptions to the “give two weeks notice” standard when something better comes along.

      1. PJ*

        “They suck so massively that there is a giant swooshing sound in the universe that’s due entirely to them.”
        Stealing this.

      2. danr*

        If they call, and you don’t have a job, you can’t refuse without having unemployment cut off. One of the questions that you need to answer each week is if you’ve had any job offers. And you don’t want to lie about it either (not that you would).

    2. rory*

      I wouldn’t trust them on the return date (even though in this whole thing, that might be the most reliable factor, since apparently they do this all the time) and wouldn’t give them notice at all. You’re laid off; you don’t work for them at all anymore. You don’t owe them anything.

      I’d also reach out to the former co-workers who warned you about this and thank them for the warning. I wouldn’t necessarily say that management lied to you about this, but letting them know you appreciate that they did tip you off will definitely help encourage them to tip off whoever they hire to replace you.

      1. rory*

        to clarify ” I wouldn’t necessarily say that management lied to you about this,” I would totally say they lied to you about that, I meant I wouldn’t necessarily tell your co-workers about the lying, because they may not have meant for you to go to management afterwards and say “other people told me that you lay this position off in the summer, is that true”.

        1. POSTER*

          I totally understand.
          I want to tell the coworkers, but I will wait until I am in my hometown and never coming back, which is before they are suspected to call me back.
          Thanks for your comment.

  11. Livin' in a Box (formerly CanadianWriter)*

    What kind of place has no events for the whole summer? OP, forget about this place and look for an events job somewhere else.

    1. POSTER*

      Don’t get me wrong, it’s typical for certain facilities to have less events in the summer.
      However, the full time begins on summer projects, maintaining the facility, training, etc.

      She said I would do summer projects and eventually train, then laid me off….

  12. Just Visiting*

    While this would be a dream position for me (walking commute, no social lunches, summers off… I’m a saver so I would have no issue “roughing it” with two months of unemployment even if I didn’t get benefits), you are right to be pissed that they lied to you. Not having a firm return date would be problematic for me: what if I planned to travel with my two months of freedom? What if I’m on the other side of the country when you call me back?

    1. POSTER*

      To be honest, this would be a dream job if if was in a different city and it was more challenging. Where I live is just boring for me and I was just here for the experience and title.

      I could care less about social lunches, but not when my direct supervisor (who works specifically in the other facility and doesn’t really know the culture of the facility I work in) tells me repeatedly that we need to work as a team in the other facility yet she doesn’t understand that I they don’t even speak to me…..

      I will be 1800 miles away when they call me back.

  13. PJ*

    There’s always the possibility that your supervisor told you the truth as she knew it, and she was overridden by a higher-up, so please don’t think bad thoughts about her. Whatever. Apply for unemployment, make plans for your life, and you don’t owe them notice. I’m an HR Manager, and if I treated someone like this (not that I ever would) I would be VERY surprised if they were willing to come back.

    1. POSTER*

      I thought that as well.
      To be honest, in regards to my direct supervisor, if she were a bit more apologetic I wouldn’t be so upset.
      But again, it was a “we’re gonna lay you off. now you can enjoy your summer and live off uunemployment!”
      Didn’t you just tell me that I was not gonna be laid off-maybe you should apologize for lying or stating incorrect things to me regarding my employment….

    2. some1*

      Sure, it’s possible, but as Alison pointed out, a decent human being would acknowledge she specifically told the LW otherwise and apologize for the change

  14. Cautionary tail*

    Warning! There is no such thing as being temporarily laid off, regardless what others here or elsewhere in your life say. The company laid you off and ended your relationship. You now need to search for a new job. You do not need to give them notice; there is no more road between them and you so there is no higher road to take.

    I worked for a 1,000 person company that did this all the time. They were project based and would start a project in one geography and hire people and when that project was done they would lay people off and simultaneously hire and then lay off in other geographies. Even people in the home office would be hired and laid off as business needs ramped up and down. Lots of people were temporarily laid off with their managers saying behind their backs they were not going to rehire them because they could get fresh meat for less with no seniority.

    I kept absolutely nothing personal there in my office or on my computer and expected every day to be my last. The day came when I was walking down the hall and the president called me into his office and whammo hit me with the temporary layoff. That was four years ago. The rehire notice never came and I never expected it to.

    1. POSTER*

      Wow! I’ll keep that in mind but essentially the day she told me she was laying me off, with everything that had been happening to me, I instantly said I was gonna move back home!

    2. ANB*

      I wouldn’t say it never happens though. Temporary layoffs are quite common in the school bus industry for summer vacation, Christmas break, etc.

      1. Cautionary tail*

        But since there’s no guarantee that you get rehired, you should not count on it. Therefore you should consider it permanent.

    3. KH*

      I am left wondering why a company would do this instead of just hire people as contractors?
      Wouldn’t this practice cause the company’s unemployment insurance premiums to go through the roof?

  15. Celeste*

    I know of businesses who do seasonal furlough during the winter, because they do work outdoors and our winters don’t allow it. But they let staff know before they’re hired. If you’re going to furlough people, either they need to plan for it and save up, or you need to structure pay so they will still get a check. Many people do like to have a furlough, to pursue interests or to travel, or to do some other kind of work in the interim. No good employer would hire staff without letting them know how business works. I guess this job worked out to be something transitional for you, after your circumstances changed with the accident. I hope you find something much better very soon. I’m sorry you got treated this way. I would consider their unapologetic lies to you to be unforgivable, and say that you do not owe them any further contact.

  16. Elizabeth West*

    Oh, MAN.
    I’d start looking again. This is horrible. They flat-out lied to you and it’s unlikely that they’ll ask you back because they’d be right to assume you’d be pissed. I’m sorry. Jerks.

  17. weasel007*

    A temporary unemployment claim should be significantly easier to apply for and get than the regular standard unemployment. It is called an attached claim. Here in NC the company does it for you. You don’t have to do a thing.

    However, I agree with Allison. Use this time to find something else. These people are nuts.

    1. Mpls*

      Unemployment varies so much from state to state, that it’s hard to generalize experience between states. OP’s state may not have option that NC does.

      1. POSTER*

        I somewhat agree. I also think things may have changed, they didn’t care to notify me and when i got laid off they didn’t apologize for what I’d been told :-/

        1. Anon55*

          A temp would cost significantly more an hour than a regular employee would because the agency gets a cut. Plus if they burn through a few temps with this ‘surprise’ annual layoff then Agency A will stop working with them and then they have to go to Agency B. Depending on the size of the town they could blacklist themselves from all the temp agencies in a few years.

  18. Jade*

    Ohhhh, OP. That is awful. Once you’re far away from these people, please report your experience to Glassdoor so that these sociopaths struggle to get the talent they need.

  19. TheExchequer*

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. If there’s anyway you can afford not to, run away, run away, and do not return. Seriously not cool. Please tell us who it is so we can all run away.

  20. BadPlanning*

    The only reason I would see that the OP would want to inform the company that she would not be available to return in “Mid-September” is if it would help with future positive references (aka, the OP kindly informed them so they could plan on looking for someone new instead of being surprised [they shouldn’t be surprised, but hey]). But I can only personally think of sarcastic letters to write, so this might backfire.

    As others have said, the company is doing themselves a disservice by not just advertising as a summer-off sort of position. Turn it into a positive and pull in the people for whom this schedule would be ideal.

    1. POSTER*

      I was thinking of ways to let them know I’m not interested in returning but I kept thinking of sarcastic rude letters as well so I’m just gonna be quiet until find my way to my final destination in a couple weeks.

  21. Allison (not AAM!)*

    In my eyes, a layoff is construed as a termination. They let you go; they could not expect you to sit around and wait for who-knows-how-long to be re-hired. When you walked out that door the last time, you were unemployed. You owe them nothing. If they call you and offer you a spot, all you have to do is say no, thank you, not interested.

    1. Anon55*

      A layoff is completely a termination. You couldn’t call them up one day and tell them you weren’t coming into work because you were backpacking through the Appalachians and expect your job to be available in four to six months or whenever you get around to returning, so why do they expect you to be available the second they decide they need you again.

  22. BRR*

    Poster, when they laid you off did you bring up that they said you would not be laid off? Just out of curiosity.

    And I’m really sorry this happened to you. Make sure you post about it on glassdoor. I wouldn’t bother telling them you have a new position at all until they call you. Please send an update if any thing happens.

    1. POSTER*

      To be honest, not I didn’t bring it up.
      The reason why is because I have a tone issue: sometimes I sound like I have an attitude or very confrontational when I’m responding or just asking a question (something I’m working on doing better with) and at that moment, I felt as though I was really going to sound angry or upset so I just took the paper and walked away…

      I do wish I went back and asked but considering I was lied to and they didn’t apologize, what would asking really do but upset me and probably cause a firing instead of layoff :shrugs:

      1. BRR*

        I think you exercised good judgement in your restraint. Best of luck in your job search! I should add to not post on glassdoor until you have started your new job.

      2. JMegan*

        I probably wouldn’t have said anything at the time either. Partly because of the possibility of sounding more defensive or angry or whatever than I actually was at the time, but also because what good would it do? They’ve decided they want you out the door, and there’s really nothing you can say that would make them change their minds.

        It would be very tempting to denounce them as Lying Liars from Liarsville, but ultimately the end result is still the same, and you’re still laid off. Best you can do at that point is get out of their with your dignity intact.

        BTW, that job sounds awful, even without the lying and the sudden termination. I hope you find something interesting and challenging – and friendly – when you get settled in your new place!

        1. Senor Poncho*

          Oh I don’t know, I think I would’ve gone ahead and burned that bridge. And I would have called them a whole lot more than “liars.” That situation sounds (very justifiably) infuriating and unethical.

      3. Anon55*

        The “tone” comment tells me you’re a woman and possibly a minority. Anytime I’ve ever heard anyone being told they were too brusque or had a tone or were being too confrontational was when they were dressing down women and the vast majority of the time they were minority women. It’s the PC way of saying uppity. Men I’ve worked with that used the same tone or turns of phrase were just speaking their minds and felt strongly about something. It absolutely sucks and I’ve taken to using a mild valley girl when someone does something outrageous and I want to call them on it without looking like the Company B!tch. “I’m afraid I just don’t understand why you did X when you told me you were doing the opposite of X this past Monday. Did something change? Remember we were talking about it after we talked about Y?” Smile, blink, repeat as needed and say nothing more.

        1. Anonymous*

          Anon55 you know my struggle. I’m still working on the mild valley girl but for now I jut keep quiet and maintain a passive aggressive attitude until I can gather my thoughts.

    1. Dr. Speakeasy*

      There are a quite a few schools in the States that do this too. Typically it is when they are required (either by state law or contract) to provide X number of days notice. They lay teachers off in the Spring to provide the 90 day lay-off notice and then when they have a better idea about enrollment numbers in August they hire back. But people usually know the drill and the pink slips are typically based on seniority. So as a new teacher you know you’re going to have pink slip summers for awhile until you build the seniority.

      1. POSTER*

        They still get notice. I got nothing but hints from people who were around the office….

        1. Dr. Speakeasy*

          Oh very true – I wasn’t commenting on your situation directly but rather noting that it isn’t just teachers in Germany that get laid off in the summer.

    2. MK*

      This is also true for many categories of workers, e.g. the seasonal tourism industry (island or ski resorts) operates like this as a rule. But in these cases the timeline is explained/understood for the start: “we will hire you beggining April 1st till October 31st, then you are entitled to unemployent and we will contact you in March to tell you what’s the plan for next year”.

      1. De (Germany)*

        Okay, so I looked it up and these teachers get temporary contracts for the school year that are from the start to the end of the school year. So technically, they are not really being laid off, it’s just that their contract ends.

        1. Rana*

          Yeah, that’s really common here in the States for term/contract/adjunct faculty – and even some full-time faculty don’t get paid during the summers (even though they may have non-teaching responsibilities).

          When I was in grad school, we used to call summer the “starving time” because three months is a long time to go without pay… yet it’s too short to get a reliable fill-in job.

  23. Quiet please*

    In a recent discussion with my manager about my job frustrations, my manager told me to “pray about it” and to “trust God because He always provides”. However, I am not religious. How should I respond to this type of advice? It’s worth noting that my manager’s boss is religious as is most all of the upper administration. This has been weighing on me pretty heavily so any advice would be appreciated.

  24. Chriama*

    This situation makes me so mad. They were completely dishonest with you and so cavalier about it. At the same time, people who do stuff like this aren’t going to change because of an exceptionally biting comment, so there isn’t anything you can say to make them feel remorseful. I would just focus on living well. Move home, find a great job, and take great pleasure in being able to tell them ‘thanks, but no thanks’ when/if they ever call you back. I probably wouldn’t be able to resist a jab to the boss when that happens, such as “since I ended up being laid off even after you explicitly promised that I’d be working on summer projects, I assumed the company wasn’t financially stable enough to guarantee my position in the fall. I’m sure you understand that I would rather build my career at a company with a secure future.”

    Not that it would really make a difference in your boss’s thinking, but it’s empowering to be the one who says no.

  25. Lyn*

    same thing happened to me when I took my present part-time job. I remember I was so shocked when my supervisor told me that they would only need me in the summer to fill in when she was off. They didn’t tell me when I was hired (in August)…I was told in May (I work at a community college). However, your supervisor telling you not to worry about it – it would be fine – after you asked several times — that’s wrong.

  26. AMagda*

    Could it be that the first time you asked they were really planning on keeping you for the summer but in the meantime decided you weren’t a good fit and changed their minds? From your accounts you don’t seem to have been happy to be working there other than for the location and colleagues and supervisors might have picked up on that. And you acknowledged in a comment that you can sometimes sound adversarial, even when you don’t mean to, that can also be a reason for them not to commit to training you further.
    In any case, if this is true they should have been upfront about it and let you know – the way they did it shows they don’t value you as an employee and you owe it to yourself to find a more fulfilling job.

    1. POSTER*

      And completely wack.
      I did what I needed to do to be interpersonal in the office and they didn’t reciprocate. So because they don’t want to be social with me, they lay me off? Bullshit.
      If they changed their minds, that’s absolutely fine. Tell me as soon as it changes and apologize.

    2. ixiu*

      I agree that the situation they have put you in is a complete non-sense and absolutely horrible.

      At the same time I am wondering if there could be another possibility, maybe you have rubbed someone wrong while working there and isn’t well liked by your coworkers. I don’t want to sounds like I am kicking you while you are down, but this is where I have picked up that possibility. Reading some of the comment and as AMagda said, you said earlier that you have a tone issue that comes off as having an attitude. Your supervisor told you many times that there will be projects in the summer, but decide during the last month to lay you off. You are the only event manager to get laid off, even though the additional faculty have 3 event managers. You thought you were getting written up, do you get written up often? Your coworkers don’t want to go to lunch with you, do they go to lunch with each other?

      Either way, if that was the case, they should have corrected it while you are working there and not lay you off with no warnings. I don’t think you owe them a 2 week notice since they weren’t even sorry about it. You should definitely look for another job, but don’t burn your bridge there and just try hard to be the bigger person.

      1. POSTER*

        I understand where you can get that from.
        My tone issue was never discussed at this job.
        I’ve heard it before in past jobs, but not at this job. I am mentioning it cause it may be the case.
        I only got written up once (considered a verbal warning), after the 3 month period, because of a miscommunication.
        If you saw HR in a random meeting with your manager, what would you think?

        I don’t intend on burning any bridges, I will be very polite and respectful when they call.
        I honestly don’t think it was anything “personal” they just went about it the wrong way.
        If it was something personal or work related, then essentially that’s their loss that they didn’t communicate it.

    1. quix*

      In the common-language meaning of the word, certainly. But legally Americans don’t have much in the way of workplace rights.

      1. Senor Poncho*

        Absolutely; but I do wonder if there’s a cause of action there, whether for fraud or otherwise (unfair biz practices, misrepresentation, etc.).

  27. Lamb*

    This isn’t really what you asked about, but you sound quite invested in having friends at work. Was it just here because you were far from home and didn’t have many other friends in the area?
    Having work friends is nice, but by and large, they aren’t real friends. When I first made a work friend I didn’t realize that; I called her (during off hours) and left a message inviting her to go bowling with me and another friend on her and my shared day off. She didn’t even bother to call me back, and when I asked her about it at work after the fact claimed she didn’t come because she hates bowling. (She might hate bowling; that’s not a reason to not respond at all to an invitation.)
    I’m not saying don’t try to make friends at work, or that no one makes lasting friends that way, just suggesting low expectations of how deep those friendships will usually go.
    As for lunch, are you inviting people who go out to the kind of place they usually go? If you are inviting brown baggers to go buy lunch, or suggesting a more/less expensive, fast, or healthy eatery than the person usually buys from, that may make them more likely to turn down your invite regardless of how well they like you.

    1. POSTER*

      Total opposite. I actually could care less about being friends with people in the work place but there is a level of respect and personaliblity you should have in the workplace. It helps with teamwork and other aspects and of work. We don’t need to be friends to go to lunch, but we should have a decent enough work place relationship that you would go to lunch with me at least once. I’m also out of sight out of mind when I’m in the basement and no one even knows when I come into work. I would even find random reasons to go to the office floor so people would know I’m around. These people did not care about me until the minuscule part of my limited ass job role came into play. These were not brown baggers. I saw them leave and go to lunch all the time.

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