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  #81  
Old 26.04.2012, 14:51
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Re: Merck Serono layoffs - up to 900 redundancies in Geneva

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Get over yourself, and don't treat anything on the internet as personal.

Aw, cmon guys, you come knit too, and we all shake hands. D'accord?

There are people who will always take written word seriously.
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  #82  
Old 26.04.2012, 15:05
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Re: Merck Serono layoffs - up to 900 redundancies in Geneva

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I'll dig out the double-pointed needles!
I was serious, just started a very complicated in-the-round cowl and I'm sick of it already!
All else I'm ignoring.
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  #83  
Old 26.04.2012, 15:40
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Re: Merck Serono layoffs - up to 900 redundancies in Geneva

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Seems to be a new person who groans a lot. Just my luck.
Never done it myself as I think it's a mean thing to do....

Housing in Geneva is terrible at the moment, and sadly any planned building is being slowed down due to planning restrictions.
As for jobs... argh might be a reasonable response!

Stitch and bitch; well, I've got something to bitch about now, haven't I!
Wednesdays at the Starbucks in town if I remember correctly, what time do you met and will you be there next week?

A
I wouldn't worry about the groaning! It's gotten much better than when I first joined. There would be a groan fest on any topic where people would express their opinions. I got a lot of groans just for having an opinion contrary to what was popular. Don't worry about it. More important things to deal with!

What are your chances of going to Boston? You can send me updates on my niece if you go. My brother is very bad at it!

Anyway, I wish you all the best luck with the next chapter! Let us know if we can help.
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  #84  
Old 26.04.2012, 16:16
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Re: Merck Serono layoffs - up to 900 redundancies in Geneva

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I wouldn't worry about the groaning! It's gotten much better than when I first joined. There would be a groan fest on any topic where people would express their opinions. I got a lot of groans just for having an opinion contrary to what was popular. Don't worry about it. More important things to deal with!

What are your chances of going to Boston? You can send me updates on my niece if you go. My brother is very bad at it!

Anyway, I wish you all the best luck with the next chapter! Let us know if we can help.
I must have just been lucky then; joined a year before you so I'm one of the real 'oldies' on here!

Chances of a transfer anywhere are almost certainly nil, not important enough to be offered one.
As far as I can make out everyone over 58 is being made to take early retirement, no matter who they are. And they're talking about capping the compensation to a limited number of years service so we'll lose out big time there as well.
Would have enjoyed going to Boston for a few years too, have several friends there.
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  #85  
Old 26.04.2012, 16:19
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Re: Merck Serono layoffs - up to 900 redundancies in Geneva

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I must have just been lucky then; joined a year before you so I'm one of the real 'oldies' on here!

Chances of a transfer anywhere are almost certainly nil, not important enough to be offered one.
As far as I can make out everyone over 58 is being made to take early retirement, no matter who they are. And they're talking about capping the compensation to a limited number of years service so we'll lose out big time there as well.
Would have enjoyed going to Boston for a few years too, have several friends there.
Make that over 48 in the film business.
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  #86  
Old 26.04.2012, 16:38
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Re: Merck Serono layoffs - up to 900 redundancies in Geneva

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I must have just been lucky then; joined a year before you so I'm one of the real 'oldies' on here!
yeah but, girl, i have 10x the post you do! lol. I wasn't smart enough not to get involved in the controversial conversations. But I learned... eventually! I keep my mouth shut on those topics now.

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Chances of a transfer anywhere are almost certainly nil, not important enough to be offered one.
That's too bad! I just came back from Boston & it's really a lovely city. Although I'm not sure I could move back. It's been more than 20 years since I lived there!! And now I'm so happy to be back to my quiet little village!
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As far as I can make out everyone over 58 is being made to take early retirement, no matter who they are. And they're talking about capping the compensation to a limited number of years service so we'll lose out big time there as well.
Would have enjoyed going to Boston for a few years too, have several friends there.
My aunt is around that age too and she just got laid off after 17 years of working for the same company. It sux!

I'm sure something will come up! Maybe me & you could open a tea shop with our scones & clotted cream! xo
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  #87  
Old 26.04.2012, 16:41
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Re: Merck Serono layoffs - up to 900 redundancies in Geneva

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Get over yourself, and don't treat anything on the internet as personal.

Oi, stop nicking my avatar
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  #88  
Old 26.04.2012, 17:03
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Re: Merck Serono layoffs - up to 900 redundancies in Geneva

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yeah but, girl, i have 10x the post you do! lol. I wasn't smart enough not to get involved in the controversial conversations. But I learned... eventually! I keep my mouth shut on those topics now.


I'm sure something will come up! Maybe me & you could open a tea shop with our scones & clotted cream! xo
I had a long 'lay off' period around 2010 when I was ill. I've tried not to get too involved in some threads right from the start, perhaps it was a smart decision; some people just seem to be saying stuff for the sake of racking up their scores!
Going from Newbie to Veteran in less than a year based on posting rate alone seems a little un-fair sometimes. But that's just my opinion and admittedly I do tend to read more than post.

Scones, cream.... don't! My wretched doctor has put me on a 'no fat, no starch, no booze, no fun' diet and it's killing me!
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  #89  
Old 26.04.2012, 23:47
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Re: Merck Serono layoffs - up to 900 redundancies in Geneva

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Left Geneva University a long time ago, top of his grade with no possibility of advancement at 40!
Working from home isn't an option either as my house is too small for all the equipment required.....
Early days, we'll have to see how things pan out over the next few months.
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Very sorry, but as having almost no knowledge about your/his field, I only can provide some ideas but NOT tailor-made solutions


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Not just yet... but it's coming.
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WHAT is coming ? do you mean a general downturn of the economy in Geneva ?


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I'm going to say it again in case it wasn't clear the first time. There isn't an awful lot of chemical and molecular research in Geneva... and what little there is - well they aren't hiring. And with the demise of Merck it's unlikely they'll survive either as many of them did contract work.
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whomever is hit will have to adapt to the changed realities. None of them can simply expect that there can be a continuation of the old patterns


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You did. Givaudan isn't hiring, Nestlé isn't hiring in these specific fields.
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Alright. Givaudan = nil & Nestle ? What does "in these specific fields" mean really ? Whomever was/is employed by Serono will have to tackle OTHER fields


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I'm sure that's a relevant example... three out of how many?
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three out of three. Which means that employment in the Zürich area within a year or two was on the same level as before. The market took over whatever workforce got redundant out of Swissair within 18 months. Sure, they had to change. The transit-points no longer were Bombay and Bangkok and Hongkong but Enge, Wollishofen, Thalwil and Erlenbach, which is a bit of a difference

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Molecular research is a lot more specialised than "Swissair capabilities" and there's a lot less of it around.
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Those who were in "molecular research" are to adapt to other areas of reseach now.


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Whoever is pointing that out has no idea of the costs associated with turning a lab into either an office or a hotel...
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A) You cannot simply leave such places "empty". And you cannot continue to use such places in downtown as industrial construction places
B) that a conversion of such a place is exepensive and complicated is obvious, but there is no alternative
C) or do you want to tell me that there is a similar company around the corner to take over ?

But for the clueless out there:
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UN does not grow (they hardly have cash to renovate the legacy building).
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as the latest media reports show, the cash to renovate the building will have to come from the Swiss Confederation

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Swiss banks face huge revenue pressure and will lay off another ca 20% of staff this year and next so unlikely they'll buy a molecular research lab and turn it into a client reception area.
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whatever they face, they everywhere and always have enough money to take over additonal real estate. And it no longer is a "molecular research lab" but just a place which WAS such a lab in the past.

The lab stuff will get sold in one way or the other, the other parts of the buildings will be changed up to the requirements of the new owners.

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Hotels... yes... sure... heck even a space research center, why not.
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And now, the name of the hotel is clear "Space Center Research Hotel"
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  #90  
Old 27.04.2012, 01:13
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Re: Merck Serono layoffs - up to 900 redundancies in Geneva

[QUOTE=Wollishofener;1546720]-
Very sorry, but as having almost no knowledge about your/his field, I only can provide some ideas but NOT tailor-made solutions


QUOTE]

Of course not, why should you be able to provide a solution?... it might be an answer for others though so trying the university is a good idea!
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  #91  
Old 27.04.2012, 07:58
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Re: Merck Serono layoffs - up to 900 redundancies in Geneva

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as the latest media reports show, the cash to renovate the building will have to come from the Swiss Confederation
exactly. The UN never has money but it does manage to raise it. There is no chance that a prime piece of real estate in Geneva is going to be left to rot.

As far as the ex-employees are concerned, I see that Unia decided to picket the Seronno building. Can Unia do anything to help?
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  #92  
Old 27.04.2012, 10:15
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Re: Merck Serono layoffs - up to 900 redundancies in Geneva

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WHAT is coming ? do you mean a general downturn of the economy in Geneva ?
Exactly. It is a position shared by the head of the Canton Finance department by the way.

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whomever is hit will have to adapt to the changed realities. None of them can simply expect that there can be a continuation of the old patterns
I suppose you realise "adaptation" is easier for a Swissair check-in employee / flight attendant than a PhD lab rat.

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Alright. Givaudan = nil & Nestle ? What does "in these specific fields" mean really ? Whomever was/is employed by Serono will have to tackle OTHER fields
You should really say "I have no knowledge of the field" and stop there. As it has already been explained to you mobility amongst fields in scientific research is far lower than "general transportation services".

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three out of three.
Do you do this on purpose because you can't stand not having the final word? The actual question to define the relevance of your sample is "Three out of how many total Swissair cockpit crew have become steamboat captains?"
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Those who were in "molecular research" are to adapt to other areas of reseach now.
Are you in politics by chance?

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whatever they face, they everywhere and always have enough money to take over additonal real estate. And it no longer is a "molecular research lab" but just a place which WAS such a lab in the past.
30% of the staff is admin. The rest is research. I don't think research happens in "places that were a lab in the past" but hey... who knows, maybe Merck-Serono does it differently

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exactly. The UN never has money but it does manage to raise it. There is no chance that a prime piece of real estate in Geneva is going to be left to rot.
I guess you're new around these parts... have you actually been IN the UN building to see in which state it is? As far as real estate places left to rot - there are plenty around.

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As far as the ex-employees are concerned, I see that Unia decided to picket the Seronno building. Can Unia do anything to help?
Not really.
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  #93  
Old 27.04.2012, 11:26
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Re: Merck Serono layoffs - up to 900 redundancies in Geneva

Sorry to hear about the site closure. I ended up in Switzerland last year after the pharma I worked for in the UK closed the site, leaving over 3000 people looking for new jobs. I joined a small company here and they are already in trouble and I'm working reduced hours and looking for a new job. The statutory redundancy package in the UK is decent and many pharma companies supplement that, so for some this bought them enough time to retrain or find a job they wanted to do. What are redundancy packages like here?

The approach to site closures in the UK seems to be to try to turn the infrastructure into a science park and encourage start-ups in the area. The problem is that this takes time and money. It worked well for the former Roche site in Stevenage, is working fairly well for the former AZ site, but the Pfizer site is struggling. In the UK at least, I think there is a glut of potential lab space for start ups. But that may not be the case in Geneva. However, without serious incentives for start-ups in a high-cost country like Switzerland, many entrepreneurs may look else where in Europe. I know of a start-up that began here in Zurich as a spin-off from ETH, and ended up moving to the US once they got some venture capital and now has no Swiss interests. Other start-up are struggling, especially if their funding comes from outside Switzerland and has been hit by the current exchange rates.

Best of luck to everyone affected by this.
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  #94  
Old 28.04.2012, 00:46
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Re: Merck Serono layoffs - up to 900 redundancies in Geneva

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Exactly. It is a position shared by the head of the Canton Finance department by the way.
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if so, rather regrettable. And Genevans of course in such a case will blame Zürich for their fate

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I suppose you realise "adaptation" is easier for a Swissair check-in employee / flight attendant than a PhD lab rat.
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people in the transporation sectore, check-in employees, flight attendants, aircraft mechanics, reservation people, aircargo people etc are constantly trained to be ready for immediate and total changes. If you are doing an apprenticeship in the transportation business you get trained on changing. You will be on your typewriter but 20 minutes later helping to unload a big truck, or will go to a bonded warehouse to check up, in conjunction with a carpet trader 200 hundred carpets. Back in the office you can complete the airfreight stuff but then have to work on some seafreight docs to be sent out.
--- HOWEVER such a PhD lab rat in many cases is a university educated or otherwise highly qualified specialist and so can be expected to cope with changing realities ..... or are they there victims of their "idées fixes" ?


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You should really say "I have no knowledge of the field" and stop there. As it has already been explained to you mobility amongst fields in scientific research is far lower than "general transportation services".
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NO, we cannot stop there. When the story became public, most people here were shocked. And if you tell me that mobility amongst those scientists is "far lower" it shows that they are what in German language is known as FACHIDIOTEN

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Do you do this on purpose because you can't stand not having the final word? The actual question to define the relevance of your sample is "Three out of how many total Swissair cockpit crew have become steamboat captains?"
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It was just an example. Maybe 2%, but quite many cockpit crew members have changed to other fields within a rather short time. There even was a book about this, which showed to what rich variety of jobs many exSwissair people change
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Are you in politics by chance?
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no, at least not yet

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30% of the staff is admin. The rest is research. I don't think research happens in "places that were a lab in the past" but hey... who knows, maybe Merck-Serono does it differently
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The research facilities of Merck-Serono in Geneva are no swiftly fading into history. And nobody expects that the places will be used in the same way in the future. If you want to see in what ways you can use industrial buildings differently, go to Escher-Wyss-Platz and go into the areas where there were big industries in the 1970ies and 80ies and look what was done about those places. Or go to the ROTE FABRIK and look what has been done about the place of STR Standard Radio & Telephone AG

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I guess you're new around these parts... have you actually been IN the UN building to see in which state it is? As far as real estate places left to rot - there are plenty around.
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Oh sure, I paid a complete visit to the UN building (Völkerbunds-Palast) in mid 1964 . It looked splendid. Geneva Cointrin then looked clearly better than our place in ZRH and Cornavin was rather better than ZchHB. And up into the early 80ies, restaurants in Geneva were better and had more liberal opening hours than the branch in Zürich. Overall in the 1960ies and 70ies, Geneva was not as boring as the Zürich of those days
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  #95  
Old 28.04.2012, 01:37
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Re: Merck Serono layoffs - up to 900 redundancies in Geneva

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The statutory redundancy package in the UK is decent and many pharma companies supplement that,
http://www.direct.gov.uk/redundancy.dsb

SR tops out at £12900 hardly decent! 20 years max!

  • 0.5 weeks pay for each full year of service where your age was under 22
  • 1 weeks pay for each full year of service where your age was 22 or above, but under 41
  • 1.5 weeks pay for each full year of service where your age was 41 or above
Max payout is 30 weeks @ 430 £12900

Here the company just has to give notice under the contract, no additional payout.
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Old 28.04.2012, 11:29
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Re: Merck Serono layoffs - up to 900 redundancies in Geneva

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http://www.direct.gov.uk/redundancy.dsb

SR tops out at £12900 hardly decent! 20 years max!

  • 0.5 weeks pay for each full year of service where your age was under 22
  • 1 weeks pay for each full year of service where your age was 22 or above, but under 41
  • 1.5 weeks pay for each full year of service where your age was 41 or above
Max payout is 30 weeks @ 430 £12900

Here the company just has to give notice under the contract, no additional payout.
I must have been misinformed about what the statutory package is! I was told it was 3.5 weeks for every year worked. First £30k tax free (that I'm sure about). And 40 weeks max. The company I was with set a minimum of 16 weeks payout.....one guy started at the company 2 days before the announcement and was paid 16 weeks pay as redundancy, plus 25% annual salary (3 months pay) as an extra payment due to it being a site closure. I guess the supplemented redundancy package the company offered was much better than I realised.
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Old 28.04.2012, 12:06
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Re: Merck Serono layoffs - up to 900 redundancies in Geneva

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Well thanks, my second groan ever. Cowardly thing to do.
Lucky for you I don't believe in kicking people when they're down.
There is something regal about having 2 groans. You'll quickly come to value this status.

Onto more important things. Redundancy is an experience I've had 3 times over 20 years. How unusual I am I do not know, but each of these 3 instances has had the same characteristics:

Phase 1 - Feelings of:
  • Anger - at everyone and everything.
  • Hurt at the unfairness of it all, and even a sense of humiliation. Why me?
  • Fear of the unknown - the uncertainty of what's to come.
  • More anger - the system is wrong and corrrupt...

Phase 2 - One year later. Feelings of:
  • Relief - I hated that job anyway. I just didn't realise it when I was there.
  • Joy - I'm so glad I ended up doing this new thing. It's so much more 'me'.
  • Spiritualish pleasure - "Nature/God [delete as applicable] makes these things happen for a reason"
  • Haughtiness - "Huh! Those guys thought they would defeat me. I've ended up having the last laugh!"
  • Being stronger -- "It wasn't pleasant back there for a little while. But I took stock, made some decisions, took a little more risk than I might otherwise have done, but have ended up in a better place. This has made me realise that I'm much more resilient than I thought. This makes me more optimistic and confident about me and my family's future."

Your experience will differ in the detail. It may take just one month to transition, or it may take 2 years. But I can tell you from personal experience, and from the experience of many others I personally know, that when the dust settles you will end up in a better place. No watertight guarantees are offered, but this is the strong tendency.

Right now, anyone losing their job like this will be feeling all sorts of negative stuff, and you may read this and think -- "Yeah, yeah, you were just lucky. I won't be. [Insert reasons for why my position is totally unique and not applicable]." But put a note in your calendar for this day next year, to go back and read this thread. Then tell me whether I was right or wrong. You don't see it now, but eventually you will celebrate this news, and this twist in your life.

It's a little like a funeral where we have a choice of feeling sombre at the death, or feeling joy at all the pleasure they created when alive. We can choose which way to take it. In your case, it's not the celebration of what you had, but what you have yet to come. So within your current gloom, just have a go at feeling the slightest twinge of excitement, and the slightest sense of "Hmm. Perhaps this is my opportunity to..." These are prerequisites to taking the next step.

Good luck!
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Old 30.04.2012, 12:53
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Re: Merck Serono layoffs - up to 900 redundancies in Geneva

Right, my Oscar speech moment.
Many thanks to everyone here who’s offered words of encouragement and sympathy, and especial thanks to the EFers who’ve contacted me directly, such kindness at a moment when I felt my little world was ending.
I know we will survive, hubbie has adapted before (he’s really supposed to be a school teacher), we won’t be homeless but now face a fairly broke retirement hundreds of miles away from our children and grandchild instead of the reasonably comfortable twilight years we’d planned.
I’m more worried about the younger employees; many of whom have just started families, or bought apartments and now face real hardship. It’s not realistic to expect everyone to be flexible and be prepared to move countries at the drop of a hat; no matter what some people say. Life just isn’t that simplistic.
One of my husband’s colleagues was diagnosed as terminally ill with cancer a few weeks ago…. He’s now terrified not only about the loss of his healthcare insurance but also about what the future holds for his family.
The main sentiments being voiced are a mixture of fear but predominately anger at what’s going on, everyone over the age of 58 is being forcibly ‘retired’ and although Merck publicly claim that they’re offering re-deployment to 750 people it is being acknowledged privately within the company that this is a joke. Off the record they’ve said that only the higher grades will be concerned by this offer, thus ruling out almost all of the hands-on research scientists (with the resulting loss of skills and know-how), as well as the bulk of the younger worker-force. Yet again it’s the paper-pushers, cadres and managers who are being protected. Only a maximum of 120 jobs are being created in Boston and Merck are banking on most of the people asked being un-willing to transfer to Darmstadt, a move which would have eventually threatened jobs there.
I’m slightly surprised I’m the only Merck-Serono person on here, apart from presumably gva, would love to know what happened to them! Or perhaps it simply that I’m the only one willing to admit it.
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  #99  
Old 30.04.2012, 15:38
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Re: Merck Serono layoffs - up to 900 redundancies in Geneva

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Oh sure, I paid a complete visit to the UN building (Völkerbunds-Palast) in mid 1964 . It looked splendid. Geneva Cointrin then looked clearly better than our place in ZRH and Cornavin was rather better than ZchHB. And up into the early 80ies, restaurants in Geneva were better and had more liberal opening hours than the branch in Zürich. Overall in the 1960ies and 70ies, Geneva was not as boring as the Zürich of those days
a bit off topic but what happened to Geneva to make it start falling behind Zurich in terms of infrastructure and general quality of life? I have heard comments similar to yours above from other people.
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  #100  
Old 30.04.2012, 15:40
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Re: Merck Serono layoffs - up to 900 redundancies in Geneva

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we won’t be homeless but now face a fairly broke retirement hundreds of miles away from our children and grandchild .
you mean that you will now have to leave Geneva? That is terrible, after making your home there.
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