According to her LinkedIn profile, Nicole Tsai worked at the tech giant as a Partner Services Programe Manager. But on Friday (20 January), Google’s parent company Alphabet announced it was cutting 12,000 employees.
Tsai, who often posts videos about the free perks she gets as a Google employee at the corporation’s offices in Los Angeles, started her latest video by saying she woke up to a “really ominous” text message from her boss.
In the TikTok, which had recieved 3.4 million views at the time of writing, Tsai documented how she “honestly had no idea” that she would be one of thousands who would lose their jobs last week.
Tsai claimed her boss told her to “check her email”, adding: “So I rushed downstairs to find out that I had lost access to basically everything”, including her work email and calendar.
“I called my boss back and we just sobbed over the phone because she was also finding out about my layoff for the first time today too,” she said.
Like Tsai, numerous Google employees took to Twitter to express their shock at finding out their access to company properties had been cut off.
CEO Sundar Pichai announced the cuts in an email to staff on Friday and said it comes after the company undertook a “rigorous review” to “ensure that our people and roles are aligned with our highest priorities as a company”.
“The fact that these changes will impact the lives of Googlers weighs heavily on me, and I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here,” he added.
Tsai, who posted her “day in the life” video on Sunday (22 January), said: “I think the worst part is that it seems like no one was consulted on this decision and everyone was just finding out about the layoffs at the same time. It felt like a really bad game of Russian Roulette and there was no consistency around who was let go.”
Many sympathised with Tsai and other former Google employees who were caught off guard by the mass layoffs and expressed their support in the comments under her TikTok video.
“It’s wild to me [that] companies as wealthy as Google do this. At the very least they should give a two-week notice and a generous severance package,” one person opined.
Another said it was “absolutely insane [the layoff] wasn’t performance-based” while a third said: “I’m sorry, the way you found out is so upsetting.”
According to an FAQ provided by the company for the layoffs seen by CNBC, employees have complained about the situation and are questioning how the decisions were made.
A list of questions by employees, also seen by CNBC, included queries such as: “How were the layoffs decided? Some high performers were let go from our teams” and “What metrics were used to determine who was laid off?”
The Independent has contacted Google for comment.