There were 2 different meeting rooms booked for the whole day. If you were invited in the upper floor, you could stay. If you were invited to the lower floor, the HR boss asked you to sign a contract where you were promised a pay-off if you accept that they just fired you and if you also accept to stay in the company for another six months to perform a proper knowledge transfer to the new guys that are taking over our jobs.
One year before this "shock", we understood messages like how much the offices of Davenport (town anonymized) is going to be strenghtend by the management. At that time we had a lot of contractors and the management was worried because too much know-how was out-sourced, so they wanted to in-source again. They needed our help in seeking new talented people, not in Davenport, but in Islesbury (anonymized). Although this seemed kind of odd, we were supporting the idea to in-source. Several developers and testers interviewed a lot of Islesbury applicants and identified the most talented ones. Then they recommended those to HR and HR hired them. After the hiring process was complete, almost all engineers from Davenport got fired. Mere chance? Well, they still needed us for the next 3-6-months for the proper knowledge hand-over from Davenport to Islesbury. That's why we got this pay-off to make sure we all do a proper knowledge-transfer. Well, that’s a long story told short. Hardly anyone understood what was going on and why. Many talented, young and middle-aged engineers (who came from all over the world) were affected by this mass-layoff. These weren't rotten eggs but really skilled people. Officially, the reason submitted to us was “digital tranformation”. What a bummer! We are all software developers. Did they really expect us being unable to adapt? However, most of us signed the contract and did a proper knowledge-transfer to Islesbury engineers. Others were disappointed and didn't give a tinker's damn about the pay-off. One didn't even show up in the office anymore.
Anyhow, at that time I was asking myself a lot about the meaning and success of such operation. Does the moving from Davenport to Islesbury really make any difference? They removed all the cows and hired much more sheeps. Did anyone do the math or was this just a personnel vendetta between managers that were at war with each other?