"Hands Were Shaking": Google Engineer, On H-1B Visa, After Being Laid-Off

"One coworker posted a picture taken from our company rooftop -- no, from Google's rooftop, and I almost cried out," the engineer said in the post.

Apr 29, 2024 - 18:15
"Hands Were Shaking": Google Engineer, On H-1B Visa, After Being Laid-Off

Alphabet-owned Google recently started laying off an unspecified number of employees, marking the latest cuts at the technology giant as it cracks down on costs. Some outlets claim that the company fired its entire Python team, a move aimed at reducing costs by hiring cheap labour outside the US. A former Google employee recently took to LinkedIn and described the night he learnt about his layoff along with his manager and some members of the team.

Matt Hu had been working as a Software Engineer at Google for the last two years. He is staying on an H-1B visa in the US and originally hails from China. The man said that he cooked a huge meal at home with his girlfriend and they watched TV together before he went downstairs to get ready for an interview, as an interviewer. However, he sensed a problem as soon as he opened his laptop.

"I went downstairs and opened up my laptop. That was 21:00. I got a weird email saying 'You Cloudtop StopInstance operation has begun' and I suddenly recalled I just had the cloudtop maintenance a few days back, it couldn't be a scheduled task, there is definitely something bad happening. I even 'Momaed' (Google's internal search engine) 'what stopinstance means' and I did get the results from the website, so I chose not to believe I was leaving the company," he said. Describing the time as "the longest five minutes in my life", Mr Hu said that he was shocked to see that he lost access to multiple sites and had a "forced laptop reboot." He added that he also received an email saying "Notice regarding your employment", which made him realise that his "watch at Google is over."

In a continued post, the former Google techie wrote that he messaged coworkers and found that some other teammates were also impacted. "While I was drafting a farewell (basically an advertising) email to people under my skip manager, I received another email from my direct manager. He got laid off too, together with the TL at our neighbor team." he said in the post.

"As he wrote, 'my hands are shaking as I write this email', my hands were shaking too while reading. He's been at Google for almost 13 years, he founded our team from the first line of code, built everything from scratches, now he had to say goodbye to his baby, with limited corp access except Gmail. I replied the email instantly, and suddenly the whole team showed up, people were around at night, surprised by this sudden but devastating change. We all know what it means to our team," the former employee said in his post.

Mr Hu said that after calculating, he found out that half the team got eliminated. He added, "One coworker posted a picture taken from our company rooftop -- no, from Google's rooftop, and I almost cried out. My manager is one of the most professional managers I ever worked with, this morning when more people realized what has happened last night, my manager replied in the thread: 'I am not your manager anymore, but if I was, I would like to say calm down and look forward, take as much rest as you need, and move forward,'" he continued.

Concluding the post, the man said, "And I am moving forward, we are all moving forward."

He also shared a screenshot of the email's subject and posted hashtags suggesting that he was laid off from the Python team.

Voice Team We covers wide range of topics, from startups and small businesses to multinational corporations, finance, marketing, technology, and more.