A Google Employee Of 11 Years And His Wife Shell-shocked Over Retrenchment

A Google engineer said he and his wife stared at each other in “disbelief” upon learning on Friday they’d both been laid off by the company.

Ashish Kalsi, an associate principal of global engagement on Google’s trust and safety team, wrote in a LinkedIn post Wednesday that he and his wife woke up on Friday to find they were both part of the company’s cull of around 12,000 jobs.

Kalsi wrote that his wife woke up at 6:30 a.m. to take a meeting at 7 a.m. but found that her work profile was missing and couldn’t access internal resources on her laptop. Kalsi said he assumed she’d just missed a security update.

“I checked my phone and everything looked normal, except that it wasn’t,” he wrote on LinkedIn. “My wife walked into the room shell shocked — I just held out my phone to show her the email I received — she had got one too. 

“Two out of the 12,000 Googlers were staring at each other in disbelief in that room while our two-year-old daughter slept peacefully not knowing (thankfully so) what just hit her family.”

Kalsi said he’d worked at Google for more than 11 years, starting as an evaluator for search quality on the trust and safety team in 2011. He said he worked at Google on an H-1B visa.

“The dreaded H1b countdown has begun and I’m starting to look for roles,” he wrote, referring to the 60-day period immigrants on H-1B visas have to find a new job if they’re laid off before they’re forced to leave the country. 

Google didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

In an email to staff on January 20, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google parent Alphabet, announced the company was cutting 6% of its global workforce. Pichai said he took “full responsibility for the decisions that led us here.” 

Many Googlers have reported feeling stunned by the harsh and impersonal execution of the layoffs, whereby staff were notified by email.

A couple with a four-month-old baby succumbed to the cuts, Insider’s Grace Dean reported. The mother was on parental leave at the time.

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