Thread regarding Cengage layoffs

Let's Rag On Cengage - The Unload Thread

Feeling frustrated and angry over the job loss situation at Cengage?

Want to give Michael Hanson and others on the management side a piece of your mind?

Just feel like venting or sharing?

This here's the place.

It is true, Hanson's job is to take care of Cengage and its debt-holders. When a company finds itself in a Titanic position, it is true that some people need to go overboard to keep the ship righted and afloat for at least a little while longer. That's just the way it goes in business.

But it doesn't mean we have to like it.

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Post ID: @OP+120dnVuf

10 replies (most recent on top)

So many years I gave to this company, working late, overtime, from home, through breaks and lunches, furthering my education, and moving up to be let go right before the holidays. I really hope that the ones left do not make the same mistake I did in thinking that Cengage valued me and my hard work and I would not be let go. The people making these decisions know nothing about you, your family, or the sacrifices you have made for that company. Get out while you can while there are still decent jobs left to choose from within stable companies.

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Post ID: @4oxl+120dnVuf

@120dnVuf-dxj I was there for the video layoffs as well. Its not until you leave Cengage that you realize how dysfunctional the company truly is.

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Post ID: @1til+120dnVuf

the lay offs are true people. about 40 inside sales let go today after receiving an email and invite from HR. lots of tears and hugs today. it was heart breaking right before the Holidays. up until today i thought i worked for a half way decent company. this is horrible. i work up stairs & none of those managers have said anything about this. the silence is terrifying but also very unethical to let us wait on the edge of our seats for the chopping block to hit our floor. i definately clocked out today with an entire different outlook on this company. this is a scary time for me & my family. there isn’t much opportunity like this in NKY. i hope everything works out well for the families.

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Post ID: @joy+120dnVuf

I was with Cengage for over 20 years. I was let go in 2014 during a layoff that was given absolutely no thought. It was two directors in a room just slashing people they either didn't like or had a perception about. I always had meets or exceeds on my reviews, at one point I was managing 22 products, I never abuse privileges like work at home or vacation time. I still liked my job at that point and was thankful for it. The night before I was let go I get an email with a meeting invite down to the HR area. I knew right away what it was, so it was nice having to be home all night and know the next day, after working at a job since college, that everything I knew was going to change drastically. After my meeting, me, and the other victims, were escorted out of the building. There was a police car parked in the furthest corner of the parking lot. I was heartbroken that after working there for all those years they thought so little of us that we were told to not pack, leave, work at home and give everyone your files, and then come in when nobody else is there and pack. And don't say a g++d++m word about it or you won't get your severance. The kicker was after my first trip out to my car, I tried to get back in and my badge was turned off. I had to wait outside until someone else came out to get the rest of my stuff. I did get a generous severance and since I had been there so long, and since I was on a committee with the HR rep, she gave me a big hug and cried with me. I was actually a pretty cheap employee. I took no medical or dental insurance through them, just vision which cost them like $8 per check and the $1.50 they paid toward my life insurance.
At least that layoff was more humane than the 2004 layoff when they played a video in common areas, told people layoffs were happening right then, and to go back to your seat and if your boss came and tapped your shoulder you were done. What the actual hell? So we had to watch our team leader go down the aisle and tap our coworkers. SMH.

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Post ID: @dxj+120dnVuf

This is what happens when the executives never spend time on campus. They never truly understand the business beyond spreadsheets.

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Post ID: @ypw+120dnVuf

Yes, the launch of CU was one of the more confounding corporate moves I've ever witnessed.

Try as I might, I just couldn't figure out how that scheme was going to work out, long-term. Obviously, the first-wave adopters were going to be faculty holding current adoptions. Cengage pricing is so high, profs were bound to agree to take on any offer which brought the costs down for students. There seemed to be a fair number of these kinds of adoptions. I saw it all over the bookstores, where historical Cengage book stacks now sported shelf signage urging students to purchase CU for $120 rather than buy the $260.00 bundle sitting on the shelves.

THAT degree of success was a given. But where was the growth going to come from? From takeaways? That result seemed far from certain, in that it was so squarely at odds with the way content adoption decisions are actually made on campus. And $120 was no deal, especially not for an eBook delivery. It just didn't add up – but SURELY there was someone internally who had done the math and the projections and moved forward with CU safe in the knowledge that this was a long-term fiscal winner.

Turns out there was no such research behind the maneuver. Turns out that the scheme was dreamed up by the current General Manager of HED, a Hanson friend since grad school and someone who had been shuttled from position to position during the Cengage years: Strat officer to Product officer to GM/HED. His career has mirrored Hanson and it appears obvious he has been a Hanson yes-man for decades, now.

We have learned from Hanson that this GM sold the CU concept to him during a 4 a.m. phone call. There was no CFO in place at the time, so apparently no one was minding the fiscal store.

It was a whim.

A c-apshoot inflated into a CHANGE THE WORLD raison d'etre, a banner carried proudly by reps and their multi-leveled managers alike!

I ran into a Cengage rep on campus some 6 or 8 months ago, and we spoke briefly. Nothing beyond her asking me "hows your year going?" - which I answered, then I posed the same question to her. Her face screwed up into something like a smile that she was trying to hide and she replied "well, we have Cengage Unlimited, so . . . yeah" quite smugly. It was as if she held the secret of life in her back pocket and it really s*cked to be me.

All I could do was to smile and shake my head and (silently) ask her "and I wonder how much longer you are going to have this job. . . "

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Post ID: @bpq+120dnVuf

It's the way Cengage lays people off: 5 days notice. For employees who have worked there more than ten years. What's wrong with two weeks notice?

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Post ID: @wcd+120dnVuf

Hanson’s job was to make decisions that would prevent having to layoff a quarter of Cengage’s workforce. Can’t weasel out of that responsibility by blaming the shareholders.

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Post ID: @lrk+120dnVuf

Certain employees received emails regarding a meeting with HR. That’s what we know. More to come on Wednesday.

Just because people have lost their job don’t rag on Cengage when a week ago you were working as hard as you could. Let’s move on and be all we can be for another organization. I’ve been a part of a few layoffs and you need to learn from every experience and take it with you as you go.

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Post ID: @spt+120dnVuf

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