Emotions run high if jobs are on the line, particularly in France. 

Two executives from Air France, lost the shirts off their backs earlier this week after talks over plans for 2,900 job losses at the airline turned ugly. 

Hundreds of angry workers stormed in to the company headquarters in Roissy as the meeting collapsed in to chaos forcing human resources manager Xavier Broseta and senior official Pierre Plissonnier to run from the mob and clamber over a fence to escape.

An extreme reaction, perhaps, but whether your job is cut or you're fired how would you respond if you suddenly found out you no longer had a job? We went to question and answer site, Quora, to find out how it feels to be fired from your job.

Reality bites

Mark Long wrote that “it was like being in a different universe, like being disconnected with reality – I couldn't believe it.”

One moment, things at his firm seemed to be looking up and he was being interviewed for the CEO position, the next moment he was out the door.

“Suddenly, a few days later they called me in and said, ‘We've decided you're not a good fit for the company, you have 15 minutes to leave.’ Bam. Gone, just like that.”

It was like being in a different universe, like being disconnected with reality

Long wrote that he went through “anguish, anger, grief, guilt, resignation and acceptance, then got back on my feet” and got another job, although it took quite a while. He wrote that it also took quite a while to "build back my confidence".

Surprise, your email is deleted

For others, the corporate machine takes over the entire process. Eva Lynne wrote that one day she was sitting in a regular weekly meeting when an email alert popped-up from the task bar telling her that her account with one of the company's internal systems had been “successfully deactivated.” 

Deciding it was likely a glitch, Lynne turned her focus back to the meeting and was in the middle of presenting when another alert popped up. Then another. Then a flurry of system notification messages followed. 

“I was locked out of my company email but could connect to my personal email account,” she wrote. “Waiting at the top of the inbox queue was a message sent from one of the HR departments. The person writing it expressed her understanding that my tenure with the company had ended.

“Huh. This certainly was news to me. And evidently, I was the last one to know that I no longer worked for the company.”

Delayed reaction

For some, the writing is on the wall but for others the loss takes a while to sink in.

Suman Sarkar, who works in product management, wrote that he knew as soon as he entered the room with his manager that he was about to be fired and “less than 120 seconds (later) and I was out with an empty feeling. I was supposed to go to my hometown and meet my wife who was in the final trimester of pregnancy – our first one. I cried inside on the way, couldn't break the news to anyone back at home.”

 Evidently, I was the last one to know that I no longer worked for the company

He explained that because family and friends were so excited about the pregnancy he didn’t feel able to talk about getting fired. After that “every morning I pretended I was going to work for several weeks until I found a job, which happened on the same day when our first child was born.” 

Ten years on he wrote that his experience of getting fired was the beginning of a series of great things which happened in his career, which he is very proud of. “As Steve Jobs said...you can only connect the dots looking back.”

Roll with it

For some workers, however, it’s really less of a big deal.

“Getting fired is just another day at the office for me,” wrote Joseph Wang, a former investment banker. “It messes up your schedule a bit, but it's just one of those annoyances that you end up dealing with in the world of business, and I've always left the meeting in a very good mood.”

Wang explained that every time he’s been fired or asked to resign, “it's been more traumatic for the people firing me.” He wrote, “I'm a very busy person, and if I find out that I'm not getting a paycheck from company A, then my new job is to find a paycheck from company B.”

Quora respondents are required to use their true names under the site’s Real Names policy. To help ensure legitimacy and quality, Quora asks some individuals, such as doctors and lawyers, to confirm their expertise.

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