There is a video going viral on social media of a woman, Brittany Pietsch, being let go from her role as an account executive at the tech company Cloudflare.
She knew the layoff was coming because a friend of hers received the news earlier in the day. So Brittany, who worked at Cloudflare for about four months, decided to set up a camera to record her virtual call with human resources.
Lay Off Video Goes Viral
Sadly, I watched the whole nine-minute clip that involved Brittany rejecting the firing by making excuses. She said she had three months of training and only one real month of performance. She also claimed that, while she didn’t close any deals, she came close and shouldn’t be fired.
@brittanypeachhh When you know youre about to get laid off so you film it 🙂 this was traumatizing honestly lmao #layoffs #tech #techlayoffs #corporate ♬ original sound – Brittany Pietsch
Below is a portion of the exchange:
PIETSCH: I disagree that my performance hasn’t been– I haven’t met performance expectations, when I certainly have, just because haven’t closed anything officially.
HR REP: I hear you. Thank you.
PIETSCH: Also, why are you doing this and not my manager? We’ve never met, so this seems a little odd… Yeah, I would love like an explanation that makes sense…
HR REP: Just for clarification, you are not being singled out in this. Your peers are also being collectively assessed on performance. This is a collective calibration for Cloudfare…
PIETSCH: Well, yeah, no, can you explain for me why Brittany Pietsch if getting let go?
HR REP: I won’t be able to go into specifics for numbers.
PIETSCH: Wait, why though? I just started. I’ve been working extremely hard. Just because I haven’t closed anything, that has nothing to do with my performance… And so I really need an answer and an explanation as to why Brittany Pietsch is getting let go not why Cloudflare decided to hire too many people then are now actually realizing that they can’t afford this many people and they’re letting that go. If that’s the real answer, I would rather just you tell me that instead of making up some bullshit… It’s just very, very shocking. Very, very shocking. I have like really given my whole energy and life over the last four months to this job and to be like go for no reason is like a huge slap in the face from a company that I really wanted to believe in…
I have news for Brittany: It’s none of your f–king business. Unless you have an employment contract, I can fire you because I don’t like your ugly sweater. I don’t have to tell you why. Companies often don’t tell you ‘why’ these days because it just sets them up for a lawsuit. If you didn’t sign a deal promising you ongoing employment, you can be fired at any time unless it’s an unlawful reason like your age, your gender, or some other protected class.
You’re not calling the shots here, Brittany. You’re an employee. You don’t get an answer because you’ve demanded it from HR. I am sick of these young, entitled people trying to play the victim when something happens to them. This has happened to all of us in the course of our lives and we used to understand that it sucks, but I go on with my life.
Cloudflare CEO Responds
Matthew Prince, the CEO of Cloudflare, weighed in on the video on X. “We fired [about] 40 sales people out of over 1,500 in our go-to-market org. That’s a normal quarter,” he wrote in part. “When we’re doing performance management right, we can often tell within [three] months or less of a sales hire, even during the holidays, whether they’re going to be successful or not. Sadly, we don’t hire perfectly. We try to fire perfectly.”
That’s the thing, Brittany, you’ve invited the company to publicly humiliate you. They could tell in your limited time on the job that you weren’t up to it. You admitted you didn’t close deals. It didn’t work out for you here. Go find someplace else where they like you and work harder. Try harder. Keep your nose to the grindstone. Keep your head down and your mouth shut, other than to volunteer for jobs that you think are beneath you.
That’s how you make an impression. That’s how you get ahead. That’s what will make the difference between you and the others.
Megyn’s Law School Experience
It reminds me of when I was in law school. I did a couple of internships, and I really hoped the one after my second year would turn into a real job offer. At that point my life, I thought I would take a job in Syracuse, New York, at some small law firm, work as a Syracuse lawyer, get married to some guy there, and that’s where I would live my life.
Well, they didn’t make me an offer at the end of summer. I was devastated. I couldn’t believe it. Did I videotape anybody? No, I did not. I went to my car and I cried. That’s what happened. I felt bad for myself for about two minutes, I was disappointed in myself for not getting the offer, and then I went back to law school for my third year and worked my ass off.
I went to the career center. I asked questions about what jobs I could possibly get. Most of my colleagues had already gotten their big offers from these New York City firms that I didn’t get into to begin with. I got into the smaller Syracuse firm, and they didn’t make me an offer. What could I do? I got the lists. I worked them all. I considered my grades, I considered what kind of a person the firm would be looking for, blah, blah blah.
Long story short, I got an offer from a firm that was paying more than double what that Syracuse firm offered. It was also offering me the chance to go to Washington, DC, or Dallas, or New York, or Chicago – all of which were so exciting to me as a small town girl. I wound up going to Chicago where I’d never been, and I loved it.
By the way, that Syracuse firm came back and made me an offer.
‘Use It as an Opportunity’
The point is: Every setback you have is a chance for an opportunity. It’s a chance for something bigger and better to happen. It’s a chance for you to reflect on yourself. Why didn’t you get saved? Why were you turfed? It doesn’t matter what the company says. You know in your heart and in your head. Use it as an opportunity, as a gift for your next chapter. Don’t sit there playing the victim and lamenting what this company did to you. It’s a loser’s mentality.
I hope Brittany learned something from this, and it’s not the lesson she thinks she did.
You can check out Megyn’s full analysis by tuning in to episode 702 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.