I apologize up front if this post sounds like I'm being a baby, or whining, or whatever, but please hear me out:

I have worked at a shop for just over a year now. The shop itself has been in operation for over 5 years. She shop was doing great, although the economy has slowed things down a bit. As I'm trying to get some sleep (because I open at 6am the next day as I always do) my phone rings. It's my boss telling me that the shop is closed and will be relocating 4 states away. WTF? I had no clue whatsoever and neither did any of the other employees. He tells me I'm more than welcome to come work for him at the new store. "Oh yeah, let me just drop everything else I have and come work for a deceitful little bastard and be just fine with it." So today I got my last check. The shop was completely empty and I had nothing but bitter words in my mouth and panicked thoughts in my head.

So now I'm hitting up every cafe in town looking for a job. has anybody ever gone through something similar?

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Yowch. Hope you land back somewhere quickly!
I'd start looking now. I knew something sketchy was going on all week long, but I never expected it to go down like that.

Chris Thomas said:
I may be going through that soon...just dont know when.
Your situation is a bummer, dude. But you mentioned "something sketchy was going on all week." Could you tell us more about some of those sketchy things that were going on? In this economy, your story may be repeated and perhaps there are lessons to be learned here.

As far as your boss is concerned, perhaps he has had a bad experience in the past with "retribution" from discharged employees and he thought he could circumvent the problem with the element of surprise. Still, you would think he would confide in his managers concerning the plans.

Be sure you file for unemployment while looking for a new job. Your former boss will have to pay for it, but he does owe you and the other employees something for the apparent suddenness of actions.

Good luck in your quest for a new job.
I've filed for unemployment and have already put in alot of apps at other shops. As far as the sketchy stuff goes, one day I noticed some floor plans for a new store with our name on the top of it. One day the owner didn't come in and I asked where he was and he just up and went to Chicago. His son had just moved there and he said he had to help him do "stuff." The day before his wife got "sick" and had to leave all day leaving me and one other employee to work 12 hours with no breaks. He finally gets back from Chicago, but left his car there?

If you knew the people I worked for the way I do, you kinda learn to pick up on weird activity. I just never expected such a slap in the face. He had mentioned something like this in passing a few months before, but I figured he would let me in on it. ugh, I'm over the initial shock. Now I just have to live with not being able to make coffee for a while, which is the worst thing ever.

Rand Flory said:
Your situation is a bummer, dude. But you mentioned "something sketchy was going on all week." Could you tell us more about some of those sketchy things that were going on? In this economy, your story may be repeated and perhaps there are lessons to be learned here.

As far as your boss is concerned, perhaps he has had a bad experience in the past with "retribution" from discharged employees and he thought he could circumvent the problem with the element of surprise. Still, you would think he would confide in his managers concerning the plans.

Be sure you file for unemployment while looking for a new job. Your former boss will have to pay for it, but he does owe you and the other employees something for the apparent suddenness of actions.

Good luck in your quest for a new job.
Nope, nothing owed for lack of termination notice. Unless there's a particular State law requiring termination notice there is no Federal law.

I know of a situation even more cowardly. No verbal notice in person , no written notice, no phone calls simply a sign on the door when employess arrived for work stating business closed including when and where to pick up final paycheck.

Good luck. Treat looking for a new position like a job. Get out there in person everyday, don't just make a phone call asking if they're hiring. When you find a place you'd like to work keep checking back. Realize it's going to take time for the economy to recover. Our area the official unemployment rate is now at 13.7% which means realistically likely over 20%.
Rand Flory said:
... but he does owe you and the other employees something for the apparent suddenness of actions.

Owners of shops make decisions that can seem self serving, and in some cases may very well be. On the other hand shop owners are survivors (Hunters) if you will. It is a real issue when realizing that your business may or may not be working and the reality can cause some to do drastic things, ( like picking up and moving) when panic hits.

Not telling staff is a mistake, however, the choice to not speak of the choice is a panic reflex, that s almost to standard in small business. Here's the deal, as I know it. The owner makes a choice to close or sell the business. Staff is notified of this impending change and they start looking for work elsewhere, leaving the owner short of staff as the closing date get's closer.

While notice is good for you it is bad for the owner if a clear channel of communication is not put into effect. Sometimes owning and operating a business is more than staff can appreciate, as it is not a simple way of making a living, however, an owner also needs to understand the needs of staff. It is clear in your situation that an impending deal with his son in Chicago, was taking place, and he wanted the transition to be uncomplicated with a short staffing problem at the current store.

He made a mistake, and we all make mistakes. Calling him out is a standard reflex, but really it seems that you will need to move on, and remember that potential bar owners read Barista Exchange. Add Sunshine to you attitude and take the high road, it will look better in print ;-)

Terry Z
i appreciate the advice. I'm over it all now and looking forward. If anyone in the chicago area sees a shop opening up that does exclusively African coffee and food, be aware that it may be cool in theory but he doesn't treat his staff very well.
I had the same thing happen to me and my wife, it sucked but we survived and ended up with a much better job.

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