Yes, I’m officially one of *those people *now: I was just laid off. After three and a half years as a consumer researcher and strategy consultant, with no notice or severance, I was kicked to the curb. Sales were down and my former employer, Iconoculture, was focused on profits. Pushing the most experienced (and therefore most expensive) people out the door was indeed one way to balance their budget. But I thought I was safe. I built and managed a team, tripled our business, developed new products. No matter. I was out (along with 11 colleagues) just like that. Legal, but harsh!