Randy Badman, 62
Randy Badman, 62
Location: DeWitt, Neb.
Former job: Manager, Vise-Grip Tool Factory

Both my kids worked there. My mother, my father; both aunts, both uncles, and my grandfather all worked here. I started July 16, 1969 in the tool and die shop.

I go to work at 7 a.m., and this was just about eight o'clock. Went in, cranked up the computer and the phone rang, and HR wanted to talk to me. I thought, "oh, I wonder if something happened on night shift...did somebody get hurt, or this or that." That's what was going through my mind. Being laid off? That was not there.

When I walked in that door, the gal shook my hand. The minute she stuck her hand out I saw nothing but exit papers sitting there, nothing else on the desk, nothing else in the whole room, you know it's not a good sign.

That's when I knew. She had been brought in from down South--from another part of the company -- to help basically do what she did. She was doing her job. That's the way it is. She said, "I'm sorry to meet you under these kind of circumstances." And you say, "Well, is there anything I can do to change this, to keep my job?" And they said, "No."

So I was escorted back through the factory -- that I had been at for 36 years. They didn't let me go talk to anybody. I remember I got back into the tool room, and I had a guy come up, says, "Hey, I got a problem down here -- can you help out?" I said, "Sorry, Roger, I can't." And I turned and went out the door, and he stood there with his mouth dropped open.

I couldn't answer the call on my phone. I couldn't touch my computer. They said, "Call back to HR here and we'll schedule a time for you to come back and clear out your desk." Grabbed my coat and my day timer and I was out the door by 8:30 a.m.

Time heals all. Nothing you can do about it. You take a while to get over all the anger and all the depression, you know, and anger doesn't do any good, but it's there. If anybody ever tells you it's not there, they're not telling you the truth. You get angry.

The following is an adapted excerpt from DW Gibson's forthcoming book, Not Working (June, OR Books).
Interviews by DW Gibson @FortuneMagazine - Last updated May 14 2012: 11:34 AM ET
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