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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 8, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Washington Mutual layoffs

Too easy to blame everyone involved

I want to thank Marc Ramirez for writing [“Layoff aftershocks hit WaMu neighborhood,” seattletimes.com, Local News, March 30]. I am one of the former WaMu Center employees laid off in the first round at the end of January.

It brings back a lot of memories, good and bad. After six years of hard work, the last few in one of the technology groups, I found the comments section following the article to be very disappointing.

I do not expect nor ask for any sympathy from those who are upset with WaMu and the financial industry as a whole, or from any of the thousands who have also lost their jobs and are frustrated with the current state of the economy. I understand completely and am myself very frustrated by poor management decisions, ineffective leadership in the financial industry and what seems to be a detachment from the common man in Washington, D.C.

It is common for people, when they are angry and upset, to cast blame in general at whole groups of people. WaMu, AIG, Lehman, etc. … it’s easy to do. As I reflect on my own past opinions, I realize that I thought the same about the folks at Enron.

One thing that I have learned from the WaMu experience is this: People need to understand and remember that the day-to-day employees at those firms, myself included, showed up to work every day and poured our souls into trying to do the best job we could do to make our company the best it could be.

It saddens me that the regular folks at these companies have suffered and are being demonized by most in the press and Washington, D.C. These folks are our neighbors, family members and friends. These folks were not sitting in the executive boardrooms charting the direction of their company, nor were they polled by the leadership team for their input. That’s just not how it works.

I, for one, salute the hard work of these folks and wish them well in their efforts to put their careers back on track and move on with their lives.

— Brian Stout, Bothell

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