LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Announcements of layoffs are common these days, but oneLafayette company changed its mind about letting employees go justdays before their branch was due to close.
"My first thought was wow, I just got another job," said ShaneHans, one of TeleService Direct's Lafayette employees.
In fact, employees are keeping the jobs they had. In February,Indianapolis-based TeleServices Direct gave notice the Lafayettebranch would close April 4th and 279 people would be unemployed.The telemarketing company changed its decision with a week tobefore the shut down.
"We've been looking at ways to reduce expenses. We had totighten our belts," said TeleService Direct's Chief AdministrativeOfficer, Steve Lair.
Employee response to the announcement varied, but most arethrilled to still have a job.
"We had thunderous applause throughout the center," saidemployee Linda Forham.
"I felt a lot of weight come off my shoulders," said ClaudioGomez who has worked at TeleServices Direct for six years.
"Everybody is like, whew, big relief," said Hans when he heardthe announcement the branch would remain open.
Some employees spent the last two months trying to find anotherjob before the center closed, but had no success.
"The last two months have been really stressful, just going outand looking for jobs. People saying they are hiring, but they don'tcall you back. It's hard just to find people who are hiring," saidemployee Melinda Glenn.
About 80 people left after the company announced the decision toclose the Lafayette branch. 200 people will continue to getpaychecks from the company.
Many worry how long those paychecks will continue in theseuncertain times, but Teleservice is trying to reassure itsemployees.
"This isn't a temporary thing. This a permanent decision,"explained Lair.
TeleServices Direct even hopes to start hiring again in the nextyear.
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