I was fired from Shopify after the big layoff. I felt disposable and overworked, and I'm much happier now that I'm gone.

 I worked on Shopify's support team but was terminated after six months of working remotely from Toronto. I was making 42,500 Canadian dollars a year, plus company shares. In a way, I was relieved to be let go, because I hated working there.

Shopify is an e-commerce platform that small businesses use to build online stores and sell products. I was a support advisor, so my job was to answer questions, figure out solutions, advise sellers, and offer additional Shopify "upsells."

I was not impacted during the July layoffs that cut 10% of employees, but the cuts only increased my already heavy workload and made me worried about my job security. 

I feel that Shopify knows they have a high turnover when it comes to supporting advisors. When you're working an entry-level position as I did, you feel disposable. 

[Editor's note: A Shopify representative told Insider in a statement that the company's turnover in Shopify Support is "lower than typical contact centers," though they did not disclose the rate.]

I think we've become so accustomed to large corporations doing whatever the hell they want with people. 

The hours were demanding and our schedules would change all the time 

We started our days between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m., and our start times fluctuated each day. During the first hour of work, I usually answered emails.

After that, I jumped right into calls or chats with store owners. For example, if a merchant tried to change shipping prices for individual products and messed them up, I ran tests to figure out the problem and resolve it.

And then for the last hour of my workday, I handled tickets — problems that couldn't be solved over the phone that was escalated because they required more time or someone with more knowledge to look at it.

Our schedules were fixed at eight hours, but sometimes I worked later trying to resolve tickets. In my first week, I worked about 15 minutes extra. The more emails and phone calls you to take, the more tickets you have to resolve at the end of the day, and as time went on, I stayed an hour later, then an hour and a half or two hours extra. I felt like I was drowning in tickets. 

I wasn't compensated for working overtime, and my workload only felt like it was increasing as time went on, even before the layoffs happened.

I didn't hear about the layoffs until they happened 

Every year, Shopify hosts a summit for the company. We meet in a hotel and do team-building activities like breathing exercises. I thought the exercises were hilarious and felt borderline cultish at times. The summit this year was in Montreal, starting July 17.  

Around this time, my workload was the highest it had been. The moment I jumped on the phone or chatted with someone, more calls would come in back-to-back. I was juggling three chats at a time, which was ridiculous and arguably impossible to do for more than an hour. 

At the summit, many employees complained and asked questions like "Can we get help?" and "Can you hire more people?" But I felt like company leaders avoided answering the questions.

Toward the end of the summit, I heard someone say we might be in a hiring freeze. I thought nothing of it since it didn't come from anyone official and seemed like a rumor. 

About a week later, I logged on at work and saw that the company announced plans to lay off 10% of the workforce.

I was like, what the hell just happened?

My coworker sent a Slack message something along the lines of, "oh my god." So I checked my inbox and saw a message from our founder about the layoffs. Someone on my team was already gone. 

It was a feeling of complete dread because I assumed my workload would only increase. And the layoffs changed my perception of the company. When I first came to Shopify, I thought the company was killing it and making lots of money, but I began to worry and wonder if I'd be next and if the company was about to fall apart in front of me.

Later that day, there was a company-wide meeting with the leadership team

We had these meetings regularly, and I always remember attendance being low, but there were thousands watching this one. It was wild.

The leadership said there would be no more layoffs, but workers wanted to know what they would do about the increased workload. They gave more details on the company's new compensation plan, but it was disappointing. It offered some raises and gave us the ability to determine how much compensation came from cash and from stocks.

It didn't feel like we were heard.

Then I started having issues with my manager 

I didn't feel supported by my manager at all. After training when I first started, my manager never once checked in to see if I understood everything. She also never sat in on calls to give me feedback. 

In the first week of August, my manager brought up things about my performance and mentioned that she may put me on a performance-improvement plan, or PIP. For example, I wasn't completing my Shopify courses on time. These are tutorials that teach us new things about the company. At the time, I didn't think they were important. 

Her suggestion a PIP was very surprising to me. I asked her to shadow me on calls since no one had done that before and I wanted feedback first. She sat in on my calls, then scheduled a meeting that kept getting rescheduled. When we eventually met, I thought we would go over my performance — but instead, I was terminated on August 24 over a video call.

The call was short and quick. I'm honestly not sure of the reasons or details of my termination because it was so fast. My manager said a quick goodbye and let an HR person handle the rest of the call. 

While I was still on the termination call, I tried to message my teammates to tell them I was being let go and how to reach me. But I couldn't — I had already been blocked from everything. 

I was so surprised, I really thought I was walking into a feedback meeting. But part of me was relieved because I hated working there. 

I got one week of termination pay

With the severance package, in addition to my last regular paycheck, I got one week of termination pay and payment for accrued vacation. There's also a release that offers an extra two weeks of pay if you sign it, but you have to agree not to "denigrate" Shopify through "adverse or disparaging communication," whether true or not. 

Are you kidding me? I felt like they were literally throwing pennies at me — it was disrespectful.

I didn't sign it, and I needed the money, too — so you can imagine how pissed I was to have not signed the release.

I work in construction now

Since Shopify, I've been working in construction doing physical labor because I couldn't get other support work.

Construction work is dangerous, but I'm doing it out of necessity. I barely have time or energy to apply for jobs after work now. This is the problem with terminating people without decent severance. If I'd had two months of pay, I could've stayed home and had more time to find another job.

But even though construction work is physically dangerous, my mental health is better: It's way less stressful than working at Shopify.

If you're going to work for Shopify, understand that you're walking into a place that's unfortunately just like a lot of other big companies — you're expected to do a ton of work without getting paid much. And you're probably going to be taken advantage of.

Editor's note: A Shopify representative told Insider in a statement: "As a high-performing organization, when employees are not meeting expectations, we either help them to improve their performance or support them in leaving Shopify. While these decisions are never taken lightly, they are necessary to help ensure Shopify and our merchants are best supported to grow over the long term."

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