Saw some stuff that seems to mean I'll be soon laid-off; confront them about the fact I saw it or wait for the other shoe to drop? Put in effort at current place, or on interviewing?
To stave off advice re: legal concerns about my accessing documents, I should clarify in the question itself that I saw the spreadsheet with the low rating/ "PIP" comment due to the manager above my manager explicitly sharing it with me (by mistake, I think?) via a Google Sheets comment. I received an e-mail with a title "FYI: see sheet" or similar, then merely clicked the link in the e-mail. Thus, I wasn't accessing anything in an unauthorized fashion.
I work at a medium-sized tech startup in the SF Bay Area in a tech/engineering-heavy role.
I feel that there’s a good chance I’ll be either terminated or laid off within the new few months.
First piece of evidence:
I saw a spreadsheet that rated every person in my subdivision with ratings from 1 to 5; I was the only person rated ‘1'. Also, I saw a comment the manager above my manager made about reducing my rating from 2 to 1 to “distinguish me from [the person rated a 2]”. I also saw a comment with “PIP?” listed for my row. (I understand PIP stands for performance improvement plan, which seems to be the first step towards firing someone).
There were two aspects that I was listed as underperforming in: (1) execution speed, which I feel is due to manager constantly moving goalposts (overruling my protestation)/ manager not being satisfied with any approach other than exactly what my manager would have thought of, and (2) "understanding of work area," which is due to my manager angrily grilling me if I know certain things, me emotionally shutting down and not being able to respond, then him erroneously concluding that I don't.
I've put in quite a bit of time and effort already having conversations with my manager about these two aspects, but he has improved little in either of them, unfortunately.
Second piece of evidence:
I heard from another employee that my subdivision is being “restructured” and “dissolved,” with existing employees being distributed to other teams, and that as part of that, it’s likely that there will be some layoffs, too.
I don’t have too many options here, but one is to confront them and ask them about the spreadsheet; I believe this was shared with me unintentionally due to a mistake they made using Google Spreadsheets.
Would people recommend this?
Possible advantages to confronting:
I get closure rather than limbo; if they tell me I’m terminated, I can start putting full effort into interviewing elsewhere. If not, I can relax.
Possible disadvantages to confronting:
(1) I am terminated more quickly, and lose pay I would otherwise get; (2) if they’re on the fence about terminating me, they may feel the damage has already been done due to my finding about it, and decide to terminate me if they otherwise would have not; (3) if terminated rather than laid-off, I might not get severance pay.
Should I put in lots of time and effort at my current job? Or put in the bare minimum and start interviewing for other places?
Time/effort at current:
Might make it possible that I won't be terminated after all (as the negative remarks on my sheet are about me finishing things slowly); might delay termination which will be helpful financially.
Time/effort spent on interviewing:
If I will be terminated, helpful financially to get a head start; less upsetting because I'll focus on more positive stuff; better to interview while I'm still technically employed (?). But: might expedite termination (bad financially).