An unpleasant experience at the Tesla Store this morning

An unpleasant experience at the Tesla Store this morning

A rather unpleasant experience at the Tesla store this morning.

My wife and I had scheduled to test drive both a Model 3 and a Model S this morning, let me say that the test drive itself went very well and we love the cars. Before heading off to Tesla this morning, I read the news about Tesla laying off some 3000 people, though I didn’t expect for a moment that would it come to impact us this morning.

We arrived at the store a few minutes early and a very nice middle aged woman introduced herself and showed us the cars and explained the different features and answered questions. Suddenly, a younger employee comes on to the showroom floor in tears and speaks to our sales associate who hugs him, they talk a couple of minutes and he leaves. At first, we were under the impression that perhaps somebody had passed away or something, but a few minutes later the same thing happened again and by then it was obvious as to what was going.

Finally, our sales associate continued talking to us and then in the middle of a conversation with us the manager (at least I assume he that was who he was) interrupted our associate without even an apology or acknowledgement to us and pulled her aside and quit clearly let her go right there on the sales floor. She disappeared came back with her coat, and apologized to us and was escorted out the door in a state of utter shock.

While, I understand that layoffs are a sad and occasionally a necessary part of doing business, the fact is this was handled in full view of customers and while in the middle of a potential sale has left such a bad taste in my mouth I am not sure of whether to place an order or even give a store/company that much money after witnessing what we did. At the very least the manager handled the situation very very unprofessionally, but if that was the way he was instructed to do it then it is a problem with coming down from company headquarters.

I am posting this from a throwaway, because I don’t want to risk getting the other sales associate who rode with us in any trouble, he was fantastic but it was obvious that he was in a state of shock because of what happened. Should I take this up with corporate HQ, the store manager or social media? I am happy to reveal the store if enough people feel it is necessary.


lilbean | 18 januar 2019

Just let it go. No need to take it to corporate, in my opinion.

SnoR | 18 januar 2019

Completely the wrong way to dismiss employees, however when you ramp up 30% you get a lot of employees that don't necessarily have a clue how to do the job. Sadly, many many of those people wind up in management and you see things like this during RIFs.

I agree w/ lilbean, let it go.

kishorekv | 18 januar 2019

By letting it go, are you asking to cut slack for the poor handling by the manager of this store? If issues are not highlighted, you'd normalize the bad managers, which will bite the customers in the butt down the road.

carlk | 18 januar 2019

It sounded like some stories you read in the Penthouse(not that I've ever read those stories I only heard people mention that). No way that it happened the way op stated. Tesla and most corporations will not escort people out in a layoff this way now. They may do that occasionally when firing people with cause but not in a layoff. There is always time giving, from at least hours to days, to clear up stuff and do an exist interview with HR and to arrange job counseling. Don't know what kind of sick person would get the enjoyment out of making up story like this. No I mean the op not those Penthouse stories.

cigma957 | 18 januar 2019

Sorry but it was not made up. My wife and another customer saw it as well, we were all shocked.

kcheng | 18 januar 2019

Unfortunate, and you wonder if the manager had any prior experience, but let it go.

Weird, you'd think dismissing salespeople would be the last thing they'd want to do.

surfpearl | 18 januar 2019

@cigma957 - If you were at the corporate HQ, would you like to know about this? I surely would. Report it to them if you want to make Tesla a better company. I would.
And don't let this episode sour your view of the future ownership. The cars are amazing, especially Model 3.

jordanrichard | 19 januar 2019

Making comments/suggestions from one’s armchair is just as bad.

SO | 19 januar 2019

That is a poor way to handle it.

Uncle Paul | 19 januar 2019

While unpleasant, I can totatly see this happening at a service center where the manager himself in inexperienced.

Proper way to let off staff is to sit them down and perform a private exit interview. Explain that the staff is being reduced and they are to be let go. The employe will be given an opportunity to react and perhaps offer ways that they think the operation might be improved, given the chance to remove their personal belongings and escorted to the door. They should not be allowed to make a scene or speak disparaging to fellow employees or take out their frustrations on either customers nor other employees.

Letting go an employee is always a difficult situation, but keeping the best and getting rid of the rest is a long established way to continually improve the quality of the remaining staff. Determining which employees are of the highest value, and which are demential to the company is a challenging task.

carlk | 19 januar 2019

Again companies don't do layoff this way anymore. At the very least it will go through the HR for exit interview and job counselling. I'll bet you my bottom dollar this is a made up story from a very sick person.

mbirnie51 | 19 januar 2019

Having been in supervision for many years, and having to do RIFs ordered by upper management, I see this example (if actually true) as just how NOT to inform employees of a layoff. This should be reported to HQ as it demeans the public persona that Tesla would like to retain even though it may be necessary to reduce workforce. It has to be determined if this was just an across the board 7% cut (just get it done) or was it a surgical layoff, reducing some under performing folks, showing a little bit of thought to attain the 7%. Allowing the exit interviews over a couple of days would give employees some time to process the inevitable, and still not hurt the companies bottom line, and maybe salvage the RIFed employee dignity. Each employee still holding a job should be the best person for that position, sounds like that didn't happen here, very unprofessional handling of RIF.

cigma957 | 19 januar 2019

Carlk, sorry to burst your bubble, but it is by no means a made up story as I said to you before. If you choose not to believe it feel free to do so. I came here looking for an opinion instead your have called me disturbed now twice. If you have something constructive to ad please do so, if not then refrain from commenting. I saw what I saw and considering what others have said here and on another board, I do feel like while this was likely an isolated incident, it is an indicator(or symptom?) of some customer service issues that appear to exist. I do plan to visit another Tesla dealer nearby to see if this was an indicative of a larger issue before I order a car. I love the car, but as I said it left a very bad impression of THAT store.

Tesla-David | 19 januar 2019

@cigma957 BTW what Tesla store are you talking about. Your depiction of what you observed runs counter to my 6+ years of experience in Seattle.

Tesla-David | 19 januar 2019

@cigma957 BTW what Tesla store are you talking about. Your depiction of what you observed runs counter to my 6+ years of experience in Seattle.

cigma957 | 19 januar 2019

It was one of the stores in the Chicago Suburbs, it was certainly not what I expected.

Tropopause | 20 januar 2019


Tesla-David | 20 januar 2019

@Tropause, I agree, lack of specifics on which Chicago Tesla store make OP’s credibility suspect!

rxlawdude | 20 januar 2019

TEA score brewing to 100%.

jimglas | 20 januar 2019

“I am posting this from a throwaway”, sounds like FUD to me, who would worry about “getting the othe sales associate in trouble”. Clearly FUD.

Tesla2018 | 20 januar 2019

Every time I worked for a company that had layoffs, they either had a special meeting after work to announce the layoffs, or did it in a private office and escorted you out of the building without letting you talk to anyone on the way out.

The head of HR at Tesla quit a few months ago and the new person they just hired from Walgreens? might not have had time to teach managers how to properly layoff employees.

DTsea | 21 januar 2019

I dont buy it. Under federal law:

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988 is a US labor law which protects employees, their families, and communities by requiring most employers with 100 or more employees to provide 60 calendar-day advance notification of plant closings and mass layoffs of employees, as defined in the Act.

MySin_AZ | 21 januar 2019

Didn’t anyone hear how SpaceX handled their recent layoffs, via email. Why would this poster be lying? I have been in back office (HR, Fin, etc) software systems implementation for over 20 years, you would be surprised how bad, old, or just plain wrong current data in those current systems are. I would NOT be surprised that Tesla, given their 30K ramp had wrong contact information, and this could have been the first opportunity to let these people know. Not the best way, but-I am not surprised with the way Tesla handled it.

kcheng | 21 januar 2019

Yes, but does that law require a "plant closing"?

Tesla-David | 21 januar 2019

I was at the Seattle SC last Friday and talked to service representative about the layoffs. I was happy to hear that they were being minimally impacted. I find it hard to believe that Tesla would release employees in such a cold hearted manner, and do not believe the OP's story to be credible. When I asked him for details about which Tesla Store he was talking about, he failed to provide that detail, and further eroded the credibility of his story IMHO.

lilbean | 21 januar 2019

We don't know the details of the incident. Maybe she was simply fired and this was completely unrelated to the layoffs.

DTsea | 21 januar 2019

Kcheng no. When big companies have layoffs they have to give WARN notices 60 days before termination.

They can give you the WARN and send you home but still have you for 60 days if they do that.

Maxxer | 22 januar 2019

"You're fired"

lilbean | 22 januar 2019


Maxxer | 22 januar 2019

remnants or sequella from being on Trump’s advisory board

babyjocko | 22 januar 2019

Wow, I've been gone from this forum for a while. But, I see nothing has changed. The same posters continue to harass anyone who may shine a dim light on Tesla. If Tesla is not praised as a company of God (with Elon being God), then kill the messenger. That is just SICK!

rxlawdude | 22 januar 2019

@babyjocko, microcosm of The Tribal States of America.