• On Sunday night, Elon Musk sent a company-wide email to Tesla staff announcing a workforce reduction of more than 10%.
  • One laid-off Tesla worker said they moved about 6 months ago for the job before being let go.
  • They moved cross-country after Tesla offered them a stipend to do it.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with a former Tesla employee who was laid off on Sunday night and requested anonymity to protect their privacy. Business Insider has verified their identity and employment. A spokesperson for Tesla did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. The following has been edited for length and clarity.

I started at Tesla as a commercial field services technician during the pandemic. I handled the troubleshooting and maintenance for Tesla's energy department.

I started out with the company in California and since have moved twice while working for Tesla.

I just moved across the country for the job six months ago.

Tesla transferred me to one of its southern regions to service its energy department. The company needed someone in the region and hadn't had anybody on the ground there for over a year. People had to fly out to the area periodically to service it.

For a while, I was flying out. For like a period of three months, I was two weeks on, two weeks off, just picking up the slack.

Then Tesla asked me if I'd consider moving out there with my wife. I told them I'd only consider it if they paid for our move. They ended up helping with the relocation process and offered a stipend.

We packed up and left in about a week. We sold most of our stuff and rented a big U-Haul to drive down.

I was completely blindsided when I woke up on Monday morning to the layoff notice.

I woke up on Monday morning, trying to clock in to work. And my phone said something along the lines of: password error, contact IT.

So I went to my laptop to try to log in and I was locked out of my computer too, with the IT number right there on the screen. I called IT and they said I needed to contact HR. Then I went to my personal email account and I saw an email from Tesla that was sent out overnight. It was that generic letter — one that a lot of other people have said they got.

I felt like I was doing well and receiving positive feedback from my managers. In that layoff letter they said the cuts were due to redundancy, but I didn't feel like my role was redundant.

I feel like Tesla could have handled the layoffs better. It was impersonal and abrupt.

Now my wife and I feel like we're kind of stuck.

We're in a town where I probably won't be able to find a lot of other opportunities without having to commute around an hour and a half to work both ways because of the rural location. We're also far away from family and without a nearby support system to help us out.

We lost some of our safety net when we moved. We rented a home that was well within our budget with my Tesla pay, but less so now that I've been laid off. Now we're stuck in the lease for six more months.

When we moved for Tesla we didn't take it lightly, but we didn't expect this. Leaving was tough because we'd been living near family. I have two children, a 17-year-old and a 9-year-old, and we had to uproot them.

Now I feel like we rolled the dice and we've kind of shot ourselves in the foot as a result.

Do you work for Tesla or have a tip? Reach out to the reporter via a non-work email and device at [email protected]

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