This is part of a series on our current situation with unemployment and March 2013 generally being kind of rough. To read the whole thing, check out March Madness 2013.

JC, along with about fifty of our friends and neighbors, was laid off from his job at Rosetta Stone last week. Just so all of what I am about to say makes sense, I also worked there for six years, but left about a year and a half ago.

When my friends and family heard, a number of them said, “Well, now you can look for a job anywhere!” That comment struck me as kind of funny, because it was never Rosetta Stone that kept us in the Valley. Or, perhaps I should say, it was never JC’s job at Rosetta Stone. Rosetta Stone the company has had its good days and its bad days (more bad, I think, since it went public). Rosetta Stone people are uniformly excellent. I used to say that the one thing RS HR did well was hiring awesome people to come to Harrisonburg and be my friends. It was not quite a joke.

I have so many great memories of Rosetta Stone people–making Valentines for the team that built the tools I used for writing content, coming in early for sessions where we shared our knowledge (from Mongo to improv), the crazy 48-hour non-stop photo shoot, going for walks downtown to get some coffee and fresh air, and solving a big problem on the way back. Oh, and this–a video I made with some coworkers for Talk Like a Pirate Day in 2008:

How could I not love people who would help me with a dumb and crazy side project like this?

Almost all of my friends are either current or former Rosetta Stone people, or married to current or former Rosetta Stone people (the remainder of my friends, with about six exceptions, are affiliated with the university that didn’t hire me). If this big layoff sends RStoners out and away from the Valley, maybe we’d love this place a little less. JC’s layoff doesn’t necessarily let us hear the call of the big world, but maybe all the other layoffs will.


Aili Written by:


    • March 18, 2013

      Between you and Sarah C., it is indeed a tempting piece of the Rosetta Stone diaspora.

  1. March 18, 2013

    Companies talk about how great it is to go public, but to me–it just means the company is ready to put shareholders above employees. I’ve seen nothing but bad things when companies go public. Right after my last place of employment went public, they fired quite a few of us.

    • March 18, 2013

      Yeah, I’ve found that RST has been a lot more short-sighted since it began to feel the pressure to maximize shareholder value, at a quarterly level. Lots of short-term thinking.

  2. March 18, 2013

    DOOOOOOOON’T LEEEEEEEEAAAAVVE MEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!! xxxxxxxooxoxoxoxoxox

  3. […] All this time, my story has been just this trainwreck–I didn’t get that job, and then JC was laid off exactly a week later, and lots of things have been hard and complicated and panic-inducing since […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *