Send-Offs for the Laid Off: Considerate or Creepy?

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Mike Honeycutt, who has worked in information technology for the University of North Carolina at Asheville for 28 years, agreed with this approach. Although now employed, he has been to enough painfully awkward layoff send-offs over the years to know that if he someday receives a pink slip of his own, he doesn't want such an event thrown in his honor.

"The thought of a going-away party makes me cringe," Honeycutt said. "Having a low-key party with my close friends is far more appealing to me. There are about 10 people I would like to have dinner with and say goodbye. It would be an upbeat event because I love this place."

Even so, Santiesteban warned, such gatherings may not be as easy to stomach as you think.

"When I was laid off in 2004, I hosted my own going-away party," she said. "I invited six or eight of my closest colleagues for lunch and drinks at a restaurant near my former -- and their current -- employer, about six weeks after the date of separation.

"Even for me, an off-the-chart schmoozer, the experience was bittersweet."

This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

Michelle Goodman is a freelance journalist and former cubicle dweller. She is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide: Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube". For more information, see Anti9to5Guide.com.

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