I Survived the Miracle on the Hudson, and All I Got Was...La

by SixFigureStart | April 17, 2009

  • My Vault

If you thought you were laid off unceremoniously, consider the story of Frank Scudere, and be glad that a layoff was all the trauma you had to endure.

Mr. Scudere had spent the evening in a Long Island hospital tending to his ill father before boarding US Airways Flight 1549 to head home to Charlotte, NC. After miraculously surviving the plane's now well-documented Hudson River ditch with his fellow passengers, Scudere showed up to his Times Square office at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom the next morning. He was called into a conference room by an attorney he didn't know and told that though he had been on the list to be laid off, he would not -- "at least 'not today'" -- be let go because he had been on the plane. The next Tuesday, his father died at age 77. Two months later, he was back in a conference room, this time being told that he was being terminated.

"I was totally blindside, because I had been told there would be no more layoffs," he said. Yup, blindsided, like a flock of geese flying into a jet engine. What? Too soon?

Scudere comes across as having mixed emotions. Happy to be alive? Absolutely. Bereft of a sense of identity and still slightly bitter over his unceremonious termination? You betcha. I don't think he expected to be allowed to keep his job just because he was on the Miracle Flight, and personally, I don't think it would have been realistic for him to. I'm reminded of a Seinfeld episode in which the tenant board was ready to give an apartment to an Andrea Doria survivor but hesitated after hearing George's "Astonishing Tales of Costanza" ("Simply, horrifyingly, the story of my life as a short, stocky, slow witted bald man").

Scudere's story just goes to show you that A. One random moment could change your life forever whether you're anticipating it or not, and B. Considering the alternative for Flight 1549, a layoff isn't really the worst thing in the world.

Keep fighting the good fight, watch out for those dirty Canada Geese, and have a great weekend.


Lawyer Survives Hudson River Flight, Loses Job [MSNBC]


--Posted by Steven Schiff
  Assistant Producer, Vault Web Content

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