"None of us slept that night."
Surbhi Gupta, who appeared in Netflix’s Indian Matchmaking, was among thousands of employees sacked by Facebook’s parent company Meta.
The company parted ways with nearly 11,000 employees, which is nearly 13% of the company’s workforce.
Meta’s mass layoffs were the first in its 18-year history and among them was Surbhi Gupta, who worked as a Product Manager.
Surbhi, who has been working in the United States since 2009, said she did not expect to be fired.
She said she was performing well at work, however, she received an email about the layoffs in November 2022.
Surbhi said: “None of us slept that night.
“At 6 am, I got the email. I couldn’t access my computer, nor the office gym. It felt like a breakup.”
Surbhi’s last day at Meta will be sometime in January.
Surbhi appeared on the first series of Indian Matchmaking. She also won the 2018 Miss Bharat-California contest.
She is on an H1-B visa.
If H1-B visa holders are laid off from a company, they have 60 days from the termination of employment to look for a new job and transfer their visa, change their status or leave the United States.
However, Meta has extended immigration support to impacted employees.
In a blog post, Mark Zuckerberg said:
“I know this is especially difficult if you’re here on a visa.
“There’s a notice period before termination and some visa grace periods, which means everyone will have time to make plans and work through their immigration status.
“We have dedicated immigration specialists to help guide you based on what you and your family need.”
Despite this, her search for a new job will not be easy because it is nearing Christmas and many companies will slow down hiring.
Surbhi revealed her parents keep boosting her morale.
She said: “They tell me to stay strong because I’m a person who can convert problems into opportunities.
“They tell me ‘you’ll find something better’.”
Surbhi also spoke about the hurdles in getting a US green card. She said that once she had gone to India for a wedding and got stuck there for months because of some visa-related administrative processes.
The uncertainty resulting from that strained her marriage.
She told the BBC: “The visa issues had a very big role in my marriage.
“It was not the only reason, but it became one of the major reasons for the breakup of my marriage.”
But Surbhi Gupta is striving to stay focused on her job search. She said former colleagues were being supportive, introducing her to new opportunities and giving her referrals.
Mark Zuckerberg took complete responsibility for the layoffs. He wrote:
“I want to take accountability for these decisions and for how we got here. I know this is tough for everyone, and I’m especially sorry for those impacted.”