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Fired and Escorted Out of the Building

April 18, 2017

Two friends were recently fired in an abrupt, brusk and disrespectful way. A third was treated in a manner that was designed to cause her to quit. They did not deserve it, but that seems to be the way it is done now-a-days. It is not right, but the companies do not care.

The days of the gold watch are dwindling if not gone. All three companies were giant well known organizations – not Mom and Pop enterprises.

The first one was employed in a second career retiring from an illustrious position where he acquired a national reputation. He was summarily fired after 13 years with the company. He was called into an unscheduled meeting where his boss told him he was being let go – his position was eliminated. He was asked to wait until a HR person came in to tell him what his severance package would be and then was escorted out of the building by a security guard. His personal effects were packed by his two assistants and sent to him. Whatever work was in progress was gone, of no effect. His request to complete it or to update them on it was declined. He did not deserve this treatment, and it certainly could have been done without creating bad feelings. The organization lost a friend. They didn’t care.

My second friend was with his employer for over 27 years – it was his only job being hired when he graduated college. He had many positions in the organization and rose steadily. Each time acquiring greater responsibilities. One day he received an email from his boss asking him to come immediately to the conference room. When he walked in and saw the HR person with his boss, his heart sank. He was let go with the usual “position was eliminated” spiel and then the boss left and HR detailed the severance package. This happened on a Wednesday and he was given until Friday to clean up what he was working on and to brief his subordinates on what was hanging out there. Total numbness – he never saw it coming until it happened. At least he wasn’t escorted out of the building. He had a fierce loyalty to his company and a big regret that they did not have an exit conference soliciting his opinions, comments and thoughts on how the company or his division might be improved. He still cared – they didn’t care!

The third instance is of a friend’s daughter – someone with ten years at her first job out of school. Her rise, promotions, responsibilities and compensation was solid and she felt good working there. She also felt that at some point she might even become a partner. About six months before she quit, the two partners she worked with started treating her in a nasty and unprofessional manner constantly denigrating her work and reassigning her staff. She complained to them and also to the partner in charge of the office and was told that she was imagining things and that they “loved her.” Well, she had no trouble finding a job and gave notice. She wanted to stay, but that became impossible. On her last day the partner in charge called her into his office, retold her that they “loved her” and asked if there was any way she would reconsider her resignation. He wanted no hard feelings with his ten-year employee that was forced to quit. This company advertises their great care of their people and how much they matter – it ain’t true. They don’t care!

Things have changed in the market place including an end to civility and caring.

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