The Emperor's Clothes

I was recently reading an article on manifesting what you want in life.  It reminded me of a time when I worked for a good company that was taken over by a horrid corporation.  A corporation that began a series of "reorganizations".  Just when you thought it was safe they'd announce another round.  It was horrible.  Their severance packages were getting smaller and smaller and everyone was walking around with their backs to the wall and covering their collective ass.

One day my boss, Robetta Krock, informed me that she was told to free up "x" amount of money in her budget and so I needed to fire one of the individuals who reported to me.  The individual was marginal and we had been documenting problems for over 6 months.  Robetta had reviewed everything with human resources and they were “on board” as one said in those days of “run it up the flag pole” and so on.  I felt that to fire someone on a Friday was really crappy.  Not that any day is a good day.  The person would have no resources open to them on Saturday or Sunday and will most likely go to their drug of choice and go on a bender. Depending on their life in general, they could become suicidal.  I personally had experienced this years before.

So I decided to legitimize my thoughts by describing to Robetta and HR (HR is an acronym for handling someone w/ kid gloves in the hopes of not getting sued) that I’d read an article in some recognized leadership journal regarding the whole concept of when to let a person go; even if it was just a layoff that would at least lead to unemployment benefits.  I presented a whole scenario of the most “responsible” and “professional” way in which to terminate an employee for the “maximum benefit” to the employee.  Essentially the “article” listed the reasons why termination on a Friday was dangerous for the employee (list suicide, building anger etc) vs. the “benefits” of Monday termination or Tuesday at the latest.  I told them a noted shrink…blah, blah, blah….  I figured if I had to let someone go I didn't want them to have to wait 2 days to get help.

Monday leaves the whole week to seek med/psych etc help since everything was open.  The resources that HR provided in the way of names and numbers of various services would be open and accessible vs. closed for the weekend.

The upshot of the whole "performance" was that HR, without researching or verifying my “sources” adopted it company wide with a religious zeal.  It was hysterical.  So never forget, if you really believe in something, you can convince anyone of anything.

P.S.  I left the company a few months later and was never happier.



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