On The Firing of an Employee

Interesting article on firing an employee which was a good read (via kasia). I’ve luckily never had to do this, but I have been on the perpendicular to this. I say “perpendicuar” instead of “the other side” because I wasn’t the one being fired. No I was close enough to the bosses to know things about the company that others didn’t, or at least have insight into how things were going.

I got called in and was told that basically there was no money, it’d been ripped backwards and forwards and everywhich way and there was no choice but to let people go from the company. They had to let six people go and that ended up being two from each department (though knowing what I know now it would have made more sense to take less from the marketting/sales side of things, as they would potentially have made money, but that’s another 20/20 hindsight thing). So the decision had been made to let two of my fellow programmers go, people whom I worked with every day and had grown quite close to, and there wasn’t a thing to do. Even if some people took pay cuts (which I offered to do, even though I was already working at a reduced salary) that wouldn’t have been enough. My only real concession is that I didn’t have to make that decision. Sworn to secrecy as well, but I had no desire to ruin anyone’s evening anyway.

Needless to say I didn’t sleep well that night, for all the same reasons that John didn’t I’d guess.

The next day came and I was called in again and found to my great relief that no one was getting let go. Other ways had been found to get around it and there was much rejoicing. I think that might have been that the execs went from reduced salary to no salary, but who knows.

So six people almost went through an inadvertant life change, but didn’t, and missed by the skin of their teeth, and never even knew it.

I’m still lucky enough to never have been on either side of the firing thing directly, though I dodged the bullet a couple of times in my days at the board, but at that time I was filled with hate (because people were stupid) so I probably would have relished it (again, 20/20 hindsight).

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