Had a little bit of drama at work today.
Someone got fired.
As in, “You no longer work here, please leave.”
Thank goodness, it wasn’t me.
But it did get me thinking.
I, myself, have never been fired, and I know very few people who have been “let go”. The occasions I can remember involved a lot of yelling, tears, and the cops. Well, that was the gossip.
Anyway, I associate the termination of an employee with a lot of drama. It usually takes a whole lot of trying to get fired from where I come from. In my world, it usually takes some sort of willful negligence or downright criminal activity to get the boot. So upon hearing that a well respected engineer in the firm was fired for poor performance, it made me sit up. Fired? For poor performance? Holy crap. He knew his shit! Way more than I know my shit. What’s a poor performance? Is my performance up to par?
The fact that the company owner gathered us all around, and told us of these events directly, I can only suppose was intended to assuage our fears that anyone one of the rest of us was not next. I guess.
But it got me thinking. Having had my own business for the last eight years, I kind of got out of the loop of office politics. Working for myself, all I had to do was make sure I got the job done – within budget and before the deadline. Sure, I had to butter up the clients a bit, but most of them were one-man shops like my own. We were all friends. The thought of firing each other, of rejecting ourselves, never crossed my mind and I’m sure it didn’t cross my client’s minds. I hope.
Well, at 41, I guess it is about time I joined the real world, and realize it is just not fair. A perfectly capable, over-qualified individual just doesn’t cut it anymore.