Donald Trump moved the phrase “You’re fired!” from the personnel office to reality television. But in Donald’s world, folks go from the board room to an elevator to a waiting cab, just to be whisked away and not to be seen again. Unless, of course, some reality reunion show gives them another moment of airtime.
In real-real life, when people get the boot, there is no afterglow of residual fame to soften the blow, and no career waiting at home to be resumed. There are no parting gifts. People suffer.
After the walk of shame back to their desk, they gather their belongings – with or without the helpful oversight of a member of corporate security. Next, they leave their access cards, sign some paperwork and head to their car for the last time.
No one celebrates their retirement. No one takes them for a farewell lunch at their favorite restaurant. The newly unemployed drive away from the lot and head home to share the news with family.
Sometimes it happens with cause; the task and the laborer didn’t match. Sometimes it happens with circumstance; the role has changed and now three people can do the work of ten. And, sometimes it happens for what seems to be no real reason at all.
Whatever might be the genesis, it rarely seems bearable at the time. I’ve been on both sides of this transaction and didn’t like it from either vantage point. But if we had to choose, wouldn’t more of us prefer to suffer the pain while drawing a paycheck?
If we are fired, it is rough. Nothing makes it better. Well, maybe time, the support of family, and a good plan can ease the pain. And if we have to be the bad guy, respect and sincerity are required. Bad doesn’t have to be awful.