Getting Fired

FIRED!

The capstone of a campaign  of workplace abuse and bullying is often termination from the job.

 And that reality  – or even the fear of being fired  – can be a devastating blow to a worker who has endured months of  abuse that has stripped away his or her sense of mental and physical well-being.

 But today what does it really mean to be fired?

 I know business leaders who were fired  and recovered to achieve impressive new success.

 Sallie Krawcheck, past president of Merrill Lynch, US Trust, Smith Barney, the largest wealth management business in the world, suggests that if you don’t get fired at least once, maybe you’re not trying hard enough?

 She says that as the pace of change in business increases, the chances of having a placid career are receding. And if in this period of rapid change, you’re not making some notable mistakes along the way, you’re certainly not taking enough business and career chances.

 Being fired is not always a reflection of performance.

Research shows that some targets of workplace bullying are dismissed because they are creative, hard-working and well-liked employees who are seen as a threat by a supervisor or co-worker. They may be among the best in their workplace and that is why they are targeted.

 I also know bureaucrats (and I use that term  in the worst sense of the word)  who should be fired but probably never will be, despite their obvious incompetence.  They have managed to insinuate themselves into secure positions, by surrounding themselves with synchophants and/or by avoiding any personal responsibility for anything, except to claim success for others’ work.

Many  employees are fired because  a new supervisor wants to put in his or her own team in place or the worker’s values or vision don’t  comport with that of  the supervisor.

Many workers are fired for illegal reasons –  they are victim of discrimination on the basis of  age, sex, race, religion, etc.  Some are fired because they asked for a legal right – such as the right to be paid overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

 So if you were fired in the past year or expect to be in the year ahead, try to  keep it in perspective. Any employee who was fired can likely think of some things that they could have done better.  Hindsight is 50-50.  Nobody’s perfect.  Etc.   Hopefully, your new and hard-earned  knowledge will help you succeed the next time?

 Ms. Krawcheck also advises:

 I  had a friend tell me shortly after I left “When something like this happens, you think you’re thinking straight, but you’re not. You won’t think straight for at least three months.” If you have the luxury of avoiding any major career decisions that long, the perspective you gain after decompressing can be valuable.

Comments

  1. Jonathan Zaback says:

    Another amazingly prescriptive and real-life POV from Sallie Krawcheck!

  2. Eighteen months ago I was fired on disability as a Vice President at a global investment bank in New York City. While on a short-term disability for a lung infection the global investment bank ordered me to a medical exam with a pulmonologist on threat of termination, and I brought my medical records to the exam. The pulmonologist approved the disability and recommended reasonable accommodation until stabilized on appropriate medication. While on the disability I was referred to Yale Hospital for medical treatments. When my doctor requested return to work with reasonable accommodation, my employer fired me on the same day. I never received even one hour of FMLA, and the employer denied reasonable accommodation. The employer entered into an agreement at the EEOC which waived all reasonable accommodation, FMLA and other legal rights.

    I am not an attorney. Hopefully my story educates people with disability who have been illegally fired or are on the brink of termination. Find a good attorney such as through this website.
    When I was fired, I had legal rights to reinstatement and the full twelve weeks of FMLA, and I never received even one hour of FMLA leave. Also both the independent medical examiner and my doctor agreed and requested reasonable accommodation. The employer fired me saying that reasonable accommodation was “undue hardship”. I naively entered into a settlement agreement at the EEOC which waived all my EEOC rights and FMLA rights for measley sum without an attorney. If other people could learn from my experience, then they could find competent legal counsel or at least knowledgably waive their rights.

    • I’m really sorry to hear that … Thank you for sharing your story to help others who are facing these difficult situations. As I have noted elsewhere, workplace bullies are not always individuals. They are sometimes employers who seek to deprive workers of rights and legal benefits. Pat

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