Because You Might Meet Them Again on Your Way Down!

It’s a Dog Eat Dog World out there – always has been – but lately with the state of the economy and the world in general – it is actually worse!

There is no such thing as loyalty anymore from a company like in the old IBM days!.

Remember when working hard and doing a good job actually got you somewhere?

I remember talking to my dad when he was around and telling him he would not recognize or like the business world today. He said he was glad he was retired because he was sure he wouldn’t like it either.

Dad was known both in and out of the business world as an honest, caring, man with the highest level of integrity. He was a mentor to those who worked for him as they saw how he treated those who were loyal to him and did their job right! I always told him how much I admired him for the way he conducted himself as a businessman (and in life in general) and he used to say that not EVERYONE liked him like the few people he fired in his career. I reminded him that they deserved to be fired as one stole from the company, another tried to steal from a customer, etc.

In his story  “Messiah or Marshmallow?“, from “From Self-Proclaimed Nerd, to…accomplished Executive, to Befuddled Snowbird” dad writes about some of those he DID have to fire – of course as his stories are humorous, they are told in tongue-in-cheek, but it is evident that those he had to fire did something REALLY bad or wrong to get fired!

“…Refusing to hire Jack from another division, even though he got me the job in my division, wasn’t very nice. My reasoning was that all of my managers felt he was inadequate and refused to work with him.

As CEO, I fired many top managers who were either not performing, causing friction, had alcohol or drug problems, or were stealing from the company. When I fired them I knew I was ruining their lives. I found it very painful and never fired anyone while I was in an angry state, except for the guy who was stealing from us. He made technical services calls and collected expense money by telling our customers that we were not subsidizing his travel (which was untrue and could have damaged our reputation). I had to be held back from throttling him. He had the nerve to ask for severance pay. I told him he had ten minutes to clean out his desk or I would personally disembowel him. This was not a true reflection of my forgiving spirit, but I do forgive myself for it.

Other firings were more painful. Our Sales Manager was an alcoholic and began to abuse our customers. Now-a-days we would have sent him for help. The Production Manager was on the verge of a breakdown due to the stresses of the job. I had to let him go because he was compounding his mistakes. I was practically in tears when I fired those two. They both understood and were friendly to me when we met at trade shows.

Our VP Technical was about to be torn apart by his fellow officers because of his failures and lies. I came close to attacking him with my bare hands, but I fired him with love. The Comptroller was a spy from the parent company, a crony of the Chairman’s (which didn’t bother me, because I had nothing to hide), and a financial dud. When we were acquired by another company, their Finance Director couldn’t work with him, so out he went with a good severance package and my fondest wishes.

I made a $100 million acquisition in Virginia for my British parent. The company was in a small town where everybody knew everybody. The President was the son-in-law of the deceased founder, who was beloved in the community. The founder had four daughters, who, being as charitable as I can, I would classify as “barracudas”, whose Casper Milquetoast husbands all worked for the company. I vowed (to myself) to try to maintain the family staff members, so that we didn’t resemble a group of English marauders invading this small community. The son-in-law President was a total disaster. It turns out that he was given the job to protect the family interests. Trying to help him, I offered to cover the job aspects that were his weaknesses. When I asked him what functions he performed for his father-in-law, he answered, “I was a gopher”. Without a second thought, I fired his ass and took over his functions (but I thought I was pretty nice about it).”…

Read more of “Messiah or Marshmallow?” and other stories like:

  • Crime and Punishment
  • Eat Your Heart-Out Donald Trump
  • Fraud on the High Seas
  • From Cranial to Anal Retention
  • Gut Feel
  • Honesty is the Worst Policy
  • House of Sahud
  • Hypochondriacs of the World: Unite!
  • I Vote My Conscience
  • In Name Only
  • It Made All the Difference
  • It’s in the Air
  • Itchy’s World
  • John Alden, Cyrano, and Me
  • Just Bitching and Moaning
  • Many More…



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