Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What Not to Do

It's that time again.  Time to share some of my favorite faux pas from the road in "What Not to Do."  The following true story came from a colleague of mine, we'll call him Ray.

The Setting:  Christmas Eve

Ray and his family have just finished a delicious holiday dinner and are sitting around the fireplace wrapping presents.  A toy train is slowly but methodically making its way around the base of the Christmas tree while Bing Crosby sings about letting it snow.  The house is cozy and festive, smiles all around.

There is a knock at the door, perhaps it is a neighbor with a plate of cookies or UPS with a last minute package.  As Ray opens the door he is handed an envelope from a young man in a FedEx hat.  

Ray anxiously rips open the envelope thinking that maybe this is finally the year he will receive a bonus.  He is an exemplary director and has faithfully served his current employer for nine years, eleven months and three weeks. However, like many, he has not received a bonus since 2008.  As he reads the stapled packet of papers his facial expression turns from excitement and hope, to worry and dread.  

Ray has been sent a letter of termination effective that day, December 24th.

Merry Christmas.

Because Ray was approaching his ten year anniversary, his company thought it might be prudent to "eliminate his position" before the new year to save from having to pay two more weeks of severance.  

Sure, they may have saved a tiny bit of money.  But, their reputation suffered severely.  The thing they didn't think about was the fact that their community is a small, specialized one. Ray was asked about his termination during every single interview, and the dates of his previous job are on every single resume.  It didn't take long for the word to spread on Glassdoor and similar sites. Once one person spoke up, the populace unleashed their gripes with fervor.

C'mon! Don't do this.

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