Daily Archives: December 14, 2005

Bittersweet Symphony

Alan is looking lost. Lost and confused. And badly dressed. It wasn’t his fault. He always looked like his mother dressed him. It’s been over 12 years since his mother passed away though. People are beginning to talk.

He’s a shy guy, a bit nerdy, but genuinely very nice. He’s always willing to chip in and help out no matter what. That’s what made it all so difficult.

It’s up to me to fire Alan. I became his supervisor only a few months ago, and Alan, despite being an excellent worker, doesn’t fit in.

There are other’s I’d rather get rid of. Plenty of non-productive people. But these are orders from on high.

I sound like the losing side of World War II, “I was only following orders.”

I remember a former boss of mine who insisted that it was better to fire someone early in the workweek, therefore you won’t ruin their weekend. I told him that was bullshit, no matter what day, you are fucking up someone’s life regardless.

So here it is, Wednesday and I have to call Alan into my office. The morale of the office has been on the wane, and though I know it’s not Alan’s fault, he is the sacrificial lamb.

I just had the sneaking suspicion that Alan could be the gun enthusiast type, meaning the type to come in and shoot me, or someone else.

The quiet type.

The neighbors’ always cliché, ‘Oh he was nice. Kept to himself. Never saw this happening’ It’s been said so many times already and will probably be said again. Gotta watch out for the quiet types. The ones that keep to themselves. Like Alan. But I got to keep my game face on. Not show any fear.

Yet I also have to appear concerned and compassionate. Three emotional balls I have to juggle.

I could use a drink. But no, it’ll have to wait until after Alan.
I’d ask him out for a drink with me, but that probably wouldn’t be that good an idea.

It’s 3:45 now. I guess I should have him come in here at 4:00. I really don’t want to do this, but I have no choice.

This is the corporate world. I am part of it.

Someday someone will come and give me the ax for whatever reason.

Unless Alan comes in here with a gun and blows my brains out. Wouldn’t be a good idea on Alan’s part though.

And I’m not in favor of it either.

This is such bullshit. I’m paranoid that a coworker of mine is going to kill me because I have to fire him.

I should say lay off instead. Not as harsh as firing. Downsizing is a contemporary word. I could have Alan come in here, have him sit down, look him right in the face and say, “Don’t shoot me.” No wait, that’s not it.

Look him right in the face and say, ‘Alan, the company isn’t doing as well as we had hoped. I’ve been giving orders to start downsizing, and unfortunately Alan, we have to let you go.”

Yeah that sounds good. I can get by with that. Maybe a handshake at the end too.

“Alan, could you come in here please? There’s something I need to discuss with you. Please don’t shoot me”