Hi, this is Katie, the Project Manager.
I guess many of you have been in a situation when you had to fire someone.
It’s an uneasy situation which should be done sensitively.
How’s life at the office?
I’m sorry for not keeping you up-to-date lately, but we’ve been so busy! We are opening two new branch offices this month, phew! I could definitely use a break. That makes me even more excited about a vacation the four of us have coming up – me with Ted and Janice with Mark. We are going to Mexico.
An unpleasant duty
We planned our trip while having dinner together last week. But there was also something rather nasty to discuss.
“Katie, why are you so quiet?” Mark asked me. “We are going to Mexico!”
“Oh, well…my boss Margaret told me I need to fire Bea,” I explained.
“Wow really?” asked Ted, surprised.
“Well, that’s good news! I mean, you never really liked her!” said Janice, cynical as always.
“She definitely hasn’t been the best team player, but I was still hoping things would get better,” I sighed. “But Margaret said we can’t afford a lazy employee in this position. I guess she’s right. It’s just that I’ve never had to fire anyone before.”
“Well, I did,” said Janice. “You just need to get straight to the point. No small talk.”
“Don’t forget – you don’t need to defend the action or discuss it with her. That would be rather unprofessional,” added Ted.
“I’ve never had to do this either,” said Janice’s young boyfriend Mark. “But I think it’s nice to thank the person for their work and be grateful.”
Aren’t they just perfect? I went to bed with their advice in mind, but I still felt bad and couldn’t really sleep. I couldn’t help myself and had to justify the action in my mind, thinking about all the things Bea did badly, or hasn’t completed at all. And how I was shocked to see a messy pile of business cards on her table, even though all of us are using eWay-CRM for managing our contacts!
All bad things have a silver lining
I wanted to do it early in the morning, so that I wouldn’t have to think about it. Only problem was Bea wasn’t there. She came late.
I took her to my office and told her the bad news right away. I was utterly shocked when she started shouting at me! She finished with: “You know what, good for me! I would have quit anyway, because you’re a terrible manager!”
I wasn’t ready for this. I opened my mouth and closed it again. I felt tears coming from my eyes. But then the best thing happened.
“Thank you and goodbye, Bea. That’s enough,” I heard someone saying. It was Jim! Out of nowhere my whole team was there. They must have heard Bea shouting.
“Katie, you are the best manager we could ask for,” said Anne-Marie sincerely.
“And I think we should celebrate having you! Let’s have a drink with Katie tonight!” said Benny.
And I learned the benefit of bad situations. They make you appreciate the good ones even more!