How do you react when a colleague is fired?

@ronaldinu (12440)
Malta
April 9, 2009 1:34am CST
One of my colleagues has been fired. He has been a total disaster as a teacher. The kids did not help him much but he was a zero at classroom management. The administrators found him an alternative work. Anyway this guy did not inform us that he was being dismissed. I guess it had something to do with his pride. It was a real awkard situation because all of us knew that he was being fired but nobody was going to tell him , hey guy we know that they are sending you away. On the other hand he knew that we knew but he did not mention anything. I just pretended that everything was ok. he did not mention anything so I did not say anything to him about his dismissal. How would you have reacted in this particular situation?
10 people like this
37 responses
@scheng1 (24742)
• Singapore
9 Apr 09
Most of the times I am the one serving the termination notice. It's a hard job to be one of the HR staff. Most of the times we keep it confidential, serve the notice about one or two hours before the end of the day. The direct boss of the terminated employee usually find a place to hide and switch off the mobile phone so that he/she needs not face the consequence. Anyway, if your colleague reacts as if nothing has happened, then you all have to react as if nothing has happened. Maybe after a few weeks, try calling him to see how the new position suits him.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Apr 09
Some people have told me that it was rude to have someone work most of their shift and then fire them. They believe that if someone is going to be fired, it should happen at the beginning of the shift. I felt that the money they would earn by working most of their shift may be needed. Most of these people had families and bills to pay. For what reason do you fire someone one or two hours before the end of the shift?
@scheng1 (24742)
• Singapore
10 Apr 09
There are a lot of reasons. First is that we need time to compute salary and prepare cheque. The last day of service is technically still a working day and we will pay for it. Second is that of internet security problem. Once we serve the termination notice, the IT will terminate the internet access, email account and log the employee out of window. We usually co-ordinate with IT department in such a way that the terminated employee do not have a chance to sabotage the system. Third is that we need to keep the matter highly confidential. If we serve the notice in the morning, and the employee walks out of the office in the middle of the day, everyone will know about it and gossip about it during lunch. Nobody has the mood to work anymore. If we serve in the afternoon, the employee will just knock off at the end of the day. Usually we let the employee has the choice to tender resignation instead. At least the record will be "resignation" instead of "termination". We will still give notice-in-lieu as per contract. If anyone asks about it the next day, our official reply will be that he tenders resignation and company agrees to waive notice period. Only the IT, HR and department head knows about it. The rest do not have the right to know the true story.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Apr 09
Where I work, everyone knows if someone was fired. A terminated employee is escorted to their office and/or locker to clean out personal belongings. Until they leave the property, they must be escorted. This is usually the same if someone quits. However, to avoid the "walk of shame", those that know they are going to quit will remove their belongings ahead of time.
@onlydia (2808)
• United States
11 Apr 09
I was told at work that they were letting somebody go and I went and asked the person and she said no it is not true. Then two weeks later I was laid off and she is still there. You know she did thank me for asking and asking her if she needed anything if it was true. And the person that told all of you should be fired as well. As that is nobody's right to know but that person until after they are gone. It is there right to tell you or not. That is how I feel. As that is how rumors start and sometimes people get hurt by them. You should of asked the person and let them know if they needed anything you was there for them. But it seem's like you didn't care for that person Not sure.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
14 Apr 09
hmmm...depends on how close I was to the person. A teacher at our school was fired last week. We knew she would be fired but not that particular day (though she knew I think). She was with me in the morning and suddenly she was missing during a break....and never turned up. Since she didn't turn up, it was easier for us not to talk about anything. But if the person being fired is someone I can talk to, I probably would have talked about how they felt. If not, I'd just let it go and pretend nothing happened.
@mtdewgurl74 (18118)
• United States
14 Apr 09
I would guess you did the right thing. It is hard when something like this happened but he wasn't cut out to be a teacher and only person it was hurting was his students and himself. So it is best not to confront someone whose job had been lost except maybe a note to say sorry..not like you could have had a good bye party for him under the circumstances.
@csrobins (1125)
• United States
13 Apr 09
I would probably do what you did. I have never been around someone after they got fired. They have usually left by that time. Poor guy, it is hard for everyone. I always start to get worried I'm next, who knows if I'm doing something wrong too. But I try to act innocent and like I know nothing because that's how I would want them to do for me.
• China
12 Apr 09
It seems a embarrassing situation, if i am in this situation like you mentioned, i won't do anything before the guy who are dismissed have say anything, because his/her mood at the situation is hard to confirm and i don't know what the things he/she want to hear from other colleagues, i will let he/she know that i care about him and support him for his selection.
@savypat (20246)
• United States
10 Apr 09
It's kind of like having an elephant in the room, no matter how you try to avoid it. It's still in the room. My thoughts are always to face it straight on and just tell him how sorry I am that things didn't work out and that he will be missed. Then wish him luck. That way when you run into him 3 years from now he'll remember that you were kind. Who knows he maybe rich and famous by then.
@wxo200345 (101)
• China
10 Apr 09
well i work in an state-owned company in china,there are rare dismissals happened in my firm, this is the characteristic of china, possible the unique phenomenon around the world. once you entered an state-owned company ,it nearly means a permanent guarantee for the rest of your life. occasionally some people decide to leave the company, others will celebrate him with encouragement and wish. are you amazed by this realistic happened in china?
@Hvaniday1 (550)
• Malaysia
10 Apr 09
Your reaction this situation is good. Sometimes people feel needless to say anything or he knew that you all are well aware of it. So, this means you are a teacher? Hehe....Teacher, very good career. Happy Mylotting.
• United States
10 Apr 09
I would of kept my cool and not said much of anything epecially if he didn't bring it up. Perhaps discuss it amongst others that knew what was going on, but even that is not usually wise to do as boss' frown on rumors and speculation.
@williamjisir (22903)
• China
10 Apr 09
Hello ronaldinu. I used to have a colleague like what you mentioned here. He was also a teacher, a maths teacher. As he was not good at classroom management, our boss informed him of the dismissal, but my colleague argued with the boss that everything was supposed to be done based on the signed contract. So he insisted on working till the end of the semester. During this time, he was starting to look for another job with success. He changed his career as a teacher and was doing some promotion sales for some company. Usually it is seldom for the school to dismiss a teacher, but it is common for a teacher to quit his job from the school when summer vacation comes. Well, I don't think that it is a big deal to be dismissed or to quit a current job for a new one, as is the frequent case I have seen in the past years. Maybe it is a good thing for one to create a new chance for a new job somewhere else. Yes? Thank you for the discussion, ronaldinu.
• China
10 Apr 09
I don't know how to react neither.Because my colleagues left mostly because of quit,not fired.Let me think,as if one person is fired.But we did not say anything because we still work in this company.Except comfort,I don't know what we can do.
@kun2349 (23475)
• Singapore
10 Apr 09
Everybody has got pride.. If u are the one being fired, do u think u will go round telling everybody about it?? I dun think so, because it's gonna be so embarassing.. Since like u say, it's a colleague of mine being fired, naturally i will be comforting them, even though i'm not really close to them.. For, he's already leaving and there shall be no grudges held anymore ^_^
@KrauseHome (35517)
• United States
10 Apr 09
Well, often it depends on the situation, and what is in the Best interest for you and the other person as well. Recently they fired someone from where I work, and even if she is still looking for work, it could have been a Good thing to happen for her as well. We were just barely talking before she was let go, and now her and I are become Great friends from this. So this was for the Best I am sure. All you can do, is think about what is Best, and go from there. It sounds like you did what you needed to do, so things are OK from there.
@prinzcy (5057)
• Malaysia
10 Apr 09
I would be annoyed if we were close but he/she didn't say a word. Am I not good enough to know? Perhaps your friend was ashamed of being fired that he/she refuse to say anything. I will talk to my friend about the situation and make he/she feel that he/she has my support. It's a good thing the administrators found your friend an alternative job, in this current economy condition, it's hard to get a job.
@kerriannc (4280)
• Jamaica
10 Apr 09
You know ronaldinu sometimes I am glad that I never finished my teaching studies because I would be ashamed knowing that we both are in the same professions. You know I find out that in teaching it is a dog eat dog world and even though one sees another need help instead of helping the colleagues sit down and gossip instead of helping and if not doing this banding up together to get the person fired. Teachers are suppose to be caring and helpful not dogheart. Why should he comes to you guys and tell you that he is being sack knowing that you all was the reason who help get him sack instead of helping a falling brother. I would have done the same thing too don't say anything to anyone and go on my merry way. I hope that what happen to this person does not happen to anyone who has reported him instead of helping him.
@paula27661 (15899)
• Australia
10 Apr 09
As many others here have said ronaldinu you more than likely did the right thing by not saying anything, after all what could you have said? If your colleague will need someone to talk to, you can let him know you are there for him but at the end of the day there is not much you can do. It's a shame when things like this happen but if teaching is not his thing he may well be better off doing something else and if he doesn't already,I'm sure he'll come to that understanding too.
@LittleMel (14055)
• Canada
9 Apr 09
but you said they found him alternative work so it's not fired, he was just moved to different department it happens all the time people got moved because they didn't do well at their job if he is fired they won't bother looking for alternative work for him he will have to find that himself that's as far as I know about being fired and being moved
@Rtlsnk316 (1197)
• Mexico
9 Apr 09
One time, I had the experience of seeing my girlfriend being fired (we worked in the same company) because of some "cost reduction policy" going on at the time. I felt very sad and angry at the same time, my boss who was our boss at the time talked to me and said that he hoped I wouldn't take it personal or anything, whatever, whatever. Sad thing is that she was doing a tremendous job, but I think they considered having the "least expensive" person do her job, his assistant ... couldn't be compared to her by a longshot workwise.
@Trensue (5253)
• United States
9 Apr 09
From a management point of view it is best to stay away from all drama at the work place. So the best thing to do is say nothing. It they are a personal friend they can contact you at hone and have a personal conversation. Its a rough world out there, it is not worth getting caught up in the drama.