I was reading an older post on Recruiting Blogs about burning bridges and came across a story wherein a candidate gave notice of his resignation at a lunch meeting. His manager, shocked and no doubt upset, promptly exited stage left. I'm not sure who paid the bill...
It reminded me of a contract recruiting position I had a few years ago. The director kept wanting to schedule a lunch date, though I worked remotely. We finally set a date, and she drove 40 miles one way to treat me to lunch at one of my favorite restaurants. At some point during the lunch meeting, she hit me with, "Well, I hate to tell you this but...due to budget...shifting workloads...I'm sorry." I honestly don't recall my reaction, but I'm sure I didn't stay at the table much longer. I'd like to think she delivered this news after I finished eating, but again, it's a blur. What an interesting choice of a restaurant as scenery to tell the person you're currently feeding that they will no longer be able to feed themselves on your dime.
I'm no MBA grad, but I started wondering about the rules of Management 101. I've seen the TV sitcoms where the man wants a public breakup so the woman doesn't overreact. Was this the classic bad breakup strategy she was employing? Or was she just trying to be nice and send me off to the unemployment line with a full belly?
There's endless advice on how to properly fire an employee - don't fire in public, choose a neutral location, show empathy, etc. I've only had to layoff employees once over the course of my career, and though it wasn't pleasant, I made the best of it. I still keep in touch with a few of the employees who I had to let go. I did the firing in the comforts of my office, and the employees had a heads up of what was going to happen, so I didn't encounter any adverse reactions. If the employees worked remotely, though, I don't think I'd make them drive to a 'neutral location' just to deliver the bad news. Then again, being laid off via phone was no walk in the park either.
Would you prefer being told in person or over the phone that your services are no longer needed? Have you ever been fired against a strange backdrop? The South of France? On a bus? In a plane? In the rain?
Hmmm...I just received a text from a colleague who wants to meet for lunch. Should I be worried? ☺
Maisha Cannon is a Senior Recruiter and Researcher committed to introducing employers to talent that will enhance and grow their businesses. Over the span of her 15 year career in Human Resources, Maisha has filled over 1,000 positions, and has coached hundreds of candidates on resume writing, interviewing skills, and career planning. She spends her free time blogging, engrossed in social media, and singing along to the thousands of songs in her iPod.