Darla, a former colleague, excitedly called me when she heard about faboverfifty. We had much in common when we worked together, including children the same ages, similar backgrounds, passion and talent for selling. I left the company 12 years ago to start my own business.  I had been there 23 years and it had changed dramatically. Besides, I couldn’t stomach the president and chairman (one was subsequently fired and the other demoted, I’m delighted to report). I couldn’t have left at a better time, as it turns out. The company changed even more in the last decade. It got even worse.

A packing box was waiting for Darla when she returned from vacation

Darla was recently fired after a 17-year tenure. She was one of its top producers, no less. “I wasn’t fired because of performance, they explained to me when I returned from vacation. I was fired because of my attitude,” she said (not to mention her high compensation). Her assistant was fired while Darla was away.  Worse yet, the first thing Darla saw when she got to her desk was a packing box.

Let me explain Darla’s “attitude.” She speaks her mind. When she disagrees, she isn’t afraid to let someone know, including her boss.  When she needs something to help her do her job better, she asks for it.  She doesn’t suffer fools gladly.  She questions. She challenges.

The company isn’t doing well. It’s doing horribly. Maybe it should reassess its attitude. There’s not a thing wrong with Darla.  She was fab at 30, fab at 40, and she’s especially FOF. Companies like this can ill afford to lose talented people at times like these.

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5 Responses to “Ready…aim…fired!”

  1. anni koltun glenn says:

    do you need volunteers i can help?

  2. Duchesse says:

    Toby: Hear, hear! Beautifully expressed.

    The only description that disturbed me about Darla is “does not suffer fools gladly.” Sometimes people like this-and I am one- can be abrasive and judgmental. You are perceived as “not a team player”. Kiss of death.

    A friend got the same treatment as Darla. She had written comments on one of those employee satisfaction surveys; she read it it to me. I said, “This is going to cost you your job” . She said, “But it’s anonymous”. I told her, you have written so much that your ‘voice’ is as identifiable as if you’d signed it.

    Often unconsciously people quit the game of shutting up and being a “team player” because they just don’t have the heart- and stomach- to play anymore.

    Do keep us updated on Darla, and best wishes to her.

    • Geri says:

      Hi Duchesse,

      I will keep you updated. Darla may come and work with us at FOF. We’re discussing it.


  3. Toby Wollin says:

    In this economy, what companies want is a workforce that is afraid. People who are NOT afraid have ‘an attitude’ and must be weeded out as examples. I’ve seen the latest ‘productivity’ figures – they are higher than ever, even with millions of people out of work and “woops, we just found another 800K jobs that were sorry..silly of us, really”. Why? Because anyone who has a job, even a poor one, with poor working conditions, and lousy management, is grateful to have it and afraid to lose it. So, people keep their heads down, and don’t speak up, and don’t criticize and don’t offer new ideas, and are basically kept off-balance. And America’s businesses and industries are the worse off for it. And countries such as China, with national industrial policy and major investment in infrastructure and boldness move quickly and steadily on…and we are left in the dust, with fewer and fewer jobs for our children, and more and more families made homeless, and more and more fear.

    • Geri Brin says:

      It is scary. Companies, however, are ‘hiring” unpaid interns by the droves–while they fire paid employees–and our children have to compete for these. I agree with every single word you write.


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