Have you ever been fired by a stranger?


By Alaya Boykin

The popular film “Up in the Air,” starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick, was released last year. In the film, Clooney and Kendrick’s characters work for a firm contracted by corporations that are looking to downsize. They travel around the country firing people in person and are also doing a trial run of laying off employees via video conferencing technology.

The film captures employees’ reactions to being fired by people they’ve never met, and what the future holds for them.

When firing workers, Clooney and Kendrick’s characters hand out a pamphlet and explain that their termination is simply a “career transition.”

Have you ever been fired by a hired gun? Did you feel humiliated by being let go by someone who didn’t actually work for the same company as you? Have you ever been given a pink slip by someone who told you that he or she understood what it felt like to be fired?

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14 comments Add your comment

Tomas E. Vet

June 10th, 2010
4:12 pm

Fired on by a stranger? Why hell yes. As a matter of fact, several of them while I was in Vietnam. It wasn’t pretty either.

Kathy P.

June 10th, 2010
4:16 pm

Tomas, we appreciate your service to our nation. I believe he was asking if you had ever lost a job at the hands of a stranger. Thanks again.

Tomas E. Vet

June 10th, 2010
4:18 pm

Oh, well, In that case-No, I have not. He should be more clear.

Kathy P.

June 10th, 2010
4:21 pm

Okay. I’m sure the part about the hired gun was somewhat confusing too.

Tomas E. Vet

June 10th, 2010
4:23 pm

Yeah,yeah you’re right Dear. We called them mercenaries. Little rascals come in from Laos. Tough little boogers.

Kathy P.

June 10th, 2010
4:25 pm

Alright, I have to get back to work.

electrician

June 12th, 2010
8:47 am

not personally fired,but I have watched hundreds fired at my company sent packing by a new regime that was bought in for that purpose,new people with no sense of company history and no concept spending 30 years somewhere and getting cut loose.OH…one more thing…this was at the AJC.

TK

June 12th, 2010
9:11 am

I have not been fired, but alienated from the job. Backed into a corner where my contributions appear trite or no longer relevant, other company employees view me as nothing more than a sustained fixture. The sad part it’s been done by an overbearing family member.
We rarely speak of anything other than the weather, just to remain civil.

It hurts even more when it’s done by a family member.

Former HP employee

June 12th, 2010
9:19 am

HP does this all the time. Your own manager NEVER does the firing/layoff because they feel it will leave a lot of resentment towards the manager in the team that you left. So, I have seen them use second or third level managers (when that manager is NOT at your site), Human resources people and contracted people to do layoffs.

DebDoes

June 12th, 2010
9:34 am

And over the phone! I was at an executive meeting in Chicago (we were told that we were the group to carry the company forward). I came back to Atlanta for the holidays and early January got a call from my boss saying I was being laid off along with 300 others. So much for being the team to carry to company forward.

Darrin "The Vent King"

June 12th, 2010
10:10 am

Yup, I was notified that I was being laid off by a manager I hardly knew and never really worked for because my actual manager got laid off a couple of months prior to me. It was cool though, cause my actual manager was a real fluff-filled, moronic, uninformed, incapable, never-should-have-been-my-boss in the first place, world class idget. I rather had gotten notified by the cleaning crew than the actual bucket head that I worked for…

Fired

June 12th, 2010
10:16 am

Worked for a tobacco company for 12 years……national meeting’s were held on the same day and time all over the country. A little upbeat info given, then everyone was told the company had been sold. We were tour our positions are eliminated and to leave all company gear, car keys, etc with a guard. Other guards were stationed at the doors. We were all ushered out to waiting cabs. That was the end, no good byes, good job, etc.

Morrus

June 12th, 2010
10:18 am

Curiously, in a supposed anti-incumbent year, most of the departing are not retiring but seeking higher office. We may recycle more than we replace. The bad news is that a frustrating 114 seats still have but one contestant. Two of them aren’t even incumbents, meaning they will affect state policy without being vetted by voters. And I have to think that we’d be better off if many had run instead for the Legislature — and cut down on the number running unopposed. Georgia’s problems are numerous. They aren’t going away. There’s too much stale thinking at the Capitol, on both sides of the aisle. New voices would be welcome.

mom

June 12th, 2010
12:12 pm

Tomas, I enjoyed your witticism; however, it flew past most bloggers. I have been told I am a smart a@@ (I prefer witty). I tell them it’s far better than the opposite: being a dumb a@@.