Sunday, 19 October 2008

in the line of Fire(d)

Last evening when I was about to leave office I received a call from one of our senior consultants regarding some issue. After arriving at a conclusion, we went on to wind up the conversation when he casually told me to expect a surprise by fax the next morning. Matching his tone, I asked him whether it was good news or bad news. He just laughed & said mysteriously “Depends on how you look at it” before cutting the line.

All the way to work this morning I wondered what it could be. Going by how the company procedures worked I was quite sure it couldn’t be good news. As soon as I reached I checked for faxes & ofcourse there were pages & pages of correspondence waiting. I walked towards my seat rifling thru the pages when the Marketing Manager called out a cheery Good Morning. At the same moment my eyes fell on a Termination Notice addressed to the Marketing Manager.

To say I was stunned was an understatement. I stood at my table & looked at him blankly. He peered thru the sandblasted glass partition & repeated “Good Morning Nancy”. I just walked across to his table & gave the sheet of paper to him. I stood there undecided as I watched him read it & re-read it. Slowly I backed out of the cabin, went to my chair & sat down.

I felt like the lowest of beings for being the one who gave him the bad news. All sorts of thoughts jumbled thru my mind…. It is not easy to get a job in Dubai especially when you’ve crossed the 40-45 mark. He had his whole family here….his wife didn’t work, his kids were still studying. He just had 30 days to find another job or leave the country.

We all knew his marketing record for the past 6 months was miserable. Business was at an alltime low & we needed new orders desperately. The past 2 months showed some orders trickling in but it came nowhere near the Dhs.500,000 mark, which was his target. The Head Office had already warned him twice before so I guess this time they resorted to drastic measures.

But how could they just FAX a termination letter….a person at the managerial level didn’t at all deserve this kind of treatment….no, scratch that, nobody deserves that kind of treatment.

The worst was when I first got my hands on the letter, read the subject…….just for a split second thought it was addressed to me.


  1. I am with you on that. Even if the guy wasn't performing as expected, you know....
    Interestingly, people who treat others well are well respected people. Anyway...
    While reading your post I was so worried that it was you who got fired so the end of the story was a relief in a way...

  2. hey too bad, even without knowing this person i feel so sorry for him.., and clearly he wasnt expecting it.. tough management would be a mild thing to say!
    i would have got a minor attack if i were u though
    and fr one split second, u know what crossed my mind after reading this.. my humongous targets!!:(

  3. Ah so well mean! nothing meaner than slogging for the company and not being respected as a human being! it was inhuman!

    :x :X :X

  4. ohh...that was sad...maybe they (the management) liked the guy personally and hence found it hard to break the news in person? It is a sad situation and I hope he can find a suitable job for himself soon

  5. oh im really glad it wasnt u that was fired!
    such stories are around everywhere around the world...its the circle of life i guess..!

  6. Sometimes when reality hits's a bit difficult to react and it's worst if you are committed up to your neck but hey...who said that life was fair...btw I am sorry that your marketing manager had to face the axe and the worst thing is that senior management didn't have the courtesy to inform him on a "one to one basis'...that I consider a big no-no. So nobody is indispensable...

  7. :(
    Awful thing to have happened..
    But is terminating ever easy?

  8. that mustve been an upsetting day, when it sorts of clouds everything else. just goes to remind one of the insecurities involved especially more so in the middle east, where the immediate consequences can be pretty alarming and scary to say the least!

  9. Oh man, my sympathies with the both of you, especially with the guy. Just like that, his life has been turned upside down :( But I suppose that is the risk of living in the UAE, that uncertainty always hangs over you.

    I used to work in HR over there and had my part in quite a few terminations, but that was only a last resort after senior managers had spoken with the person concerned and given time for improvement, and then spoken with him / her again. This fax thing is really cold.

  10. Tough... being the one designated to pull the trigger.....

  11. Agnes: Nope it wasnt me....not tht I had any reason to be worried coz I had already submitted my resignation 2 weeks back.
    "Interestingly, people who treat others well are well respected people."
    U r absolutely right:-D

    ish: yes I knw...all of us feel terrible:-(. Yeah, I can imagine abt ur targets. How do u manage to achieve them month after month:-o?

    winnie: well he is a very easy going guy...he shd have sat up & taken notice when they gave him the warnings. But yes nobody deserves to be treated like this.

  12. That was truly bad! U r right, nobody deserves to be treated that way. Though I have had the pleasure of working only in prominent multinationals all my life, I must say 3 of them was a far cry from the word - good! The boss treated the place like it was his own and that to me, is the beginning of trouble. To me any company that works towards a common goal is the one that normally excels. That is why I worry when I think abt getting back to work. Some companies are so uncultured and I hate to be caught in one. :D

    P.S: I am glad the pink slip was not for u! Phhhewwwwwww!!!

  13. deeplydip: u know u have a valid point. He is an old timer & I guess nobody had the guts to put it face to face:-).
    Yeah this morning he was more cheerful & even joked tht he was getting out in the easiest way possible(No ban, with NOC, etc):-)).

    sunshine: Nope not me though if they did, it wd have worked to my favour coz I had given my resignation with 1 month notice. And guess what they are compelling me to stay:-P

    sukku: Yes agree with u. If they have made a decision try to find a way around it or atleast say it to the face.
    Since he is an old timer I guess nobody had the guts to put it face to face.

    ps: nope it never is:-(

    onlooker: so right & its worse for a man:-(....the laws here are so archaic tht it leaves 1 with very little choice.

  14. shalom: hmmm...having worked in HR in the Middle East u shd be knowing exactly how it works.
    Tho I have to mention tht this is an Indian company...suddenly it becomes crystal clear huh:-D

    amitsarkar: yeah even tho I was just a messenger I felt lousy so imagine the position of the person giving him the news.

    bins: Heehee did ur boss do I do it all the time:-D. And like I told shalom the co i work for is an Indian Co so u can just imagine:-D.
    But to be fair, I have admit tht I have been treated very well out here....yeah everybody knew I was too good for them;-P

  15. Sukku: I'm not able to comment on ur site...its asking me to login into some site other than google

  16. I think it's Loud can comment on that too.

  17. I must say I'm relieved it wasn't for you!!! When I read your title and saw the pic included - I was holding my breath all the way through.

    In total agreement with what you said about it not being nice they notified him through fax!! Not a nice method at all.

    Glad to hear he was more cheerful the next day.

    p.s. did you receive the postcards I sent? Let me know when you get them.

  18. Oh, you quit? So, what's next?

  19. I think the worst was the way it was done, even if it had to be done. I hope he will find another job and do fine, sometimes such shocks bring out the best in us....unexpected inner strength and all, all the best to him. These are bad times, such things are happening everywhere, but when you hear it like this it is so sad.

  20. haha okay...yd u give in ur resignation? changing jobs?

  21. Termination..a bad word and very dirty job to do it,one or our executive director used to say...instead of downsizing why not try to bring more orders and all that...but it is easier said thnan done.We have seen it many times, when our co. was downsizing, and some just cudnt take it, had health problems and like that. Its so shattering, ur whole life turns topsy turvy. BUT I have seen that after 5 yrs, most of the people are better placed now in their lives. But since India didnt have this culture people never expect it and are nevr ready for it.
    Anyway, I just wish him a new job soon:)
    yesterday I read an innovative solution in BL-----decrease the work hrs for all and decrease the salary instead of terminating , I liked the idea.

  22. sukku: ok I'll try tht.

    anjuli: So am I:-)...actually I've given my resignation with 1 month notice but I still wdnt like to be terminated:-S
    Yes...the postcard came yesterday but havent see it yet coz the all mail will come from HO only this evening:-P.

    agnes: Yes I of now on a looooong break:-D

    IHM: yes u have mentioned exactly what I thk...this termination maybe an opportunity in disquise:-)

    sunshine: of now on a long break:-D

    Renu: No question of downsizing here....he was supposed to be bringing in orders. The HO warned him twice but still I dont think they shd have terminated him & tht too in such a fashion.
    And abt tht idea in BL....sounds good especially for women:-)

  23. I have uninstalled loud appeal as I guess it slows down the opening of the page and also I guess it gets pretty confusing. You can check out now and do let me know if there are any problems.

  24. Hellooo...there... I just got back last night...still busy with lot of stuff... will be back to my regular blogging, commenting and chatting routine soon I hope! And the assignment...went well! :D

  25. Hi...I stumbled upon your blog while I was browsing through some one else's blog...must say, i thoroughly enjoyed reading each and every post esp. the ones about your little angles.

  26. felt sad reading it....:(
    Hope he finds a new job!

  27. sukku: hey thanks...will def go comment now:-D

    wannabe: Good to see u back:-D.

    scribbler: Hey thanks!!! Keep it coming coz I never get tired of hearing stuff like tht;-D

    sunshine: Yeah looking forward for it too :-D

  28. abraham: Yeah I knw....can happen to any of us.
    For all we know this may be a blessing in disquise for him:-D

  29. Are you looking for something new or just needed a break?

  30. that was too inhumane.....well termination and such is never easy and worst is wen u r the one to give the shocking news.....they could have dealth with it in a better way...

  31. You quit? Well, all the best for whatever's next :)

  32. Agnes: A looong break as of now:-D

    Ish: U always make me feel nice:-D. Only after seeing ur msg did I write this present one......hmmm ur words have the power to move me, so keep it coming;-P

    enigma: u r right.....but I guess they didnt have the guts to talk with him face to face or maybe nobody wanted to take the responsibility.

    shalom: yep...reasons put up in my next post:-P. And thanks for the best wishes...I REALLY need them. I'm going to be sitting at home 24 hrs;-O


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