You're Fired!
by James Glaser
February 4, 2009

I have never heard those words directed at me, but I have been on job sites when those words were spoken with authority. Every time, it wasn't a surprise. Usually the guy was a screw up, or he cost the company a lot of money with one foul-up.

I remember one time a guy drove a front end loader onto a big concrete slab we had just poured, he busted out the form, and it was a real mess. I don't know what that guy was thinking when he did it, but he sure wasn't thinking about the job we were working on. He was fired on the spot and sent down the road. Other guys that were fired over the years were usually just out-and-out bad workers. It wasn't one big mistake, but a series of little constant mistakes that would drive the boss nuts, and one day he would have had enough, and he would tell the guy to hit the road. Nobody would be surprised, not even the guy fired.

Sometimes people wouldn't get fired, but they would be the first laid off, even if they had seniority. If it was a union job, they could have had the union "grieve" the lay off, but usually they knew that everyone else was a better worker. Some people are just bad employees, and they have a life time of lay-offs and firings.

If you look at Wall Street, every place in America should hear the yell of, "YOU'RE FIRED!" That isn't happening though. In fact, the opposite is happening. Bankers are getting a pat on the back and a big check, even though they cost their companies billions of dollars.

Maybe it is because those banker types work in suits, and people are more polite in that industry. They wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. In fact, we are told if those bankers don't get big bonuses, they will quit.

Well, with the economy we are in, I would say let them go. Nobody is hiring right now, and if they were too dumb to know that, the company is better off without them. If they have any brains at all, they would stay even if you handed them a big pay cut. But that isn't how it works on Wall Street. The people there stick together and keep handing out the money.

Of course now, it is our money they keep handing out, and we should be saying something. We are handing out hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars to keep the banks from going under. That means somebody cost those banks the hundreds of billions they lost. In my way of thinking, if it is good enough for the American working man, it is good enough for the American banker.

If you cost the company a pile of money, then you should hear, "You're fired," suit, tie, and all.

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