My boss had just brought me into our employer’s office and shut the door.
I waited uncertainly in front of the desk and played with my bracelet.
What’s going on?
They sure looked solemn.
“Joan, you’re being let go today. As soon as we’re done here, we’ll need you to please clean out your desk, because you won’t be coming back on Monday.”
It’s funny now to think about it, because for months I’d stressed about the possibility, but when the day came, I was completely unprepared. I tried to stutter something, but my throat felt like a sandbox and my ears were clogged, so my boss used the silence to gently list my shortcomings.
I know my complete lack of phone skills was in the top three, and so was my unprofessional habit of saying “um” and “yeah”. My inability to seem confident and intelligent to their clients held a lot of weight too, and so did the fact that I had proven hopelessly-unable to follow through on one of my major responsibilities.
My eyes had started welling at some point during his list, so I was handed a tissue and reassured.
“It isn’t personal; it’s just business.”
HELP FOR EMPLOYERS
You wouldn’t have wanted me working for you either.
And now, years later, I’m on a mission to help all the employees I can, to learn what took me so long to figure out.
But I want to help you too. It feels like there’s too much of a divide sometimes, between employees and their bosses; it’s like there’s always lines drawn somehow, and everybody’s got to pick a side.
I want to bring us all together. I want to help them become better for you, and you become better for them, and I want us all to understand and appreciate each other a little bit better.
That sounds sunny and vague, but I’ll show you how it works as we go along.