Please Stop Using the ‘Going In A Different Direction’ Pretext to Fire People: An Open Letter To Anybody’s Boss

Dear Anybody’s Boss,

Please do not ever again fire or otherwise deny someone employment under the tired old pretext of “going in a different direction with this role” (or any of its cousins, e.g. “internal restructuring”, etc.)

Of course, definitely do not use this pretext to fire someone illegally, but especially if you really do need to let someone go for a legitimate and non-discriminatory reason, then especially in that case, please do not use the exact same pretext that a criminal may use to fire someone illegally without detection.

In short: please do not let someone who would commit such a crime use you as cover for their misdeeds.

Especially because you are not a self-righteous, pathologically ignorant, insecure, and sanctimonious bigot; and especially because you revile the criminal acts of those who commit such crimes; especially because you truly are a good person, then please, please do not ever allow yourself to be mistaken for a common criminal by using the exact same pretext that they use.

Please, please let that be just their thing, so that it will eventually become just a polite way for them to confess that they are firing someone illegally, and eventually used in a court of law as such.

I thank you in advance for your consideration of the above.

Sincerely,

Daniel L. Scholten, a.k.a. “The Walrus”

18 Comments

  1. No shit. That pathetic excuse was used to fire the people that hired me on at TNT Crane & Rigging (Yes, I’m name dropping now that I’ve left them and I am still pissed off at them). That left me under the supervision of that tyrannical boss I have mentioned time and time again.

    Luckily I got out before they had a chance to fuck me over.

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      1. Going great actually. Three months ago today was my last day at TNT and I’m coming up on three months at my new job. All is well. They have given me the necessary tools and accommodations to do my job efficiently and effectively. They love me here.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s great news! Keep us all posted. I love your blog, and admire your honesty. I think you’re a great role model for autistic men, especially. I actually find myself wondering how you would handle the kinds of situations I’m trying to handle. 🙂

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  2. I hate “We’re going a different direction.” SO much. Mostly because when my husband was trying to leave his shitty retail job that he’d worked at for two freaking decades, this is the answer a lot of hiring managers would give him. “We like you buuuuut we’re going in another direction.”

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    1. That’s terrible. It’s so crazy that they use it and we accept it and we all know it’s bullshit. It’s like watching a really bad card trick done really badly by your drunk uncle at Thanksgiving. 😦

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      1. It happened so often he was pretty much resigned to stay working for his asshole boss FOREVER. And that, I think, would’ve killed him through stress and depression and all kinds of shit. Fortunately, a friend/ex-manager was able to lend him a hand and get him the fuck out of there. He doesn’t make as much money, but the hours are better, he’s closer to home and he’s a LOT happier.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, I was really worried about him towards the end because his boss at Old Job was making his life absolutely miserable. He was working crazy insane hours and because he was on salary, he didn’t get paid overtime for any of it. He would come home at least once a week with a crazy amount of stuff to do for work that he didn’t have time to get done AT work and it always pissed me off that he wasn’t getting paid for the work he did at home. He was always griping about his boss and how horrible things were but he felt like he had no options since every freaking interview he went on they A)decided to go in a different direction, or B) said “Oops sorry. We’re in a hiring freeze now. SORRY!” or C) said “Sorry. We like you but you’re overqualified and want too much money.” It was super depressing.

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      3. Ugh! That’s rough, and all too common. I find that whole salary trap very weird. The idea is that a company is essentially buying you like a slave to be at their beck and call, and if you complain or slack off, they’ll just replace you with another slave. Now, if you really love what you’re doing then that’s just a paid vacation, but how many who do it really see it as such? Very weird.

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      4. I told him not to do it. He got a slight yearly raise for being salaried and I told him it wasn’t worth it, but he didn’t listen and there was nothing we could do about it once he got on salary.

        “The idea is that a company is essentially buying you like a slave to be at their beck and call, and if you complain or slack off, they’ll just replace you with another slave.”

        That’s all retail is..especially once you get higher up into like management and stuff. The companies don’t give a crap because if you quit or get fired, there’s another mile long line of people waiting for your job anyway. You’re easily replaced, no matter how much praise, awards, etc are heaped on your head. Hubs got told ALL THE EFFING TIME how great he was, how much they loved him, how much the district staff loved him, etc. But when he turned in his resignation it was all “Don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.” and they didn’t pay out the money they should have for his paid (but unused) vacation days which would’ve been a good chunk o’ change since he earned vacation days faster than he could use them due to their rules about when you could and could not take vacation time.

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      5. Retail is not for the weak of heart or stomach. It will chew your ass up, spit you out and laugh in your face, daring you to come back for more. I did it for about 12 years (ages about 16 to around age 28) and that’s why I have the job I have now. Because I didn’t go to college (it wasn’t even an option really) and the only experience I have (job wise) is retail and food service. And I’ll be DAMNED if I go back to either one of those. Nope. Just not worth it for the long hours and shitty pay. I still barely make more than what I could make working retail, but the environment is better (mostly), I get to choose when I work (because I’m a sub) and if I ever choose to go back “permanent” (assigned to a single kitchen), I could easily do it and have my pick of kitchens because my dept is chronically understaffed. Our district is building TWO new middle schools in the next couple of years (believe me, we need them badly) and they’re GOING to need to staff those middle school kitchens with probably 12-14 people (I’m assuming. There’s some formula the state gives them to tell them how many people should be working in each kitchen based on the student population of that school) who have to come from SOMEWHERE. And that includes 2 managers and probably 2 asst mgrs as well. Which means if somebody wants to move up they’ll be able to, but again..that person will have to replaced as a warm body. So unless and until they’re able to replace everybody, they’re GOING to need subs to fill in. And even then they’ll STILL need subs because we have an insanely high call-out-sick rate in our dept. Like in any given month, over a 30 day period, at least 2/3s of the staff will call out sick at some point. That’s a LOT of fucking people calling out fucking sick on a regular basis.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Two thirds! Man, sounds like your higher ups need some sort of intervention. Have you though of becoming a Navy Seal? Sounds like you’ve had plenty of training. You’d have to learn to use guns and bombs and stuff, but I think you’d get paid a lot more. Seriously though, you have my respect. 🙂

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      7. There’s not a lot they can do about it unfortunately. As a ‘permanent’ employee, you get 5 paid days off per school year from the district and 5 paid days off per school year from the state. And if you don’t use them, they roll over to the next year. So there’s probably room every month for at least half the department to take a paid day off and I’m sure they do.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t worked since 2000, and I started that job 3 months after high school waaaaaaay back in 1986. Nope, never went to college. Didn’t need it. When I had to stop working in 2000 I was making $37,500/year with full benefits.
    I’ve heard that the job market sucks big time now.

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    1. Thanks for sharing that. I work in IT and live in an area where there are lots of IT jobs, so I’m not too worried about finding another job. But keeping the damn job has always been my sore spot. I am probably one of the few aspies who actually do well in an interview, but I have worked really hard to acquire a set of social skills that are effective in that context. Unfortunately, they have never been especially effective at getting me through the day-in-day-out sort of high-stakes interactions that are so common in the work place. However well I muddle through them, sooner or later one goes South, and then things start to snowball.

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    2. It does. And $37,000 a year is barely anything now. You couldn’t afford to buy gas on that kind of salary, let alone food and pay bills or live in a decent apartment/house. It sucks. I mean, we’re pulling down around $70,000 a year between the two of us and some months, we barely make it. Not because we live extravagant lifestyles, but because that’s just how it goes.

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