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    Fired by the 'captain of industry'

    An employee being terminated deserves some level of respect

    He strode toward me, his eyes directed at my own. 

    “I’m sorry to tell you that I have to let you go,” he said. “Things just aren’t working out. Your performance is simply unsatisfactory.” 

    My reaction was immediate and it was negative. Myriad questions popped into my head in milliseconds:

    “I have never been fired from any job in my life. What justifies this decision?”

    “How is it appropriate to fire me when I have never received a heads-up that I wasn’t doing everything expected of me?”

    “Why would I be fired in the airport?” 

    “Who the heck is this guy who’s firing me, anyway?”

    Then the rational part of my brain took over. As I was seated in the airport, waiting to board a flight, I noticed that this man who was walking toward me—while he was speaking these upsetting words—wore an expensive fitted suit, sported an expensive haircut, and had one of those Bluetooth ear plugs on his ear and a smartphone in his hand.

    This chap, who I quickly came to name “The Captain of Industry,” was not firing yours truly. What a relief!

    What The Captain was doing was terminating one of his employees over the phone, as he paced back and forth at the gate while awaiting the same flight I would soon be boarding.

    Caught in the line of sight

    Peter J. McDonnell, MD
    He is director of The Wilmer Eye Institute, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, and chief medical editor of ...

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