The year was 1989. One year before I sold my communications business. I was okay at hiring people, although the interviews always went far too long. But when it came to firing people, man, I was the worst.
There was a guy named David who worked for me. He had wavy blond hair, soft hands, the hands of a Baptist organist, and a bland expression that set off alarm bells that I didn’t have time to pay proper attention to. The day I fired David for serial nonperformance, (after two sleepless nights of suffering over his fate), he responded to the news by looking straight at me for the very first time, his doughy smushed in nose prominent and a little aggressive, and said: “I don’t care. I have another job, starting tomorrow. I’m outta here.”
I was momentarily crushed. Until I went to his desk, and found the concealed cache of women’s lingerie ads from the newspaper. Not a big deal by today’s internet standards. Enough, then, to give me the creeps and wish I had never hired him to begin with.
Every Friday was “let’s get real” day. Payroll. The time when our little business had either collected a sufficient number of accounts receivable to pay our employees and our bills, or we borrowed more money to make good on the weekly obligation.
What an education.
Not sure why I’m thinking about those old days tonight. I think it has something to do with the cremation services I attended today for my internal editor.