Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Fired up about who's getting fired

  In the National Football League, Black Monday is the day after the regular season ends. It is called ‘Black Monday’ because this is the day that the teams that didn’t make it to the playoffs tend to fire their coaches. I thought the Giant’s coach Tom Coughlin might get fired after the team’s collapse 2 weeks ago against the hated Eagles cost the team a spot in the playoffs, but ownership decided to keep him. It was a reasonable decision since the team won 10 out of their 16 games.

  Tom Cable of the Oakland Raiders led his team to an 8 win - 8 loss season, but lost his job anyway. He was the only coach of a non-losing team to get fired. You might think that he was fired because only winning half his games was a step down for the Raiders, but actually, it was the first time since 2002 that the team had not lost 10 games. You could look it up.

  There is a lot of speculation about why Cable was fired. Some say it was because of his violent temper. Cable allegedly beat both his wife and his girlfriend , though not at the same time and was accused of breaking the jaw of an assistant coach during an argument. Others say that 81 year old Raiders owner Al Davis wants to promote his offensive coordinator, Hue Jackson to head coach rather than lose him to another team. Still others offer the opinion that Davis is senile to fire the coach that has led his team to it’s best record in almost a decade. I think Davis just got tired of having a coach that looked like a member of the Three Stooges.

I think that is former Oakland Raider coach Tom Cable on the left and Curly of the Three Stooges on the right. I don't think they have ever been seen in the same place at the same time.

  I assume that Cable will be able to get a new job, but the sting of rejection will not go away easily. I’ve been fired a couple of times and the thing that bothered me the most was the finality of it. Somewhere you are working tells you you don’t work there anymore and that’s. Once when I was working as a fast food place, I got it in my head to spray the manager with the kitchen spray hose. It was pretty funny and fairly legendary as far as teenage pranks go, but I was fired before the last drop of water hit the floor. That was bad because not only was that my job, it was also my social hangout. When I was a security guard, I was working a few miles from my house in Elizabeth at a supermarket distribution facility and my boss asked me if I would be willing to work at a mall in New Brunswick (40 miles away) for one day. I agreed and when I went back to Elizabeth the day after was asked if I would be willing to work there permanently. I said no since I couldn’t afford that kind of drive on a minimum wage job and was fired before the phone conversation ended. That story had a happy ending. The guard company got caught short of people and gave me an overnight shift at the distribution center as a sub the next week. Since I didn’t fall asleep the whole night, I became a ‘top performer’ and worked there for a couple of years while I went to college.

  I’ve never been laid off, but have been working at places where other people were. At the Bristol-Myers factory, they were moving the operations from New Jersey to North Carolina when they laid off half the 3rd shift. The boss kept reading the names and we all knew they were going by the least seniority. The names stopped at the person hired right after me. A year and half ago at Fisher, they let half the programmers in my department know they would be let go in 4 weeks, including my best friend at the workplace. I’ve never liked working at a place where people were being let go and I left both those jobs as soon as I could.
  I had to fire someone once. A programmer was working for me that thought he should be my boss. He did poor work and one afternoon when I was reviewing a report he was working on, we got in a big argument about how many lines were printed on the report. It was only printing on a 3rd of the page, but he insisted that he was printing 60 lines of data. I started counting the lines, he grabbed the paper out of my hands, ran out of my office, and told me to get off his ‘F***N’ case. It was pretty loud and we both ended up in my boss’s office. If this guy had just said that he was having a bad day or he had taken his green pill instead of his red pill (he had lots of pills for back pain) or any other excuse, I’d have let the whole thing slide. But instead, he said that next time he would be a bigger man and overlook my obvious issues. He seemed pretty surprised when I fired him with my next sentence. It bothered me for a long time, but I learned and the next time I had a situation where someone I was supervising stopped respecting me, I just had as little as possible to do with them. Eventually, they got the message, got a new job, and moved on.

  Another firing of sorts occurred to Punjab provincial governor Salman Taseer in Pakistan. He was killed last week when his bodyguard shot him in the back with at least 20 rounds of automatic gunfire. His suspected killer said that he killed him because of his opposition to a law that would order death for insulting Islam. Some Pakistani religious scholars are saying that no one should pray or express regret over the murder and lawyers are showering the suspected killer with rose petals. Now that’s really getting fired!

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