Good Guys Get Fired First

How to ensure that your name is top of the layoff’s list at the end of the month? Be good at your job.

Those who were good at their job used to get promotion, nowadays they get fired. It’s a growing trend. Getting fired for being too good. You’re upsetting the balance! It’s bad for the team! At least, that’s what you would believe if you read the kind of nonsense that gets posted as fact on the job-oriented social media of the corporate state.

One can learn to tolerate the idiocy of job-oriented website linkedin thinking that “Ph.D” or “M.Sc.” indicates the candidate is attempting to spread URL spam, what else would one expect from a social-media advertising and mass-surviellance platform that masquerades as an IT start-up? But over on Daily Worth – another job-oriented packet of crap unworthy of backlinks – they are discussing the best way managers can fire thier star performers.

Ladyboss Joelle sums it up succinctly, “No one is irreplaceable. It may be difficult and time consuming, but you can hire a replacement if necessary and train them to work the way you need them to in order to make your team effective and successful. I’ve been through this when speaking to my staff member numerous times didn’t work. I even had HR try to do an intervention. Getting rid of this person was painful at first but totally worth it. Being the manager means sometimes making the hard decision and seeing it through.

Let’s hear that again: “Getting rid of this person was painful at first but totally worth it.” How satisfying. You can almost imagine her now, her errent child’s buttocks high over her knee the lash swinging. “This is going to hurt me more than it’ll hurt you”. Yeah, right.

Soft skills they call it. Getting rid – her words – of somebody who is good at their job because you are not at yours and you don’t like them. Sounds rather hard. As always, we consult Wikipedia as our first port of call into trying to figure out what these Daily Worth guys are talking about. We search “Soft skills”. Wikipedia appears and falls back on theology, reduced to introducing the subject as being some sort of “inner knowing“.

Inner knowing? Are Wikipedia shitting us? Allegedly the most highly desired of all possible skills, in strong demand in what few job markets remain in the post-hiring era, and we could think we’ve mistyped and stumbled upon the Wikipedia article in a which a high-mileage acid-head is trying to explain the experience to a christian conservative. This kind of inner knowing is, one presumes, difficult to put to the test. Maybe that’s why they only award degrees to people with hard skills? The kind of people who can exteriorise their knowlegde into useful productive work. People who get involved with the outer-doing kind of active participation in the project, as opposed to the inner-knowing assholeyness of sitting on your fat ass and browsing the web all day.


On BBC Capital, job-orientation writ large, where having a job is considered not merely more important than having a family but is raised almost to the status of holiness, they naturally agree with whatever the bosses say. In this next article they take up Joelle’s position in order to slag off smartarses who can do the job better than them, and encourge the herd to sack the lot of them.

Why would anybody bother studying for an advanced degree if this is the kind of reception you’re going to get? Insecure junior managers who can barely disguise their satisfaction at proving somebody else wrong – whatever it takes. Major state-owned publications egging them on. Entire offices organised along the principle of religiously following whatever social-media gossip is flavour-of-the-month.

Interviewer: Do you know anything about the job?
Job-Seeker: It’s my passion.
Interviewer: Have you friended us on boatbook?
Job-Seeker: Yes, and liked.
Interviewer: You’re hired.

How about using the star-performer as an example to motivate your under-achievers? Reward them. Absent budget to pay meaningful rewards a savvy, in-the-know wink-wink nudge-nudge, manager can always afford to give a little leeway. Tell your light-weights to stop whining and pull their socks up. Yes we need examples, but examples to follow somewhere other than the door, cards in hand a tear in the eye. What do you think your team is really thinking when you fire the top guy? Are they, like you, secretly glad to see a smartarse bought down, or are some of them secretly thinking, “well there goes my job security then”. All of them, though, will certainly be thinking that henceforth they had better do what you tell them. Or else, that could happen to them. And that’s really what it’s all about isn’t it? This management malarky. Hierarchical power = win.

The art of persuasion they call it. Do what I tell you. Or else.

The Great Chocolate Punctuality Swindle
One of the current fads is to give away chocolate in the office. Usually cheap mass-produced chocolate secretly paid for out of your own salary. At least, it is in IT departments. The Chocolate Punctuality Theory holds that if you give away small amounts of free chocolate people are more likely to turn up for work on time. The can exclusively reveal that the Pavlovian Chocolate Punctuality Meme did not arise spontaneously from among the great brainstorming minds of linkedin influencers as many believe, but was in fact invented by an enterprising Albanian chocolate salesman who paid social-media platforms a lot of money to disguise his advertisments as pearl of wisdom insights from a “thought leader”. You’ve been had.

The Obama Cookbook
First steal some oil
Reduce fat on the meat by firmly rubbing in sanctions
When the ribs are all nicely poking through dice and barbeque for 20 minutes at 3000C.
Collect up any spare oil for future use

Related Anti-Job
Website Review: LinkedIn

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