Mack rushed off the elevator of the 19th floor toward his cubicle. He arrived without anyone noticing that he was a few minutes late (or so he had hoped). He noticed that his voicemail light was bright red on his phone. Nothing unusual or so it seemed. He punched in his code and it was his boss asking him to stop by his office.
Mack hung up the phone wondering what Ray, his boss, could possibly want. He recalled the day that Ray hired him over 5 years ago.
It was a great day.
Mack thought this was the shot he had been waiting for. Yet today he had many doubts. Mack wasn’t if sure if this job was the best fit for his strengths. After all, the main reason he took this job in the first place was for the income potential. “Listen to us and we will make you a lot of money. When you succeed, we succeed,” Ray said on Mack’s first day on the job. Now it felt more like your failure is causing our failure.
Mack knocked on Ray’s door.
“Come in and have a seat Mack,” said Ray. Ray was a short, stocky gentleman in his late 40’s. He was a firecracker. He knew how to take action and get things done. While the employees admired him, they also feared him a little as well. He expected the best no matter the situation.
Today Ray locked perplexed. It was almost as if Ray was at a loss of words. A rare sight for the fiery boss. Something was going on and whatever it was it didn’t seem good.
“Mack, I am going to just cut to the chase. We are letting you go.” Mack’s heart sank. Even though he worked mostly for commissions, his family depended on the salary draw that he received to supply the family’s basic needs of clothes, food, and transportation.
Ray continued talking, but all Mack heard was muffled words as his mind was elsewhere. Mack finally tuned back in as Ray said, “Due to company confidentiality polices unfortunately the termination is immediate. We have to have you leave today.” Ray stood up offered his hand and said, “It’s not personal Mack. It’s just business.”
It sure felt personal. After all, could anything else go wrong? I put in extra hours for this company and this is what I get in return, thought Mack. Beyond that was the pain of telling his wife. Could this be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. This news could potentially be crushing to their marriage, he thought.
Mack headed back to his desk. As he got closer, he heard his desk phone ringing, but had no desire to answer it. He picked up an empty cardboard box that once had reams of paper in it and he began to place all his belongings in the box.
Surprisingly, Mack did not not have a whole lot of personal belongings. The last item he saw was a certificate pinned to the cubical wall. He pulled out the thumbtack and took a closer look. It was an Employee of the Month certificate from two years ago.
He remembered that time vividly. He landed one of the biggest client’s the firm had ever obtained. He received much praise for that accomplishment. Too bad he also lost that large client six months ago during the financial collapse. He said his goodbyes to his fellow co-employees and then walked out the door for the last time.
He headed down the elevator and out to the subway station. All the while, wondering how we was going to break the news to his wife.