Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 64 - You're Fired!

I have two favorite shows: Parenthood and Celebrity Apprentice.  If you watch Celebrity Apprentice or Apprentice you are familiar with the phrase, “You’re Fired!”  Each week Donald Trump fires one person off the show based on his own criteria for losing a task.  The person who usually gets fired is the project manager of a team that lost. In other scenarios, Mr. Trump fires the person with the least fight to win.  Yup that’s right, fired for not having enough fire in your heart to win.   Sometimes I understand his decision and other rare times I disagree wholeheartedly.  Business is business and smart financial decisions aren’t always the best decisions from a personal perspective. 
I would be so upset for being fired for reasons beyond my control. But ninety percent of the time, the reasons people are fired are due to the decisions they make. I have had two situations where I was fired and nobody had the kahunas to tell me.  One was officiating.  When the schedule came out I didn't have any games.  That's the way it is in officiating, nobody wants to tell you the truth.  They just don't talk to you anymore.  I know of many Division 1 officials that this has happened to and its just the way it is.  They resent that part of the avocation just as much as I do.  My circumstances were different than most but I will blog about that in another blog. The second situation was similar in that I was never told.  I was fired by my hairdresser!

I had been going to Lisa for seven years.  My kids and I followed her around from hair salon to hair salon.  She eventually became a full-time Domestic Engineer to raise her kids and passed me on to a fellow salon hair dresser.  I went to this new beautician faithfully as I did Lisa and found that she had a number of problems doing what she said she would do.  I believe in giving people second chances so I gave her many.  If my hair wasn't right I would ask to come back and have her do it right.  I think when we pay close to eighty dollars for something we should get what we paid for.  I have stubborn gray hair but a good beautician knows how to work with this. Surely I'm not the only one who has ever gotten gray hair!  

I called for my next appointment and they told me that "Ruth" wasn't in.  I asked to make an appointment and they would say, "Sure, what is your name?"  And then after hanging up I would get a call that said "Ruth" couldn't do it at that time.  They asked me to call back.  I called back the next day and they said they could make an appointment and then asked for my name.  When I gave them my name, they said, she doesn't have time to talk to you right now.  I said ok, just make an appointment for me.  They wouldn't do it and it became clear to me that she didn't want to do my hair anymore.  I asked to speak to Gary the owner and I told him that I couldn't believe that after eight years of coming to his salon that he would allow someone to be so rude.  He said he couldn't make anyone do my hair and didn't offer any solutions.  It was clear that they didn't want my business.

I was really hurt.  I never heard of being fired by a hair dresser.  I paid cash, tipped well and really couldn't understand this poor business decision.  Remember what I said, almost all problems come down to unprofessionalism.  This was my problem and it was clearly due to an unprofessional business owner.  I told my current hairdresser about this story and she has promised to never fire me. I was her first customer at one salon and when she moved to another salon, I moved with her.  The right thing for me to do is be loyal to the people who provide good service and treat me right.  They usually earn that loyalty and I pay handsomely in return. I have learned if someone doesn't care for my business, then my business they-shall-not-have.  [Nottaway Plantation ring a bell?]

Hearing the words, "Your Fired." is better than someone just telling you don't come in and not why.  Being met at the door and told, you can't go in there but not why is confusing. Being fired never feels good but being fired due to no fault of your own feels worse.  We just pick ourselves up and move on.  Learning a lesson along the way.  If we do have the luxury of having a boss who is brave enough to tell you you are fired, there is something to be said for that. Different situations warrant different lessons.  If it is our fault, then what could we have done differently? Not mouthed off to the boss? Not taken home the ball point pens from work? Not gossiped?  And then we can incorporate a new behavior for our next job.  As another one will come along. That's the beauty of the show Apprentice. The people on this show are competing for a job they never had or in the case of Celebrity Apprentice, competing for charity.  Losing on these shows is not necessarily a bad thing, as there is additional comfort in knowing that there are ten more other contestants that will also get fired. 

The one person who Trump needs to fire is his hairdresser! I do like the fact that he incorporates his children into the show.  I like Ivana and Donald, Jr.  but he needs to also fire Eric.  He is giving Eric a chance as his parent and the family helps Eric in his new role as part of the show.  Parents in business always give the children more chances than the plain folk. Remember I said my other favorite show was Parenthood?  On some days don't we wish we could get fired from the job of parenting?  And then on other days we're glad that this is the one job that we will have forever.

Getting fired is nature's way of telling you that you had the wrong job in the first place.
~Hal Lancaster, The Wall Street Journal

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