You’re Fired! What “The Apprentice” Never Taught You About Losing Your Job

While making a mad dash to board an airport train last week, I ran into Stephen —literally ran into him — as we both jockeyed to squeeze ourselves in among the other harried travelers. We had not seen each other since our days as middle managers when we both worked for the same large multinational firm. Stephen was incredibly fun back in those days, as well as ambitious, hard working and among the most brilliant men I knew. Anyone who worked with him for more than 30 minutes could tell that they were in the presence of genius and that Stephen was going straight to the top. His coworkers would joke that they’d all be reporting to him one day. I couldn’t get over how great Stephen looked. He had that same glow about him, that same mischievous gleam in his eyes that told you he had a lot going on in that impressive brain of his. After exchanging a warm embrace and inquiring about the lives of each other’s families, I asked Stephen how things were going at the company, where he was now a vice president. They’d had some recent product recalls and sales quota challenges that I heard he’d been wrestling with and I wondered if the dust was finally settling. As the train doors opened to our terminal, Stephen told me, “I’ve been fired.” “What????” I asked, as I stared at him widemouthed, the disbelief undoubtedly etched on my face. He repeated, “I’ve been fired.” […]

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