Proven Things You Can Do To Avoid Being Fired
Don't Follow The Example, Be The Example
(WRITER’S NOTE: this story contains graphic text that may be disturbing to people with too much pride and not willing to go ‘the extra mile’ in following the advice I am sharing to keep themselves employed by their current employer. K.A.).
Okay. You need to get a pen and paper to copy down my thoughts in this story on “Things You Can Do To Avoid Being Fired,” unless you are with PC printer and can print this out for later reference, because what I am going to share with you WILL help you keep the job that you now have. And in today’s business world, a job is a valuable blessing. And you know that I am right in saying this.
In the not-so-distant past, there was a mystical ideology called “The Brass Ring,” a metaphor that all working people were told to reach for by working hard, flying right and soon they would be able to reach this brass ring that stood for success, happiness, prosperity and peace of mind. Do you know just how many millions of hard-working, salt of the earth, solid citizens have worked themselves almost to death--trying to grasp the illusive prize, the brass ring? There are so many that they cannot be counted. And all because they, like me, actually bought into the school of thought by just “toeing the line,” respecting the boss, and doing good work would somehow insure them for a bright future leading to a happy retirement. I admit it. I was a fool for believing this “pie in the sky” called The American Dream.
And by almost killing myself at my job of 23 years never got me any promotions, any substantial raises or any more respect from the company owners. I never thought that a family-owned business would turn on me for doing a good job five days a week--and sometimes on the weekend, but all the promotions and raises went to the business owner’s son, who was much younger than me and even though had not put in the years in my business, nor had the experience, was suddenly named as my general manager. I remember that day very well when the announcement was made that this kid, the company owner’s son, would manage my company and two other branch divisions. Another reason I remember this ‘dark day,’ was it was on this day that I saw with my own two eyes my dream of being promoted and receiving ‘some’ recognition for my dedication to my job literally go up in black smoke--much like the smoke belching from an erupting volcano.
Talk about feeling let down. I was let down lower than ‘down.’ I was below the bottom of self-esteem. Instantly I had thoughts of, ‘what’s the use?’, ‘why should I even care?’ and ‘what’s left for me now?’ and I believed in my heart that these were all merited thoughts. But I learned a valuable lesson from that stab to my heart: Never get your hopes up for promotions or raises if you are not related to the business owner. You may be in the same boat that I was in and be employed by a company who’s relatives are working along side of you. If you are, do not be amazed if one day, of the business owner’s relatives becomes the man or woman who you will answer to from now on. Take this story as a fair warning.
Enough about me and my encounter with Judas Iscariot’s brother. I am not here to talk about me, but talk directly to you and how you can benefit from the priceless advice that I am going to pass along to you for FREE. No charge at all. Just a simple-but-very-effective collection of personal tips on “Things You Can Do To Avoid Being Fired,” and my only charge, if you call it that, would be that you use these tips and keep your position at your present company for years and years to come. That will be thanks enough for me.
It’s a fact that prior to 2011, say as far back as 2000, big corporations would terminate (meaning “fire”) people at the drop of hat. For no reason to speak of. And did you also know that for the most part, that is still the unspoken norm today--to let people hit the bricks for little things that years ago, wouldn’t mean a hill of beans. Things have changed in the workforce and business world in America.
Oh you can talk all day about worker’s rights and how workers today are much-better off and treated better than they were in the 1060’s, but friend, have you studied the latest unemployment ratios of how many unemployed people were fired for allegedly-committing so-called transgressions that their company found as grounds to let them go? You will be stunned at the percentage of people who were happily-employed on Friday and come Monday, hello, unemployment line! Just because the big company that they were working for, found a way to rid themselves of the employee’s services and thus save the company some insurance payments as well as a pension plan. We are not living in a merciful nation as it pertains to industry and business, my friends.
If you are relaxed, enjoying a cup of coffee, and have your feet up, then we can start with my personally-tested “Things You Can Do To Avoid Being Fired”
1. COME IN EXTRA-EARLY - and this tip had been tried not only by yours truly, but numerous successful workers over the years. This is not ‘brown nosing’ to the boss, but a security policy that, if used correctly, will help when the company compiles a list of people who they want to ‘axe.’ There are no certain times that you need to show up early for work. Some successful employees come in an hour, maybe an hour and a half early, start their job without gossiping to coworkers or sipping coffee. They just keep quiet and start work. The boss will ask you, “Bill, why are you here early? You buckin’ for a day off?” You smile and reply, “No, sir. I wanted to give this project some extra-care for the clients who asked us to do this for them are really important people.” Your boss’ mouth will fly open at your self-starting, selfless attitude. I can see job security in your future.
2. DO NOT OUT-DRESS - your coworkers--whether you work in an office or factory. Coworkers are a mysterious collection of folks. Always dress down to make your friends at work feel good about themselves and by doing this, you will not be accused of wanting to outdo anyone. Bosses like that in an employee.
3. DO NOT OUT WORK - your coworkers. Be a team-player. Although your work is far better in quality and looks than that of your coworkers, do NOT try to draw attention to your work from the boss when he passes your work area. This means NO loud coughing, penny whistles, explosions near your work area or flashing lights that spell out: “Boss! Stop Here To See My Work”
4. DO NOT BE A LOUD-TALKER - at break time. This is a direct turn-off to your coworkers. Be a good listener and pay attention to what others are saying. Respect their opinions. If asked for your thoughts, be brief, soft-spoken, and always end your comment with, “Whatever you guys think is great with me” Companies of all sizes love someone who doesn’t stand-out as a “glory hog.”
5. BE CORDIAL - to coworkers and visitors to your office or factory. Smiling goes a long way with company men who are paid to terminate people. Psychologically, it’s tougher to fire a happy man or woman than it is to terminate a sad person. The one doing the terminating will have a long-lasting guilt complex if he were to mess up and fire a happy man. Think about it. You might even softly whistle a song while you work, but DO NOT whistle or sing TOO LOUDLY this might offend people in your workplace who are not as musically-talented as you.
6. GIVE CREDIT - to others even when YOU achieve high marks in your workplace. One thing you do not want is the ‘green monster’ raising it’s ugly head to make others jealous of you. A jealous coworker is more dangerous than a terminated employee who returns seeking payback with an AK-47. A jealous coworker can taint and hamper production. So be quick to say, “Awww, it wasn’t a big deal--even though I lost my family during the five months of working seven days a week, I feel it was a team project, boss.” Hey, your bosses and coworkers will remember this selfless attitude when and if it comes time to downsize your company.
7. VOLUNTEER - for any and all special work projects. Even if that means dressing up like a Polar Bear to be a mascot representing your company in the Christmas parade, do it. Be the first to volunteer to give blood; man a roadblock to solicit funds for people overseas; coach a little league team; join a chorus to sing your company’s jingle and when you sense that your coworkers are getting a bit testy by YOU doing all the volunteer work, you simply explain, “Hey, I was taking these hits for the team, guys, so you all could have the weekend off with your wives, children, poker club and bird watching meetings.” Most coworkers will pat you on the back for thinking this much of them.
8. BE QUICK TO AGREE - to do any added work for the company, even if it means you have to swallow your pride. Remember, your job may be on the line soon, so keep this as your focus when the boss asks, “Who would like to start cleaning our restrooms after work? Now, you don’t have to do this, and it will not pay extra, I am just trying to save us some money.” That last statement your boss said is a give-away that cutting jobs is just around the corner. So cleaning the restrooms is a blessing in disguise when the ‘termination committee’ meets to decide who is going to be let go. When YOUR name is mentioned, your boss will suddenly state, “Now that Bill, he will do anything I ask of him--even got him to cleaning all of our restrooms saving us a good $13,000.00 a year on janitorial services” The ‘termination committee’ will look at each other, clear their throats, straighten their ties and say, “Hey, let’s let that Bill stay on with us. Not many structural engineers with a degree in calculus will clean the restrooms. Bill is staying.” Now aren't you glad that you cleaned those restrooms that weren't really that nasty to begin with?
9. NEVER TALK NEGATIVELY - about your company to ANYONE. Even your best friend. People have ways, when their neck is on the chopping block, to let certain information slip to the bosses about a man who constantly degrades the company and they might be talking about YOU. Always keep a good word on your lips for the man you work for. Even if he forgets to cut you a check for a hard-week of work that cost you a special night with the wife or girlfriend. The boss is only human, and give him a break. One day when jobs are being phased out, your job might be kept active.
10. SAVE UP SOME CASH - and for no reason, take your entire department out to lunch. Don’t do it often or you might go broke, just do this one day as a spur-of-the-moment goodwill gesture. Your coworkers will be amazed at how giving you really are and some may joke with you, “What’s in this for you, Bill?” You grin, chuckle, and reply, “Oh, just the satisfaction of doing something for my friends.” And it wouldn't hurt if the day you plan your lunch outing, take the boss or bosses out with your department. Talk about a home run! Bill, you are looking fine to the higher-up’s and the guys and girls who work shoulder-to-shoulder with you.
11. TAKE THE BLAME - for a coworker who made an error in his work. This shows that you have compassion. Your boss will be stunned as he asks, “Bill, why are you taking the fall for Jim? This isn't even your project!” Now you just stand firm and say, “Yes sir, but Jim has been really giving his all for the company and I didn’t want to see him in trouble.” Silence will engulf your work area. And Jim will not be in trouble, but you might be called to the boss’ office for a mild reprimand, but don’t take it personal. Your boss has not seen this trait in any of his employees so he is just curious about why you chose to take the heat for Jim, who you don’t even know that well.
12. STAY LATE - every chance you get. And if asked by the boss, “Anyone want some overtime this evening? I got a few little jobs I need getting out.” Give your coworkers a chance to respond, then quickly raise your hand and say, “No problem, boss. I will do it for you. And forget about the overtime pay. I enjoy this type of work!” Well, I admit, that your boss and some of your coworkers might draw the conclusion that you are not mentally stable, but that will pass. This is just another way to seal your job security. And you might get to take a few days off to see a therapist--paid for by your company. You get to talk to this “professional” in a nice, air-conditioned office, drink coffee, and chat about yourself and why you choose to do these unorthodox things at your job. But DO NOT reveal the real reason why you are doing them. Just say that you like to work and doing things for others. This in itself may sound foolish in 2011, the “selfish decade,” but stick to your convictions and you just might be one of the people your company keeps working when that dreadful day of cutting jobs comes to your office door.
Okay, friends. I think that I have adequately covered most every aspect of “Things You Can Do To Not Get Fired,” and I want you to, if you try these tips, to put your heart into them. They just might prove valuable to you if you want to keep your job. You do want to keep your job, right?
I am not about to make you a promise looking through ‘rose-colored glasses,’ but I am going to level with you. If you do try these job-saving tips, you might encounter some fun-making at the hands of your coworkers, family, friends, even your minister. But be strong and determined. Your efforts will not be overlooked. But you got to do some or most of these tips on a regular basis--that is if you know for sure that your company is thinking about down-sizing or cutting jobs. Make absolutely sure of this before you act on these tips.
And if your company is not about to down-size or terminate employees, what’s the harm of just following the advice in these tips anyway? What harm will it do?
You might end up fitting the motto: “Don’t Follow The Example, Be The Example.”
Are you ready? Get set! Work!