I was a “manager” at a major ad agency— that fits several jobs in my work history. One of my best team members was having problems with alcohol addiction, resulting in erratic behavior on the job. I was worried about him— in part, selfishly, because he was a great contributor. Thinking I could leverage the size of our organization and good health insurance plans, I went to my boss looking for rehab options. I was completely unprepared for what happened next.
He quickly shut the door, making sure that no one had overheard me. He put me on the line with HR for detailed instructions on how to fire this employee. Files had to be pulled. Excuses had to be made. Loopholes had to be found in his last evaluations. I was sick. In my attempt to help this guy, I got him fired, lost a valuable employee, and realized that this company would chew me up and spit me out as fast as him if I screwed up.
I wish I could say I told them off, that I couldn’t work for a greedy and shameless corporate pimp that disposed of unwanted workers in that way. But I needed my job too badly to do that.
The cure: live below your means. Way below. Then if you’re ever in the position I was in, you can tell them what they deserve to hear and make your dramatic exit. And post it to youTube.