Sticks and Stones …

Shakespeare said “A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet.”   Does the same thing apply to losing your job?  Here are a few words and phrases that I’ve heard over the years that all basically mean the same thing:  terminated, fired, sacked, canned, separated, axed, RIFed, laid off, whacked, made available to industry, given the opportunity to be successful elsewhere, exploring other business interests, discharged, dismissed, and let go.  Did I miss any?
They all mean the same thing – you don’t work here any more.  Does it really matter which one they use?  Is it better to be separated than discharged?  Discharged generally refers to being asked to leave (add that to the list) but when you’re discharged from the hospital you typically are not unhappy about that.  Some say “terminated” sounds like a Schwarzenegger movie or something from the Sopranos, but what HR department tracks your “available to industry” date?  No, we all call it the Term Date.
There are subtle differences between some.  For instance, Laid Off traditionally had a union connection and it implied a right to be recalled when business picked up again.  RIFed (Reduction In Force) is a job elimination – there is nothing for you to be recalled to.
Other than that, they are all variations on a theme with different levels of sensitivity or compassion mixed in.  As you might have been able to tell, I’m not an overly sensitive guy.
The bottom line is for whatever reason, you don’t work here any more.  Its time to move on, start networking and find out where your are going to work next.  That may be easier said than done, but what’s your alternative, sleep on your mother’s couch?  Let’s get to work.

2 Comments on “Sticks and Stones …”

  1. Some other ways to say it may include being part an outplacement, let’s just say we’re going in a new direction. OR everyone hits their stride, you just hit yours 50 years ago.

    Thank you Emperor’s New Groove!

  2. […] that bank was sold and my department was eliminated – my first RIF. Since then I’ve been RIFed (or whatever you choose to call it) five more times. I’ve been on the wrong side of mergers, acquisitions, downsizings, […]


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