Saturday, August 8, 2009

End Of The Line

What would you do when confronted with this sign? Surely you would simply change lane right away. Easy.

But this experience was never easy for the three people under me this week. They suddenly found their lane was blocked and there is no way to go but take another path.

This was not the first time I did this. I have fired several people in the past. But doing this very unpleasant job is never easy even with much experience. It is never simple to tell a person to leave, even with all the valid and varied reasons: incompetence or dishonesty, redundancy, downsizing or closure.

I cannot forget the look in their faces when I broke the news to them. No matter how kind and humane I did it, the news still fell like a heavy rain drenching their spirit. The glow in their eyes was suddenly snuffed like a candle light blown by a strong, unforgiving wind. Encouraging words that there is life after this may have sounded like a distant echo. It was hard to comprehend. It was irrelevant at the moment.

Yes I know that justice was served. Between me and my God, He knows I just did my work. But at the end of the task I cannot help but lament. It was never easy to break someone's heart, much more, someone's dreams and aspirations. But in times like this when I was left with no other option but to carry it out, I have to do it with a strong heart.

It seems just like yesterday when I nurtured them with encouragement and motivating words. I took care of them, honed their skills, and stoked their eagerness to learn. Between me and my God, He knows I did my best. Now it is the end of the line. I was writhing with pain. Mine was just miniscule compared to theirs. The agony I felt was nothing in contrast to them wondering what lies ahead.

I cannot comfort them but I hope they find solace in these verses from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.


Ron said...

SS, I can't even imagine myself doing what you had to do. The emotional stress for you is just as much as those you fired--I'm sure of it. But being a good leader, you had to do what you did. That's why you're a leader.

Beautifully written! I felt every word!


SearchingSoul said...

Thank you very much, Ron, for understanding my predicament. I could really use some reassurance from friends. It's a lonely world when one should do what is unpopular but necessary. Your sensitivity to human emotions made you a cut above the rest and it's truly an honor to meet a blog friend like you. Thank you, again.

Dan Denardo said...

SS, I've been on both sides of this equation. Being on EITHER side is terribly difficult. The good news is that each time I was in this situation (either side) I was in God's hands. And when I was told to take a "different lane", God had a better plan for me.


Deboshree said...

Hello my dear friend,

This must have been terribly hard for you. I can't even imagine what they must have felt. But I guess you must be in a position where if things have to be done, there are no two ways about it.
I know you must be feeling guilty and sad but let's hope for the best, shall we?
There must be a reason behind this my dear friend.
Let it go. Some things are just too painful to hold on to.


Lesley said...

Oh Ss, I'm so sorry. Knowing that you are carrying out your job doesn't make this an easier task for a caring person like yourself. It is an unenviable task and I'm struggling to find any words to comfort you. I'm not a Christian but the words from Ecclesiastes seem to be just right.

Anonymous said...

Never an easy task...

kanishk said...

It's a lonely world when one should do what is unpopular but necessary

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