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“You’re fired!”

The boss dials his secretary;

“Tell the accountant I want to talk to him.”

“But sir, he’s not in yet.’

“What! It is already twenty to nine and he isn’t in!”

“What’s the big deal; he’s only ten minutes late!” the secretary would be saying to herself.

“I want to see him as soon as he comes in!”

“Ok, sir.”

Five minutes later.

“Sir, you wanted to see me.”

No playing the nice, heaven-bound guy role. “You’re late!” He growls and scans his watch. “You‘re fifteen minutes late!”

“Sir, I was waiting for the bus for an hour and twenty minutes. I left home at half past…”

“I don’t care! I don’t care if you left your house last Christmas! You are fired!”

“But sir, I…”

“You are fired, and that’s final!”

Maybe, just maybe, the chances such a scenario might seem slim. Even the most ardent Lucifer fan wouldn’t be so insensitive! You can’t fire a father of four just like that! You can’t treat him like the suffering maid you kick around the house with impunity! Take my word, people these days go to such great lengths to harm others, firing someone is almost a non-event, which it isn’t.  

A couple broke the news to a civil servant friend not very keen about watching local channels. Who is?

“What do you mean you’ll be fired for being late two days?”

“Fired; you know, like your contract being terminated.”

“But they can’t do that!”

Everyone’s verdict would be, “But they can’t do it!” But they can, in a few months time.

Look, if you enjoy shaving off minutes from your morning office hours I’ve news for you; beat the habit before the plane leaves the tarmac. If proposed amendments to the labor law get the thumbs-up in the House, being late would be no laughing matter. Two days late in a month, and you’d be statistics – in the ‘unemployed’ section.

“You are late!”

“Sir, my little kid was sick and I had to rush him to the…”

“That’s your reason for being late!”

“But sir, my child is very sick.”

“You are fired!” Just like that.

I could imagine bosses craving to flex their muscles; bosses who already drawing the list of employees they’ll nuke.

Believe me, “You are fired!” The last thing any sand soul would want to hear these days. I mean, even being employed with a secure, sustained monthly income, life isn’t getting any easier. Your dinner table top is already more table than dishes. You’re finalizing plans to move your kids to schools with cheaper fees. The doctor’s appointment is still pending, with the doctor still waiting for you to show up. Your wife has been complaining of everything from spinning head, to a rumbling belly, to a creaking back for the past year or so. Your children catch cold very other day. Your landlord has already warned rent would go up by eight hundred birr next month. And your boss says “You’re fired!” amidst this tsunami-powered scenario! It is tantamount to a life behind bars ruling.

Labor leaders are crying foul, because the proposed seem to weigh heavily in favor of the employer. Someone even said the employer should be given the power to fire any employee without any reason!  Well, well, well! Sounds like the famous hating someone for very color of his eyes. But who am I to say that. I know close to nothing about the labor laws. But one thing I know is the transport mess in this capital city of others doesn’t make things as simple as they appear on paper. This city doesn’t stand tall and proud for busses which run on schedule, minibuses which are there when people want them the most, or streets which are driver friendly.

No one denies the workplace discipline these days leaves much to be desired. Quite many offices seem to be like driverless cars. People tell you the employer-employee camaraderie has become sort of a once-upon-a-time children’s story. Workplace discipline has to be restored. Industrious workers have to be rewarded and the irresponsible ones brought into line. In a country where the unemployed crowd is ballooning every year those already employed have to prove their worse.

That said, it doesn’t mean the only way out is by playing hardball. The proposals of the labor leaders have to be considered and debated, not because they have threatened nationwide strikes, but because that is the most intelligent thing to do.

“Why are you leaving your work?” a friend inquires.

“Because I can’t take it with me.” Nice joke. But, if the new amendments go through intact, leaving one’s workplace for good wouldn’t be any close to being a joke. You can’t tell your spouse, “I’m leaving work next week,” and go out for the celebratory cold beer. You’d be probably saying “I’ll be leaving work in three months time.” That’s it; you have to give your employer ninety days notice! He needs only a few minutes to tell you to get lost, and you need three months to ‘get lost’ on your own!

I mean after all everyone is always on the lookout for greener pastures. When you find one the new prospective employers would probably say,

“We can give you two weeks to resign your present position.”

“Would three months be too much?”

That would probably prompt the most hilarious laughter! It just doesn’t’ seem to add up!

And finally this bit of humor.

“Why aren’t you working?”

“The boss and I had a fight and he won’t take back what he said.”

“What did he say?”

 “He said: ‘You’re fired.’” Hmmm.

A boss who takes back his “You’re fired!” outburst deserves some humanitarian prize.

 

Contributed by Ephrem Endale
Contributed by Ephrem Endale