Unemployment Awkward: Face to Face with the Former Boss

Running into the person who fired you is kind of like running into an ex (the one who dumped you, of course). You ideally would look your best-10 pounds lighter, having a great hair day, wearing your hottest new outfit. You would have a fabulous new job (or relationship, or both) to brag about.

Unfortunately, you usually run into your ex when you're sweaty, haven't bothered to brush your hair, and are carrying a load of laundry and perhaps a pint of Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby. You probably smell.

Likewise, it's pretty much a given that you'll run into your former boss, aka "the one who fired you," in less than idyllic circumstances.

It's probably for that reason that I became certain that my nemesis was on a flight I recently took from West Palm Beach to New York City. I wasn't paying a lick of attention, and then suddenly I was right next to her. Her head was down, revealing that particular shade of brassy blonde hair with the dark roots. She was reading a collection of fashion magazines. Her nails were that coral color I couldn't get out of my head, and honed to sharp points.

It all seemed like bad destiny-including the fact that I was trapped right next to her as the man in front of me wrestled his bag into an overhead compartment.

If she happened to look up, and I knew she would, what in the world could I possibly say?

But when she did look up, it wasn't her. Not this time.

Still, I know that someday it will be, and I'd like to be prepared.

Back when I was first laid off I had revenge fantasies of tripping her on a flight of stairs, throwing a martini in her face, or orchestrating her firing, which I would then somehow witness. Not that I'd really do any of that, but ... it felt good to imagine.

Now that it's 2010 and I'm going to be a much better person and all, I'm just wondering, have you ever run into the person who fired you? What happened?

And if you haven't ... what would you do if you did? Share your stories in the comments below.

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October 11 2011 at 5:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I worked for a company for 7 year's. was told at meetings that i am a hard worker and that I'm on time everyday and come in early and stay late. three time employment of the month is a good worker and got along with everyone. I realy like my job.I was told to go into another feild of work.

January 29 2010 at 7:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan Hart

Of course people don't feel they deserved to be fired.No one indivdual should be able to fire someone.On their own Mis-judgement.That's the problem with Corporate people nowadays.People in upper mangement,like to play God,because it makes them feel like they're better and they're not.Being fired is a negative thing dude.Being are part of a mangement team,who fires to please your company,for whatever reason.It doesn't matter.It's never pleasant and never good.If your company is always looking to fire someone to better the company,perhaps the company you are working for is no good.And that is a reflection upon you.
I wouldn't brad about it dude.It's sad that you get rid of people.And Yes I do agree with you,on one thing,sometimes people need to find something better.
But that doesn't make it right.
Maybe next time you loose your job you might be looking for a new one where the person you fired(for whatever stupid reason)Is part of Human resources.
It's not always the best measure,perhaps as mangement there are other ways to solve problems,always getting rid of people is not the answer.
Yes I sound Bitter.You damn right,I have been mis-judged by people in upper mangemnet.Not once but many times.
And yes I've found better jobs.But this day and age,things are hard on everyone and just to shit-can someone to better yourself or the company is wrong.
Yes,ok,maybe sometimes it good for both parties,Sometimes people need to change their employer.
But if a company fires a person because they feel they don't deserve their job,perhaps the company doesn't deserve that person.
Good Luck Dude.

January 29 2010 at 4:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Now this one sucks, I got laid off do to downsizing! Sure come to find out the boss hired his daughter to take my place AND I even trained her for my job not knowing! But that's ok I'm so glad I'm out of there :)

January 29 2010 at 1:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My story is a little different. I quit my job because my boss was an 40 something year old lady who thought she could act like a 21 year old, and hung out with the young blonde who worked where I worked. She played favorites and was an all around unpleasant woman when it came to being fair about treatment, and when I quit, soon after (roughly 3-6 months) the business closed down. I wasn't overjoyed - I would hate to revel in someone else's misfortune. Not to mention, those two weren't the only ones working there who were being affected. Anyway, at my new, BETTER job, my ex-boss comes in looking raggedy, a far cry from her glitzy, two-faced demeanor she used to hold as manager. She has been out of work since the place closed, and she is shopping in MY domain. I was running customer service (far more important than the jobs she gave me) and checked her out. She was trying to act fake because she thought I was living poorly as I was as a struggling teen on their own when working with her. Good when people see that you're doing well despite their (hopes) expectations. She even made mention that she should apply to my job (since she loves shopping there so much) to be a manager. HA! Cold day in hell. Needless to say, I didn't pass that message along.

January 29 2010 at 12:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

@ Dan Hart - I can understand people being fired from a job, or even two, for no reason. When you get to the point that companies KEEP firing you "for no reason," you may want to either change the kind of employment you're seeking or take a good long look at yourself. Especially if you consider being disliked as "no reason." You may be in need of an attitude adjustment.

January 29 2010 at 7:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to byndthenrm's comment
Kok Hong

I disagree with you. In a lot of cases the firing is a result of office politics that take precedent to productivity.

January 29 2010 at 2:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan Hart

Until you walk in someone elses shoes perhaps you should keep your "Attitute ajustment remarks to yourself"

January 29 2010 at 5:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Big companies dont care about employees. YOU are considered to be just a person who sucks profit from their budget.

The longer you are at a company the more one knows where the dirt is. That is when the Director will call you into to office and shove you out.

Perhap it will be a direct termination, but at Big 3 Detroit they merely assign you to a miserable mind numbing job that has little or no relevance. Talent, hours, and, not to mention the ability of the older but efficient worker to CUT COSTS are ignored.

At the Big 3, even if one wants to work (to age 62), most instead end up voluteering to retire they are transferred from their meaninful job, and a young buck takes their place.

January 28 2010 at 8:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan Hart

If you were unjustifiably fired,You must take action...If you see this person,confront them,Tell them ,they did you wrong and what comes around goes around,Don't wish them luck,do not be pleasant towards them.Tell them how you feel.I've been fired many times for no reason,other than the company cutting costs or being disliked.My last boss fired me so he could get an extra $2 dollars an hour,from 30 to 32 dollars an hour.He convinced the owner of the company I wasn't a team player.Big lies and self-promoting themselves.
You don't need to work for people like this anyways,it's never a healthy working enviroment,when mamagement shows they are tough,They're not.On the contrary,there're cowards.
Yes I was fired at a christmas party,a few minutes after the owner gave a speech on how we're going to keep everyone working.What a hipocrate !!!At the company Christmas party,How absolutely Stupid some management people are.!!! Latest I heard everyone lost there job at that company.Companies that use people and put them down to make themselves look better are not good companies to work for.I do not wish them any luck and It's good that all of them lost their jobs.Maybe they'll think twice about putting people down.This is what it's like in America now and it's sick and shameful.If you fire someone for personal gain,or to make yourself look good for the company.Guess what? It will all come back to you one way or another.

January 28 2010 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Dan Hart's comment
So What

I have fired a lot of people in my career and for various reasons and to a person none of them felt they deserved to be fired. Often times firing someone is better for all parties concerned because it allows the employee to find a job which they are more suitable doing or a more comfortable career situation.Being fired should not be looked upon as something negative but an opportunity to grow in your career and as a person. I have also been fired a few times myself and it helped me see myself and my abilities from a honest perspective.

January 29 2010 at 1:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You say you have been fired "many times" for "no reason", Trust me, there was a reason. Based on the rest of your tirade, I would say you have a lousy attitude. I wouldn't want to work with you either.

May 01 2010 at 3:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You have a point - I did run into my ex-employer - I was invisible to them, and we were a few feet from each other...not even a hello, wow! AND She saw me that was for sure! Very awkward and O so rude! I wss let go for "lack of work" after 10 plus years,(so the story goes) her friend is still there after only 5 months of employment with the company at that time. So is it "who you know" or what you do. Was it fear, guile, or does she think she is better then me???, why would someone be so errant!!!, if they are so right? please help me with this...I have had way too many sleepless nights over this!!!

January 23 2010 at 9:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think my previous employer has surveillance on me still, after a year, because they know they were wrong in firing me and they probably think I will kill them. Seems they feel what they did warrants revenge. I have not seen any of them since, but if I do, it'll be very ugly! They know this and probably have people watching my every move, reading (this) my blogs, hacking my cell phone, etc. so they can avoid me. READ CAREFULLY, I have not threatened them by saying how I think they feel, but they feel threatened 'cause they're punks. Before you say, "At least they (punks) have a job", I'd rather keep my integrity and not have to look over my shoulder like a punk!

January 22 2010 at 7:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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