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Get a fresh start. Report a mispronounced word. The casualty was a young reporter, unfairly thrust into too big a job at an outfit too small to offer suitable work. I still hate to think of how badly I handled it. The one thing there was not, though, was a secret recording of the sacking, like the one that Omarosa Manigault Newman says she made when she was fired from the White House in December. Ms Manigault Newman, a contestant on The Apprentice -turned-White House aide, caused a stir last week when she plugged a tell-all book with what she said was a recording of her booting by chief of staff, John Kelly.
People are fired all the time around the world and a lot of them have a smartphone. Yet we rarely see or hear a sacking.
The closest a lot of us get is a Hollywood film like Up in the Air , where George Clooney plays a man who fires people for a living. Or reality television shows like The Apprentice , still going in some countries 14 years after Mr Trump hosted its first season in the US. I would not know because thankfully I have never been fired. I came close as a university student, when I took a telephone marketing job, selling ads for a business directory that I was never sure actually existed.
I failed to make a single sale and would have certainly been shown the door if I had not taken the precaution of sacking myself first. Smartphones had not been invented then but even if they had, I cannot imagine I would have had the gumption to covertly record a sacking. They hauled him in for a disciplinary hearing where he was so sure he would be unfairly treated that he took in a hidden tape recorder.
Unhappily, the device was discovered and he was fired on the spot for deception. The reaction was understandable but I still think he was mistreated. An enormous amount is written on the right way to fire someone: Be direct but also compassionate.