I just read a letter in the business section of the New York Times from someone who had been fired after decades of employment. This employee had been unceremoniously ushered out of her office as soon as she was informed of her termination and she was concerned that her boss would not keep his promise to give her a good job reference.

Every time I hear about someone terminated from a job in this manner it makes me want to throw up. This never used to happen when half the country belonged to a union! How dare any company humiliate an employee in this manner – unless the employee committed some act of deliberate, blatant wrongdoing, like stealing or attacking someone. There is no reason in the world that decent, hard-working employees should be treated with such cruelty – marched out of their workplaces by security people, treated like criminals, humiliated in front of all their fellow workers. Jesus.

Years ago people were not terminated in this manner. They were given one or two week notices. I just can’t imagine why any corporate decision-maker would think it’s perfectly okay to humiliate an innocent person due to paranoid fears of retaliatory actions. What a stupid way of thinking! A person treated respectfully is less likely to harbor revenge fantasies toward a company than someone ordered to pack up her things and do a “perp walk” out the door, flanked by security guards.

Any company that does this to people can go to hell. And anyone who believes that this is a justifiable policy can go to hell too. I don’t care if you’re under forty years old and have never known a world in which employers can do whatever they fucking please to their workers – pay them measly wages (while they themselves earn millions), assign them random, unpredictable shifts, telling them they’re being let go and booting them out onto the street -- there is no justification for treating employees like this. None at all. It makes me sick just thinking about it. And it should make you sick too. If it doesn’t, you are either “one of them” or have been brainwashed by our creepy, technocratic, authoritarian society that has evolved since the 1980’s, the decade that laid the groundwork for corporate tyranny.

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