This isn’t a typical post. I usually have some grand realization and some new way to look at things. That’s not the case here. I just want to reflect on some of the emotions of the past few days, and this forum is perfect for that- because my six-weeks-from-now self likely needs to take a look back and see what things were.
I got out of bed this morning and fired someone. First thing on a Friday morning.
It needed to happen. This person was trying his best, but their best simply wasn’t good enough for the project. The eventual replacement of this person had been discussed for a long time – but since it was that ambiguous “at some point in the future” state, it really wasn’t moving. Someday Isle.
Then he messed up, bad, and our customer drove us to replace him.
I could reflect here about how I should have taken ownership, made it to where the mistake couldn’t happen, or better yet, made the replacement earlier when we figured out it needed to happen. All of that is cold calculation and will likely happen anyway. What I really want to write about here is the emotion.
I was forced to take livelihood away from someone. This is what he did, all day every day. Yesterday he went home early to pick up a grandchild from school. It’s a real person with a real life. And now they don’t have a job.
It wasn’t due to lack of trying. It wasn’t because they were an ass, or not a team player, or not willing to put in the efforts needed. It was simply a case of the best not being good enough, and that is just gutting me right now.
Naturally, I knew this was coming last night – so I went on a drive to try and clear my head so I had a chance of sleeping. On my way home I hit – didn’t run over, but hit – a cat.
I did everything I could to avoid it, the impact was much softer than it could have been, and thanks to my efforts the cat did not go under a tire or under the car.
I saw the cat run away, so I know it wasn’t instantly killed. It ran off into the dark woods, so there’s no chance I could figure out much more than what I know now. From my assessment of things, it likely survived just fine.
But there is cat fur on my bumper. I certainly hurt it. I did all I could, but I still hurt the cat.
I do all I can for my team. I worked with this former employee extensively. I know he will be fine, there’s lots of work available in his field. But he got fired because his best simply wasn’t good enough, and now I find myself wondering if my best is good enough for my team – and if my best was good enough for that cat.