I was searching the internet last weekend, reading the news, when I came across an article on BBC.com that made me so, so happy. The article was titled, “Five Signs You Might Be Sacked.” I jumped right in, because I’ve never been fired before. This is not due to any special skills or talent on my part, but rather my incredible luck and cat-like reflexes (and by “cat-like reflexes” I mean my speed, cunning, and ability to hide behind venetian blinds.)
So I wondered — if I were about to be fired, would I know the signs? Would I see it coming? Based on this article, the answer is yes… as long as I continued to be conscious while on the job.
Here are the BBC’s top five signs you’re about to get fired. The list is all theirs. The comments are mine.
1. Key meetings and/or decisions are happening without you.
Generally, if everyone is heading off to a meeting for your department and you aren’t invited, something treacherous is afoot, my friend. Chances are, they aren’t getting together to plan a surprise party for your birthday. And by the way, your birthday is eight months away. Settle down.
You: “Hey guys…where’s everybody going?”
Them: “To the super important meeting that everyone is required to attend.”
You: “What super important — oh. Damn it.”
2. Everyone is getting laid off around you.
“They let Brian go, too? So I’m the only one left in the research department? Wow. Well, it’s going to be quite a responsibility to make up an entire department all by myself, but I’m confident that I will be able to — what’s that now? Oh. Damn it.”
3. Your boss has gone silent and won’t look you in the eye.
Other bad signs from your boss:
- They run away from you in an evasive, serpentine fashion.
- They start to wear clothes that match the office walls, and make poor attempts at camouflage when you walk by.
- Two words: Unexpected. Hugs.
4. An invite to an unplanned meeting with your boss and HR.
Surprise promotion? Not likely. An unplanned meeting with HR is like a visit from the Spanish Inquisition. “Our chief weapon is surprise. Fear and surprise, surprise and fear. And ruthless efficiency.”
5. You are asked to train someone else for your job.
Boss: “Hey Tim, I want to introduce you to Barbara. I’d like you to show her what you do.”
Tim: “Oh, you mean take her for a tour, show her how the copy machine works, stuff like that?”
Boss: “No, I mean I want you to show her what you do. Teach her your job.”
Tim: “Oh…okay…so, this is like an internship or something?”
Boss: “Sure. Oh, and let’s go ahead and have her sit in your chair so she can really get a feel for things.”
Tim: “Ooooooh, I get it. Hands-on learning, right? Good idea, boss.”