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Discussion on: Have you ever been fired? What happened?

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Brian Rinaldi

I've been laid off numerous times but only once was I fired in the way that I was sent home immediately. It's a bit complicated, as I'd already given notice - but I think it also has an important lesson (one I was not aware of at the time).

About six and a half years ago, I got offered my dream job (at the time) with Adobe. I happened to be out of town, speaking at a conference at the time but decided to let my boss know to give the company more time to plan for my absence (we were a very small company, so I thought it was important). I'd given about 3 weeks of notice. I'd actually tried to get a month, but the position at Adobe needed to start. My direct boss took it in stride.

However, upon my return a couple days later, I was summarily told to grab my stuff and get out of the office. The owner of the company was apparently so enraged by my leaving that he not only refused to speak to me, but was firing me on the spot - meaning that my 3 weeks notice was now unpaid. As this sort of situation had never happened to me, I was unaware at the time that they have no obligation to honor or pay for the notice that you give. Most employers do, as this sort of behavior only inclines employees to give no notice...but in this case (as with the person who'd left previous to me) this employer chose not to do so and I learned a lesson about the rules around giving notice.