A great day turned sour in a hurry today as I had to fire an employee. Technically, he wasn't fired. He was "let go". He's a victim of Congress's war against Federal Government workers. And as long as Congress can't do their job and fix the federal budget, many government workers will be unable to do theirs due to furloughs, shutdowns, or the dreaded RIF (Reduction In Force).
Government workers get a bad rap. They are looked at as being lazy, stupid, bad at their jobs, overpaid, and useless. Now, I'm not going to say that there aren't some of each, but my experience is that many government workers are very good at their jobs, some are incredibly smart, dedicated, necessary, and vastly underpaid. They don't get a very nice salary until they've been in the government for several years, and promotions are not easy to come by.
The employee I had to let go today has lots of issues to deal with now, one of which is an apartment lease that he can't get out of and which he will no longer be able to afford. He and his wife will likely move out of the DC area altogether since it's so expensive to live here. They had a small boat that they will have to sell, too, and will have to give up many small luxuries they've enjoyed.
I've only had to fire three employees in my 9 years as a manager, with the two previous ones the result of disciplinary actions. Even though it was extremely difficult on me, there was a small part of me that said they deserved it for what they were costing tax-payers who were paying their salaries. But with the most recent employee, he's being fired for no reason other than money. And that's hard on everyone.
I've been sick about this all day. It's one of the worst parts of my job. I just wanted to get home and forget about it.
I came home from work and had to deal with an incident between my daughter and her aunt who takes care of her each morning. The result was I had to punish my daughter. This after lecturing her. I discovered early on in my parental career that I am a lecturer. I lay it on thick to the point that my daughter ends up crying and probably sick of hearing my voice. But the punishment always fits the crime, and she is without her laptop and iPhone for the rest of the week. That did the trick, as she was very upset, but it was clear she understood why she was punished. I also made her call her aunt and apologize, which was pretty hard for her to do, too.
So I'm feeling like a bad guy tonight. This kind of thing wears on me, and I just want to crawl into bed and forget about the entire day.
I hope you all have a better day. Best wishes, everyone.