When the news hit that Carol Bartz was fired from Yahoo, and terminated over the phone no less, it obviously conjured up a lot of bad memories for many people.
I mean, we’ve probably all been fired and or laid off at least once in our lives or more, whether we deserved it or not. And unlike a lot of big corporate people, most of us didn’t have any golden parachute making our landing any softer.
So the Daily Beast came up with a list of embarrassing firings in history, and you can probably come up with tons more, but anyways, here’s a start.
Juan Williams from NPR was also fired over the phone, so was Tiger Woods’s caddy, who’s so furious he’s threatening to write a tell-all book, same with Shannen Doherty, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and Sarah Silverman was fired from Saturday Night Live by fax.
As reported in the New York Post, Adam Sandler tried to console Conan O’Brien by telling him that he and Chris Farley were also fired in a similar passive aggressive manner, and that “Nobody wanted to tell me the truth that I was getting fired.”
Often times in Hollywood, no one tells you you’re fired, you just stop getting your mail at the talent agency you’re working in, and you’re supposed to get the hint.
Many times in Hollywood getting fired is like your wife cheating on you in that you’re usually the last to know. How about the time Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg had to read in the Wall Street Journal they were being fired from Paramount?
Or Conan O’Brien being set up to lose the Tonight Show gig in one of the most Machiavellian maneuvers Hollywood’s seen yet by Jay Leno, one of the town’s greatest passive aggressive personalities.
It wasn’t a very funny movie, but there’s a great scene in the Robin Williams comedy The Survivors where everyone in his company’s on vacation, he walks into an empty boardroom, and a parrot is trained to tell him he lost his job.
Having lost a few jobs (okay, more than a few) in fairly blunt, and cold ways myself, even a parrot telling you you’re fired would have felt more courteous.