Work

rattled out

The author is compiling personal stories from employees across industries on how they were dismissed, from finding out to exiting the building. Here, an account from Gary Wagner, a veteran newspaper reporter.

“Two months ago I was handed the dreaded ‘voluntary redundancy’ letter at the newspaper I had been employed for 11 years. The decision was made by the ‘bean counters’ but it could not have been handled better by management.

Three senior managers flew to attend a farewell party in my honor and made it clear how sorry they were to see me go. After another touching speech by the general manager, I was ushered out of the building in a unique way. Previously I had reminisced with a colleague how it was once traditional in the newspaper business for a departing employee to be ‘rattled out’ by colleagues shaking tins of metal type. Type technology had vanished decades ago, but my final exit was made to the sound of colleagues shaking tins containing any small items they could find. A completely unexpected gesture, and one that brought an unbidden tear to the eyes of this 60-year-old journalist who was suddenly reassured that he was valued.

I can look back on that memorable event with pleasure. Well done the management of Geraldton Newspapers and the parent company West Australian Newspapers. You showed how it really can—and should—be done.”

Elton, Chester. “6 Ways to Put the Good (Bad and Ugly) in Goodbye — Part II.” LinkedIn. 30 Aug. 2013.

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