Knee-Jerk Reactions To The 13 Things You’re Supposed To Say When You Get Fired

Knee-Jerk Reactions To The 13 Things You're Supposed To Say When You Get Fired

I’ve never gotten fired. I’d imagine it’s like getting dumped, something I’ve only experienced once and never want to experience again. In getting kicked to the curb by my ex-girlfriend, I wasn’t necessarily upset that we weren’t going to get married and live happily ever after. I wasn’t reeling because I was in the scary world of being single again. I wasn’t scared I’d never find “the one.” Instead, I was simply mad that she had won the relationship.

And I’d imagine I’d feel the same way if I got canned on the job. I’d be mad that they were fine moving on without me. “How dare they?” I’d ask myself after being convinced I’m expendable. I’d have the same reaction as a high school freshman who got shut down asking his crush for the final dance at Homecoming – just unadulterated devastation wondering how in the world my life could have ever reached that incredibly low point.

Fortunately, for people like me, Business Insider created a guide for what to say when you get fired. Unfortunately, though, everything they say is the exact opposite of what I’d want to actually say.

Let’s examine by looking at these one-by-one.

‘OK … mmm-hmm … yes … I understand’

There’s really no possible way I could fathom myself comprehending the news that I’m about to have to search high and low for a job that I’ll probably hate more than the last. So telling my superior “I understand” would be like me telling a bartender at last call, “Nah, I’m good.” Just nappenin’ on all levels.

‘Can I have a moment to process this?’

They always say that when you’re angry, write an email expressing everything you want to say and then delete it. The above advice is pretty much the verbal form of that. But as someone who sucks at immediately verbalizing something after a rush of emotions, I’d probably use that “moment” to “process” simply to shut the door to my office and throw my desk out the window only to walk out and tell Janice the receptionist, “I thought we were friends.”

‘Would you be able to explain why I am being let go?’

Business Insider states that you’re to ask this without getting defensive, which is essentially like asking your girlfriend, “Why’d you cheat on me?” without simultaneously plotting how you’re going to beat the hell out of the dude that took her to Pound Town. Even if your superior explains that your termination is justified, you’re never going to actually act like your termination was fucking justified. Instead you’ll be sitting at their desk with steam coming out of your ears and Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff” playing over and over in your head.

‘Would you reconsider?’ or ‘Could I have a second chance?’

Oh, yeah, that’s totally what you should say. That is, if you want to sound like a beta male who got castrated instead of circumcised.

‘What will you tell other employees?’

This would be like asking your girlfriend if you can tell all your friends that your breakup is mutual. Sure, you don’t want everyone to know how or why you got fired, but owning it looks a lot better than pussy-footing around the fact that you sucked at your job. Go out in a blaze of glory, man. Or, at the very least, just tell them you quit if you have any inkling the reason you’re getting called into your superior’s office is to get fired.

‘Do you offer a severance package? Can you tell me about it?’

Now we’re talkin’. “Oh, you’re going to fire me?” you’ll begin. “Alright, tell me how much you’re gonna pay me to walk out this door with zipped lips, buddy.”

Get everything written down on paper and don’t be afraid to assert your will. After all, they’re probably just as nervous to fire your volatile ass as you are to go home and tell your girlfriend that you’re officially unemployed. Maybe put your finger on their severance packet and tell them, “I think you forgot a zero” with a psycho look in your eyes. What’re they going to do? Fire you again?

‘Could I list you/my colleagues here as references when I begin applying for new jobs?’

Fuck that. Just list your boy from two cubicles over. It’s not like your future employer is going to call them anyway.

‘I may have some questions after I have a chance to digest this news. Can we chat again [this afternoon/tomorrow/later this week]?’

Sure, this sounds like a wonderful idea. But are you really going to want to stroll into the office a week later or take a phone call on your couch while you’re wearing dirty boxers only to have them further explain that you’re unem-fucking-ployed? Chuck the deuce and bounce, my dude. You’re better off without them anyway.

(Actually, you’re probably not, but still.)

‘Is there anything I can do to help with the transition?’

Yeah, Business Insider, it’s super realistic to expect someone to lend a helping hand after they’ve gotten stripped of their fucking livelihood. Hey, why don’t you tell them to offer to buy their former employer lunch while they’re at it?

There can’t be anything worse than teaching your replacement how to do your old job. That’s like teaching your ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend how to get her off. Have some self-respect and utilize your middle fingers – and I’ll let you decide which part I’m referring to there.

‘Is there anything I can or should do differently in the future to ensure I am more successful in my next role?’

Because what you want to hear after getting canned is feedback about how you sucked in the first place. You’re pretty much asking to get kicked while you’re down in that position, so it’s probably best to simply cry in your chair and hope they feel bad enough to keep you on at another position.

But finally, the worst of them all.

‘Thank you’

At that point, you might as well publish a column on Medium called, “Why Losing My Job Was The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me” before sharing it on Facebook and begging for a pity party. Sack up and walk out the door with a firm handshake and a “see you around.” Bridges were meant to be burned.

[via Business Insider]

Image via YouTube

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Will deFries (Twitter / Instagram) is a Senior Writer at Grandex and the world's foremost authority on Sunday Scaries (Twitter / Instagram). Email me at

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