Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fewer New Yorkers Getting the Benefit of Being Hired, and Fired, at a Young Age

Fewer New Yorkers Getting the Benefit of Being Hired, and Fired, at a Young Age - NYTimes.com
At first, I tried to ignore the unsettling signs that my job was in danger: the gentle prodding from my bosses, who suggested that I needed to broaden my responsibilities; the effusive praise for a charming, newly hired colleague, who was shaking things up with his get-up-and-go.

I dug in my heels. I was hired to do this, I told myself, not that. This was collecting admission from visitors to the Staten Island Children’s Museum (and burying myself in my favorite books when traffic was slow). That was actively engaging with parents and children, offering impromptu tours and demonstrating the ins and outs of the exhibits.

One afternoon, as I was heading home for the day, my boss told me not to come back. I went home and cried. I was about 14 years old. I had just been fired from my first job.

I learned something that day: An employee ignores her boss’s expectations — whether they seem reasonable or not — at her own peril. Thirty-odd years have come and gone, but I have never forgotten that lesson.