Fire the secretary

The FiringI used hate dealing with my boss. From the very first minute I worked there we never gelled and I couldn’t stand it.

Every time I drove into the car park and I saw his car there I would get a pain in my stomach.

I was the financial controller of this sizeable operation and while it was a great role for my career CV it was tough going at times.

The culture was very strange as the MD used have moles everywhere running to him with selective tales about what was going on. I’m not sure if he realised it at the time but many of the cute ones used this opportunity to manipulate things for their benefit – it created a really awful atmosphere for everyone.

His secretary was the worst of all as she ran to him with everything, even things that she overheard incorrectly. Before you knew it people were being hauled into his office to answer for things that had never happened. As a result this young girl who was totally manipulated was despised in the place.

I was summoned to his office ..what’s up now??

I’m no longer happy with my secretary and I want you to get rid of her. My wife will come in and replace her for a while” I was told.

I questioned what she had done that was so wrong as I felt this was a basic piece of information that was needed before we could do anything.

Just get rid of her” I was told.

The culture at the time was very ‘macho’ – if you were a real manager and had “balls” you should be able to do things like that in your stride.

I was in the horrors. How could I do such a thing without any justification? I just couldn’t.

I never fired her and thankfully some other opportunity popped up in the organisation that she was interested in soon after that – phew!

Thankfully those ‘macho’ management bullying days are a thing of the past ….aren’t they?

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork



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6 Responses to “Fire the secretary”

  1. Fergal Bell Says:

    It sounds like an absolute nightmare. There was a line manager I had some contact once and she was absolutely toxic – very political and really poisonous (she used to read a book ‘Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office’). She was constantly pitting one member of her team against another and even instructed a temp to delete emails and not to provide reports to a manager who was entitled to them.

    Whenever I spoke to her I had to choose my words extra carefully as she had a habit of using them as a weapon against you afterwards. Dealing with her really showed the value of email and having a paper trail.

    Fortunately my own managers have mostly either been good or average – no demons. Someone I know very well had a manager who was brutal to her staff, particularly anyone who took any time off. When my friend was in hospital with appendicitis her manager sent her a present – a toy baby chicken. The message was: ‘You’re a chicken for not coming into work’.

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