questionswould you rather get fired in the beginning or…


At the end of the day, definitely. The last time I got fired (it's only happened a couple of times) the boss was considerate enough to ask me to stay a few minutes after quitting time and let me go after everyone had left. It was a very strange office and I did not fit in at all so I suspected the wind was blowing that way, but I thought it was a nice gesture.

Unless other people know this person is getting the ax. You don't want them to hear it on the rumor mill.


At the start of the day, and I'd pay them for the day.

It's pretty crappy to let someone work a whole day, just to get canned at the end of it. I know it would tick me off quite a bit.


Definitely not at the end of day. People feel used after coming in working all day and then get fired. I'd say some time in the middle of day. Just let them take the afternoon off and clear their minds.


@justincredibleg: You're firing them, and not just laying them off, right?

If that's the case, and there are not already procedures laid out by HR or other company policies, then it's best to do it late in the day. This is never, ever, an easy task. Never. Ever.

Here's some suggestions, in addition, for that talk you need to give. Make notes ahead of time, spelling out why, and list the remediation attempts you've made to try not to do this thing. No recriminations, just a cut and dried list.

The most important message is that the employee (Joe, we'll call him) has fired himself. No one likes to fire people. No one wants to be the person who gives such bad news, no matter how deserved.

Joe should understand that this should be a learning experience, one he can use at the next job, so that he won't be in this position again.

Why do I say to wait? Otherwise it will disrupt everyone else's work day.



@justincredibleg: Since this is not a layoff, but an adversarial separation, no matter how it's handled, there will be little ripples of conversation and concern among the rest of the staff. People will take sides (they ALWAYS take sides), and (depending on your relationship with them) they may also want to talk it over with you (whether or not it's their place to do so).

Since it affects Joe's paycheck, you should also point out to him that you thought he'd appreciate the extra pay. If this is listed as firing, then your company will report this fact to the state, and I believe there is a significant delay in receiving unemployment, so that extra pay should be valued.

Be sure to have all the paperwork necessary for the termination. You don't want to have to worry about those things at the last minute. Don't forget to collect company property, such as keys and badges, and be sure to disable the email account.

Ugh. I'm glad I'm retired, and you have my sympathy.


Personally.. I think I'd rather get fired in the morning, gives me the rest of the day to think over things.

Professionally, as someone who has been in that position, I'd wait til the end of the day when there can be some privacy. Though... I used to work retail.


@shrdlu: Post of the week. Thanks for your thoughts and sharing your breadth of knowledge on this matter.

OP: I would rather get fired at the end, for the reasons laid out by @moondrake. However, if there's no end in rotations (read: there are always employees coming in and out), I would prefer to receive the news that I was being fired at the beginning of my shift with the offer of finishing out the day.

I was never not in a rush to get to the office: I had to eat in a hurry, shower in a hurry and drive in a hurry every day. I'd hate to have wasted time showering, eating and driving in only to be fired and told to go home as soon as I got there. Again, as @shrdlu said, follow the HR guidelines, but if it was at my boss's discretion, I would prefer having the offer to finish out the day with the news in the morning.


Beginning. At least I get paid for the day.

Because right after I'd go to a bar and pretend I got paid to drink.


If I were you, I'd let the guy know he was fired at the end of the day. That way, nobody makes a big scene and pisses everyone in the office off, making your entire office less productive. Plus, the guy gets paid some extra money which, like @shrdlu said, will come in handy when he's either drawing unemployment, or looking for a new job.


@curtisuxor: Thank you for your kind words. Telling someone that they're not going to have a job, no matter what the reason, is a miserable task, and there was never a time I was glad to do it. I think laying someone off is far worse, since it's usually done at a time when there are less opportunities for them, and there just isn't anything you can say that makes it not horrible.

Not that firing someone is much better. Knowing that you're about to hand someone a package of grief and sadness, no matter how well deserved, is enormously difficult. When at all possible, I always tried to have a separation that was not listed as firing, since I knew how much that can change a life.

I'm glad that all I do now is kill weeds (and the occasional deserving varmint).


I have been laid off multiple times. (Goes with my industry) Each time was different and always was a multiple person layoff. That extra day of pay always means a lot.


I would want to be fired at the beginning of my shift. I would feel incredibly used if I was fired at the end of the day. I have had to fire people and I have always done it at the beginning of the shift.


Well... I would rather NOT be fired at all. :)

But in all seriousness, the beginning of my shift with the option to finish the day out.

I have only been fired from a job once & they waited until 2 hours into my shift & after I bent over backwards to assist a customer that had his entire spine fused, find winter boots he could actual put on & take off himself. This happened 6 years ago & still bothers me to this day how it was handled. It doesn't help that the reasoning was very vague either.


The one time I was fired they waited until after the Christmas holidays, (also gave me a bonus for Christmas) and fired me 1 hour into my shift on January 2. It was a huge weight off my shoulders and I happily drove home for the last time with a song in my heart :)


I worked in a bank when I was a student. When they were going to fire someone, they had that person's desk empty and all of the items belonging to them in a box on top of it, so that when they came in in the morning, they were given the news and escorted to their car. I always thought of that as brutal, but human resources felt that it was a clean cut and afforded the individual no chance to do any damage, verbally or otherwise.


Beginning of the day/shift, paid for the day anyway.


Our managers let a kid come in and work all night, then fired him after they had finished using him where they wanted, after he had been working for the majority of the shift. He had attendance issues, but was a really good worker. He's the only one I know of that they pulled that stunt with -they usually call you right into the office and let you go- and the general consensus was that the managers were being jerks. Wouldn't have been so bad if everyone didn't know he was going to be fired that night, so to have him stay just so they could get more done didn't go down too well.

If people know the person is going to be fired, doing it when they come in, or you could end up having moral drop. It might seem you're doing them a favor by giving them that extra day of pay, but it might not come across that way to other workers. If you decide to do it, you need to make sure that's the company's SOP, and not just do it with some employees and not others.


Regardless of what you do, once they are told they are fired, they should have no additional access to company materials. There is no assurance on your part that they will not trash important files or do something else to try and get revenge.


The last guy to get fired here was called at home and given the news. Not sure how I feel about that, but I think it was done that way for security reasons.


If they're hourly, I'd give them the chance to finish out the day and get the rest of their pay before dropping the bomb. If they're salaried (ESPECIALLY if they're due to get a two-weeks' severance), I'd do it at the beginning of the day.

I personally would prefer to have a day off to "recover" from the shock (even if it's not shocking) before I had to start job hunting again.

However, it's true what everyone's saying that if it's an unfriendly parting, sooner better than later, and absolutely you should never let a fired employee touch anything that belongs to the office, especially logging in to any computers.