I was the boss that did the firing.
I was a manager at a video game store. We had hired a guy named Rob to be our evening keyholder. He was a good enough employee, except that we found out he was closing the store early on slow days. I’d have kept him on, but HR said he had to go. I brought him into my office the next day and explained the situation to him. He was pissed and stormed out of my office.
Fast forward about 3 or 4 years. The store had been bought up by a larger company and many of us lost our jobs. The economy was at one of its worst points since the Depression, so finding a job was difficult. I had been unemployed for a few months and my savings were dwindling.
I had scraped together enough change from around the house to buy some gas. There I was, broke, on the verge of getting evicted, buying $3.50 worth of gas with loose change.
As I was counting out my nickels, Rob walked in. “Fuck me” I thought. Here I am at my lowest, and this guy whom I fired was here to witness it. I bet he’s going to get a great laugh over this.
Ashamed, I tried to avoid eye contact and leave without him recognizing me.
“Hey, Dave! It’s been a long time! How are things?”
“They’ve been better” I said, holding up my receipt for $3.50 in gas.
“Yeah. I heard about the store. That really blows. Say, did you know my brother and I started our own business after you fired me? That actually turned out to be a really great thing. So, thanks. And look, I don’t mean to be too forward, but if you’re struggling, I could definitely use some help in our warehouse. I can’t pay much, but I have a lot of work that needs to be done.”
I almost hugged him and I’m pretty sure I teared up a bit.
I ended up working for him for only a few months until I got a job in my field again, but he knew I would be looking for better paying work.
I’ll never forget Rob’s generosity and amazing personality. He really helped restore a lot of my faith in humanity and myself. Great guy, Rob.