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6 Ways to Put the Good (Bad and Ugly) in Goodbye—Part II | LinkedIn

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August 30, 2013

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The original post last week seemed to hit a chord. So many of you gave passionate comments that I thought I should highlight a few of the stories—the good, the bad and the ugly.

Let’s start with the good. It seems that when a work goodbye is positive it impacts everyone—not only the employee, but their family and certainly the co-workers they leave behind.

From Gary Warner: A Sendoff That Brought a Veteran Newspaper Reporter to Tears

“Two months ago I was handed the dreaded ‘voluntary redundancy’ letter at the newspaper I had been employed for 11 years. The decision was made by the ‘bean counters’ but it could not have been handled better by management.

"Three senior managers flew to attend a farewell party in my honor and made it clear how sorry they were to see me go. After another touching speech by the general manager, I was ushered out of the building in a unique way. Previously I had reminisced with a colleague how it was once traditional in the newspaper business for a departing employee to be ‘rattled out’ by colleagues shaking tins of metal type. Type technology had vanished decades ago, but my final exit was made to the sound of colleagues shaking tins containing any small items they could find. A completely unexpected gesture, and one that brought an unbidden tear to the eyes of this 60-year-old journalist who was suddenly reassured that he was valued.

"I can look back on that memorable event with pleasure. Well done the management of Geraldton Newspapers and the parent company West Australian Newspapers. You showed how it really can—and should—be done.”

From Ken Fisher: Flashing Lights, and Much More, For a Retiring Police Officer

“A friend of mine retired from the local police department that held a walk of honor on his final day on the job. Past and present co-workers, family, and friends were invited to this emotional event. All guests lined the driveway that leads from the police department to the public street entrance.

"When all guests were in place a garage door opened and the retiree was let out of the garage with an honor guard carrying the American and Wisconsin flags. The honor guard continued through the line of guests and positioned themselves at the street entrance where a squad car with lights flashing blocked the street entrance. The retiree took his time to make his way through the line where he received words of congratulations, well wishes and support!

"The event came to an end as the retiring police officer stood with his family and signed off on the car two-way radio for the last time. The chief of police presented the retiree with a special plaque in recognition of his years of service. What a wonderful event!”

From Randy McKnight: The Goodbye That Created a Lifetime of Loyalty

“Left my former company and was treated like royalty the final two weeks, even though we worked hard to close out my projects. I have subsequently been a valued customer of theirs for almost two decades.”

Aren’t those just terrific? Okay, I warned you, now for the bad and the ugly:

From José Zulmar Lopes: The Indignity of Being Fired Over Voicemail

“Once I was fired via voicemail without any warning or reason given; and then they told all the employees that I quit. The worst thing you can do as a boss is fire an employee using any electronic method—no emails, IMs, voice mails, or phone calls. Even a letter is inappropriate. When you fire an employee give them the courtesy you would extend to any human being. They deserve a face-to-face meeting; nothing else works. The fired employee will remember and your other employees have even longer memories.”

From Susan Brady: An Employee’s Nightmare — Getting Canned 4,000 Miles From Home

“I was in Sweden on business. We had just successfully done a deal and were going to a celebration dinner. One of my colleagues was delayed on a conference call, so we were waiting for him in the lobby of our hotel. He came down looking green and told us he’d been fired—4,000 miles from home! It was part of a general downsizing for the company (the kind where everyone was escorted out of the building by a security guard). Several of us intervened and the firing was rescinded, but what a nightmare for this colleague and his family. He helped complete the deal then resigned a few months later. Up to that point, I had paid lip service to ‘you are only as good as your last deal,’ but after that day, I knew it was true.”

Hopefully we’ve all seen departures that were handled well, but perhaps some that were bad or ugly like these last two. I spoke with a friend recently who had just retired from his company after decades of service. He was disgusted and said, “Once I announced my retirement they couldn’t get me out fast enough. There’s no leaving there with honor.” Do you think he’s spreading the word? You bet.

Remember, goodbyes say a lot about us as leaders.

Keep the stories coming. They are inspiring.

Featured on:Your Career

Posted by:Chester Elton

via 6 Ways to Put the Good (Bad and Ugly) in Goodbye—Part II | LinkedIn.


Born in 1964, business owner, from Woodbridge, VA, owns ExcitingAds! Inc. ( and blog ( He was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. His elementary school was ST. Michael's Convent High School, Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated high school from ST. Bonaventure's Convent High School, Hyderabad, Sind, Pakistan. His pre-med college was S. A. L. Govt. College, Mirpurkas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan in 1990. Earned equivalency certification from Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA in 1994.

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