The social media site Reddit isn’t always the best place to find heartwarming stories or examples of the best of humanity, but one story, in particular, has caused quite a stir and it all started in the AskReddit section.
This “subreddit,” as it’s called, is devoted to asking and answering thought-provoking questions.
When someone asked: “What’s the best job quitting story you can tell?” it set off the usual firestorm of responses.
Among the 1,700 comments was a story from a Redditor – who uses the handle shortadamlewis – who found himself in an awkward situation. He began:
“I had to lay off my entire staff (and myself) with 8 hours notice.”
The former Marine left the service after his wife got pregnant and he wanted the stability of a civilian life, according to an interview. And while he’s made a good living, it wasn’t without some hardship.
Clearly a leader at heart, he showed his true colors when he found a job as a contract project manager at a small firm that delivered custom software for the government, but was then asked to do the unthinkable – terminate all of the employees, effective the next day.
Even worse – they were shutting down the whole project, so he was fired too.
“At our periodic review on a Thursday, the government announced they would not be renewing our contract and our last day was Friday (the next day).”
With 8 hours notice, he had to decide what to do and how to break the news to his staff, all the while dealing with the fact that he too was out of a job.
Instead of laying low, he faced the dilemma head-on, calling his entire staff into the conference room first thing in the morning so they could face the challenge together.
But instead of dismissing everyone to pack up their offices after delivering the news, they banded together as a team to help each other succeed in finding new work.
“I had everyone email me their resumes, and we went over everyone’s on the conference room projector and updated them over the course of the day. I then printed out ‘reference’ sheets for everyone, and we all spent the remainder of the day writing letters of recommendation for each other.”
Rather than setting them up for a depressing final day full of anxiety, the manager led them through an exercise to empower one another to find their next jobs.
“I ordered everyone pizza, and bought everyone a round of drinks at the bar next door. Most folks had jobs by the end of the next week.”
The story has inspired so many people that it’s been shared dozens of times on the site, each time gaining more upvotes and motivating more readers.
Redditors were shocked when, months later, the original poster checked back in to update readers on his story. He reported:
“Still at the next job I got making around a third more than I was…”
In fact, he found a job right away after the debacle and has been working at his new company for the last 5 years.
Redditors were glad to hear from him and continued to wish him the best.
It just goes to show you how good leadership and compassion can inspire everyone around you.
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