This is an email I received from my good friend whose son has recently decided to join the army and was consequently fired by his employer, Furniture Row, the next day. I found it disturbing, and I felt that I should share (okay, and rant a little bit) because I think that everyone should take 5 minutes out of their day to let this company know (via email listed at the bottom of my friend's letter) that what they did was dumb.
"My son Chris has worked for Furniture Row for 2 yrs. He joined the Army Reserve and told 'em basic training was in 6 weeks. The next day Chris was fired for "lack of focus". How's that for a “Thanks for Serving Our Country?” We will not be shopping at Furniture Row, Oak Express or Big Sur Waterbed. Please pass this along, and let the CEO know that what they did was wrong."
I think that's just crazy! I also think that employers are kidding themselves if they think that they are fooling anyone by giving some random, lame excuse for firing someone the.day. after. they. tell. you. they've. joined. the. reserve! It is beyond ridiculous!
At the very least, any (half-intelligent) employer worth his salt would have the sense (PR, social, or otherwise) to pull him aside, tell him to "focus," (ha!) and let him work for the remaining 6 weeks!
And now, without further ado, I give you... a Lola Letter: (ahem)
Dear Furniture Row, it's CEO and affiliates,
Who fires a newly signed American Soldier? Who FIRES the person who just agreed to risk his life (and possibly GIVE his life) to protect YOUR right to be a totally shady jerk of a businessman? Honestly! Isn't that right along the lines of "biting the hand that feeds you?" I would say that it is... So, shame on you, Furniture Row!
How embarassing for you. I hope this message spreads far and wide, because, while I'm sure that what you did was "legal," it certainly wasn't ethical. This soldier may not be able to take you to court, but he can certainly tke your customer base right out from under you. You see, we Americans like to support businesses who support our community and even MORE importantly, who support our troops. You may want to take that into consideration the next time you think you want to fire someone (who has loyally worked for you for two years) the.day.after.he.tells.you.he.joined.the.guard!
The fact that he worked there for 2 years tells us a lot about the kind of employee he must have been, as being a crummy employee would have gotten him fired during his first couple of WEEKS, right? Or is it usually your policy to allow crummy workers to staff your business for upwards of two years? (That is, until they make the grave mistake of signing up for the guard, of course.)
And furthermore, if he really did "lack focus" (okay, I'll admit it, I'm laughing a little bit even as I write that, but hey, let's be fair and give YOU the benefit of the doubt for a moment) it was still one of the dumbest Public Relations moves of all time! A newly. signed. American. Soldier. You canned him. Let me say it again. Someone made the huge, life-changing decision to serve our country and protect our freedoms, and you fired him the next day. Do I need to say it again, or are you getting SOME sort of clue as to how stupid this was? Well then, I'm glad I could help bring some clarity (and, um... maybe even a little common sense) to the situation. Happy to help.
(okay, not so much in this particular case,
but that's how I generally like to end letters)
And seriously, dear readers, if you knew my friend, and what a great mom she is, and what great, hard-working kids she has, (you know, like the kind that decide they'd like to commit to serving our country?) you would know (as surely as I know) that this is m.e.s.s.e.d. u.p.!!!
So, grab that email up top and let em know what you think. (And of course...let us know what you think here as well).
(and I really do mean it this time)