The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Terminator

One of the most unpleasant aspects of being in management is when you have to fire someone. Thankfully, I have never managed more than a few people at a time and I've only had to do this twice, both times in firm-wide cost cutting moves. One of the people I had to whack (after a huge fight that I waged with my own boss but ultimately lost) was a very competent lawyer who got a very generous severance package and landed a job with a prestigious investment bank one week later. We remain good friends to this day. The other was a very incompetent secretary who I was glad to get rid of (but it still didn't make the process any easier).

These days, not only do I manage a small staff, but I supervise the work of a number of different law firms that manage projects on our behalf. And, unfortunately, once in a while I have to whack one of them. Today, for only the second time since I'm here, I pulled a job from one of the firms that had been doing a very important project for us. Sheesh. It was painful.

It isn't about money, it's about exposure. The fees that we pay are negligible in the grand scheme of things. But the exposure that a law firm gets by doing a project for us is worth a lot. Getting taken off a project is a very bad thing. In this case, the partner in charge just wasn't getting along with the project manager.

Besides the painful conversation I just had, I will also, undoubtedly, have to take this partner to lunch in the near future and try to mend fences. I hate this.



  • At 1:32 PM, Blogger kishke said…

    I can see how the fence-mending could be difficult in such a case. How would you go about it?

  • At 2:18 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    In this case, it was about chemistry (or lack thereof) between the project manager and the lawyer. An analogy would be sports; general managers can't fire the players so they fire the manager or coach. Same thing here. I can't fire the project manager so I had to fire the coach.

    There will be other project managers and other projects.

  • At 4:46 PM, Blogger Jewish Blogmeister said…

    Sounds like you have your hand full

  • At 6:35 PM, Blogger NYFunnyman said…

    at least you have a job. count your blessings

  • At 9:35 AM, Blogger Noam S said…



    a mild expletive, ultimately derived from "Jesus!", evolving to "geez" and "sheesh", in order to avoid being offensive.

    By the way, when you talk about someone being "shtark", what quality are you referring to?

  • At 10:24 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…


    I count them every single day, believe me.


    shtark is like another term referred to by the supreme court: You know it when you see it.

  • At 12:35 PM, Blogger DovBear said…

    Why do you need to take this guy to lunch? Let him take YOU to lunch. He wants more business from you right?

  • At 8:49 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…


    He will undoubtedly pay. I should have said that I will have to go to lunch with him. \btw, he sent me an email today requesting just such a lunch.


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