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You're Fired!

There was a time when Donald Trump's tagline really meant something. It meant that you were incompetent or you royally screwed up. It was a phrase that no one ever wanted to hear. And it was a Scarlet Letter that you carried from one job to the next.

However, in today's politically correct and litigious workplace while you might be fired for doing something wrong you'll never know about it and anyone checking your references will never get anything other than "yes, I can confirm that Mr Bucker worked for us from <start date> to <end date>". If they said anything other than that they would be opening themselves up to a defamation lawsuit and those get ugly fast.

In countries like Sweden they have all sorts of laws to protect workers. Firing an employee in Sweden "for cause" is possible but it very hard. First there is the amount of documentation that is required. And even after that there is a period of required severance which can amount to a year or more (as I understand it).

There are a lot of reasons why employer and employee separate and only a small fraction are related to abject failure. I wish there were a survey on this. But the truth is you'll never really know why unless someone tells you. And even then you'll never know if that was the real truth or the truth that the someone was comfortable with. The only thing you'll ever know is whether you resigned before the ink dried on the termination letter.

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