Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The cost of firing somebody

A graphic representation of DJT tweeting.

In my reality, there is a cost associated with changing horses in the middle of the stream.

A mediocre plan executed with vigor and intelligence is better than a great plan implemented halfway through the effort.

Ferdinand Fournies in his book Coaching for Improved Work Performance makes the point that it is rarely economically justified to fire an employee who is probably capable of doing the required work and replacing him with a new employee who might be able to do the work.

Mr Fournies makes the point that an employee's pay-rate is related to the complexity of the job and upon how easy it is to find a plug-and-play replacement.

Brain surgeons get paid more than guys pushing sand in wheelbarrows.

Mr Fournies then makes the point that every employee, no matter how highly touted or how gold-plated their credentials, goes through a learning curve where the enterprise loses money. The lost money might be explicit in terms of lost production or it might be in the form of opportunity costs.

Mr Fournies contends that cost might be as much as one year's wages by the time you also factor in the cost of the recruiting effort and the productivity lost due to the disruptions in the routines of staff involved in training the newbie.

Mr Fournies' point is that unless you are willing to go to the bean counters and prove why replacing Joe Slacker with Johnny Jumpup is worth a year's wages, you are ahead of the game to invest in improving Joe Slacker.

He has the usual caveats. If Slacker is stealing from the company, call the cops, file charges and fire him. You have to replace him because he cannot do the job from jail.

Covid-19 is this generations Pearl Harbor event.

Joe Biden will lose unless he can provide evidence in the form of public statements, published position statements or policy papers where he was consistently AHEAD of Donald J. Trump's response to the pandemic.

This isn't Fantasy Football. We don't have to look at hypotheticals.  We have the Super Bowl play out before our eyes.

Don't tell me how smart you are the day after the whistle blows. Show me what you have RIGHT NOW.

Donald J Trump will win if he keeps hammering that point. All of Biden's comments regarding Covid-19 have been after-the-fact sniping. Donald J Trump could easily lose if lets himself get knocked off that topic.

I hope the American electorate understands the cost of firing somebody, in this case, Donald Trump.

In spite of Trump's trademark "You're Fired!", Trump has been loath to fire Dr Anthony Fauci.

Trump is acting as if he understands the costs of switching horses in the middle of the stream.

I think Fauci and Trump have a deal.

I think Fauci will leave once the worst of the pandemic is behind us. He will write a book and get a $50 million retainer.


  1. Excellent post.
    As to your first point, my co-worker left.
    I can do the work alone, but if I get sick or vacay or quit or get fired, we (they) need coverage.
    But he has a steep climb to build the experience in what we do, besides the familiarity with the programming and equipment.
    About a year is right. Maybe more.
    And the concern is he gets another offer after all that investment.

  2. You are right on target Ed. It would take me about a year to feel comfortable with my new employees work and about that time my competitors, and sometimes customers, would be offering them serious money to move over there. And often the employees would use their new skills I had tens of thousands of dollars invested in to find a job in another area where they would rather live. Shortly before I sold my business I was talking with a guy in Texas in the same business that was handling the other side of the deal and he told me that the prior year he had a 110% turnover. Being a business owner is not any fun anymore. That is one of the reasons businesses are so hard to sell now. ---ken

  3. Interestingly enough, Nursing has known this general principle for over 40 years. Back in the day, I was a nursing supervisor, and the common wisdom was that it would cost around 6 months pay to recruit, orient, credential, and generally bring up to speed a new RN.

    Therefore, it was considerably more cost effective to retain nurses, rather than recruit replacements.

    Not, of course, that nursing administrators ACTED on these insights.

    And, of course, my present employer has had a series of clinicians leave, and get replaced, and leave, and get replaced.

  4. And at every point, he has had Trump's back. Trump values, above all, loyalty.

  5. Replies
    1. There are reports that Fauci is back-stabbing Trump in private. Of course, in Washington DC, nothing is truly private.

    2. Yes, I suppose what else. Dictatorial psychopaths do not want to be hindered or upstated by competence.

    3. Put your thumb right on the reason that Obama purged the officer corps of the armed services of patriots and replaced them with PC Blue Falcons and diversity trophy winners. Easier to remove our front line of defense that way than fighting them.


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