Getting fired

What do you folks think about the recent protests in France? Do you think people should be guaranteed a job? Many Americans think these protests are strange, and in some ways even comical, because they think firing people for a good reason is the natural right of an employer.

Many Americans think that sometimes getting fired can be a very positive thing. It can be the signal that you’ve chosen the wrong job, or that you need to grow up, or that your personality is wrong for the company, and that you should move on to find a better “home”.

I’ve seen situations where someone was fired from a rather bad company because of his style of working and managing. Then one of the best companies immediately hires him, and the reasons they want him are the very same reasons the bad company fired him. For example, the bad company might fire the guy because he’s independent and doesn’t consult his superiors when he solves a problem. Then the good company hires him because he is independent and can solve problems without bothering his superiors.

My sister-in-law has her own business, and she says, “When you’re in business for yourself, you can have the pleasure of being fired every day.” :smiley:

What do you all think? Should people be guaranteed a secure job from cradle to grave?

Hello Jamie, you have brought up an interesting topic. I work for an American company in France and over the past months we have had several discussions about employees’ rights, labor market reforms and globalisation.

In general, the French economy is bogged down by too much regulation and the French society is used to preserving their standard of living by old-fashioned believes and out-dated laws. When it comes to the right of firing an employee for a good reason as you put it, this can not only help get young people more jobs, it can also help employees keep their existing jobs.

Let me explain: I work in HR and we often have to make a decision as to who we hire on a permanent basis and what jobs to give to free lance programmers and other professionals. If we had more freedom in how to design the job contracts, we would be able to hire more people on a permanent basis and those people would have more stable jobs because they would have a higher level of motiviation.

Hi Jamie,
Many Turks including myself think what is going on in France is something to respect and support, as those young people fighting for their future do not actually want to be guaranteed a job. They just want to protest the power and money-oriented brutal mentality. They do not want to lose their so-called “outdated” rights, and apparently, at least for now, they seem to have won the fight.
Still having some romantic idealists when there are so many perfectionist decision-makers all around is a great chance, isn’t it?

Birol, the point of view you brought up is interesting. It sounds as if many Turks are seeing it as a conflict between the common person and greedy, oppressive employers. Most Americans see things differently. They see it as a conflict between employers and the greedy, oppressive state.

I don’t know about France, but in the US most jobs are provided by small businesses. If the state becomes too oppressive, restrictive or greedy, these little enterprises can’t afford to stay in business and jobs are lost. Large corporations find a way to survive no matter what the conditions are, but it’s these ordinary, everyday entrepreneurs who are punished when the state becomes too restrictive.

Fabrice, you can tell me if I’m wrong, but I think the problem in France right now is that they are getting the proof that even large groups of intellectuals aren’t smart enough to comprehend and construct something as complex as a human society and economy. We fight against this mentality in the US too.

By the way, as for the employment contracts, every contract I’ve ever had with a corporation was an “at will” contract. That meant that they had the right to fire me whenever they wanted, and I had the right to quit anytime I wanted. As long as you have your “I quit” money saved up, this kind of contract gives you a lot of freedom.

Hi Birol, I do understand that what is going in France might be seen as young intellectuals fighting for their future. However, no law can guarantee the future of an individual person nor can a law destroy or create jobs. What do you mean by money-oriented brutal mentality? Most western societies are based on a money-oriented system, that means our values are very closely related to money and often measured in Euros. I don’t know where the brutality comes into play though?

You pretty much are hitting the nail on the head here, Jamie. France’s society has a long history of bloody fights between different their different parts and many people think that the state with all its numerous institutions should provide the answers to the questions the individual has. I think a very simplified way of comparing the French society with the US society is this: In France many decisions are being made by administrations that consists of too many layers. The individual is not forced to take much responsibility for themselves. That’s why a lot of people in France spend their time complaining about the decisions others have taken for them.
The US society is more based on the individual’s ability to take responsibility and make decisions on an individual level. At least, this is how I see it. And I agree with Jamie’s saying that most jobs come from small or medium sized companies which in turn were started by single individuals. so if more individuals spend their time thinking about new business models and products we will have more jobs. If we spend more time debating laws and getting involved in street fights with the police we will lose market positions to other nations like China and the US.