Ben Huh made himself a rich man by selling advertisements against captioned pictures of cats that other people created—something of a 21st century Andrew Carnegie. But the "I can haz _____" fever cooled, and Huh found himself with an overextended business, and had to axe staff. How's it feel to order a bloodletting? It "sucks."
Huh's corporate confessional in Inc. has all the emotional resonance of a senior yearbook page: he decided to fire a full third of his workforce while "on vacation with my wife in Spain," at a time when he was "spending more than we were making." Huh! When he returned to fire the crew, "It was very tense," to say the least:
It was the most difficult week I've ever experienced. Often, when faced with a problem, you want to run in the other direction. It's like seeing a lion in the jungle. But I have to do what is best for the company, even if it sucks emotionally.
These might be the words of a man tormented by guilt, if only the URL for the article weren't http://www.inc.com/magazine/20130…how-to-fire-employees-without-guilt.html.
The moral of the story is that if you see a lion in the jungle, run towards it, put a caption across it, and then pay people to do the same thing thousands of times again until you run out of money and have to fire them. Another moral is don't ever run an article with this headline and this photo together:
Top photo by Sage Ross