Here is a note from a reader.
Hi Laurie. You seem like a wise and accomplished woman and I just wanted to run something by you. My husband runs a small factory. He’s a brilliant guy but his people management skills could use some work. Recently, he had to lay off a woman. She was an outstanding employee but things have been slow and he needed to tighten the budget. Because of her circumstances, he thought he would soften the blow by giving her the news at a nearby restaurant after work rather than at the company. Needless to say it backfired in a big way and it was last thing she was expecting. I won’t go in to all of the details but she ended the conversation by slapping him and walking off. Don’t worry, he wasn’t really harmed, just embarrassed as it took him a few minutes to regain his bearings as he sat there alone rubbing his cheek. Yet after all of that, he still contends that he handled it properly!! I would love to hear what you have to say about this. Btw, the woman is quite attractive (see attached photo), and I think he is fortunate that she did not fabricate a sexual harassment charge.
And she sent the picture. (The woman is okay. This is not the real photo, but it’s close.)
So, yeah, uh, here is what I know about life: I have never laid anyone off at a restaurant. After work. And been slapped in the face.
This email feels like a lie. I still think it might be a lie — or there’s another story behind the story — but I am publishing it, anyway, because it’s a good reminder that you probably need HR.
I know there are leaders and entrepreneurs who hate Human Resources, but if you can afford good counsel, get some. And if you can’t afford to hire someone in HR, there are small business resources and local lawyers who can help you with tough employee situations.
Find yourself a good HR lady. If you can’t find one, hire me. I will take your money and help out.
And one more thing: Most men who are slapped in the face deserve it.