部门经理Paul Chen和他的上司Sue Krammer要开除一名雇员。
P: Sue, I really need your help with this one.
S: Oh? What's the problem?
P: I've been asked to fire Tom Smith.
S: Oh...yeah...firing someone is hard. I've had to do it many times.
P: I hate it. It's probably the worst part of my job as a manager.
S: But...it has to be done and somebody's got to do it. In this case...you.
Peter要解雇Tom Smith, 问Sue该怎么做。 Sue说，开除手下确实是一件头痛的事情，但Somebody's got to do it. 总要有人去做。
P: I know...I just want some advice on how to do this properly.
S: Well, let's review Tom's case, shall we? First question: Have you given him fair warning?
P: I believe so. I spoke to Tom in March and in May. I informed him he was on probation.
S: OK...so he knows he's on thin ice. So this action isn't going to be a complete surprise to him, right?
P: No. He should understand by now that the company is not really happy with his performance.
Paul说，他事先警告过Tom. I informed him he was on probation. On probation意思是留职查看。换句话说，He knows he's on thin ice. On thin ice如履薄冰，在这的意思就是他知道公司对他的表现不满意，知道自己可能会丢饭碗。
S: I think you should simply give Tom a list of behaviors the company has found unacceptable and then fire him. You can't allow him to drag you into an argument or debate. In this case you are merely the messenger and it's really not personal.
P: And if he promises to change and do better?
S: You have to firmly but politely let him know that the time for improvement has passed.
Sue建议，可以列举Tom种种令人不满的表现，然后告诉他被解雇了，不给他争辩的机会。You can't allow him to drag you into an argument or debate。因为Paul只是传达上级的决定，you are merely the messenger。你只不过是个传信的，It's not personal. 不是针对个人，只是公事公办而已。如果Tom保证改过自新呢？ Sue建议，要 firmly but politely既坚定又客气地告诉他，没有机会了。
S: Are you planning on asking him to sign a release form?
P: Yes. The policy is if you voluntarily sign a paper accepting your termination, you get 6 weeks of severance pay. Otherwise, if you wish to challenge the decision, you get just two weeks.
S: Ok...good. So go ahead and call him in. Remember: keep it simple. Inform him of the decision and tell him why, then explain the severance deal.
P: Ok...here goes. (Picks up phone) Kathy, please ask Tom to come in...thanks.
Sue最后提醒Paul, 要keep it simple. 越简洁越好。