That rarest of rare events happened at work this week: someone got fired.
Yesterday she was there, today she's gone, and it's like she never existed: her former cubicle stripped of anything that might have indicated it was once occupied and her presence so swiftly purged from Large Nameless Agency that her name vanished from the on-line employee directory almost as soon as the elevator doors closed behind her.
Granted, she was a contractor, not a direct employee, and contractors are much, much easier to purge than permanent federal employees, but even so. . . someone got fired. I have been observing contractors sitting on their collective ass doing as little work as humanly possible, milking contracts for many months past when a project was supposed to be done, since I started at Large Nameless Agency -- and this is the first time I've seen one shown the door. I am astounded.
I am, of course, conflicted. On the one hand, I do feel some twinges of sympathy for any poor sap who ends up terminated for cause in today's economy: jobs are close to impossible to get even when you've got stellar references and job hunt by choice, so I do find myself hoping she's got a safety net of some sort to fall back on (like a relative with an empty guest room) because she just went from having a pretty decent income to having none -- when you get fired for cause (and she apparently did; she allegedly lied to the project manager), you can't collect unemployment compensation.
On the other hand, I've been watching her take a project that could have been done in a month and stretch it out over almost two years, so mostly what I'm thinking is, "It's about damn time."