If you’ve been in public accounting for a number years, you’ve certainly seen your share of colleagues get shown the door either due to work performance that was not up to par, “a slow down in the marketplace,” or engaging in office antics that are typically frowned upon. This is typically handled in a manner befitting of a professional accountant. That is, a very solemn conversation in a partner’s office with regrets, thanks for service, yada yada yada.
William Ernst (no relation, I’m guessing) is a Bettendorf, Iowa businessman that owns a chain of QC Mart convenience stores, and he was sick of his employees acting up. Fooling around behind the counter, bad language,
smoking grass wearing hats. Poor clerking. To help make his point, Mr. Ernst decided to start a little contest and sent a memo to employees laying out the groundrules:
“New Contest – Guess The Next Cashier Who Will Be Fired!!!
To win our game, write on a piece of paper the name of the next cashier you believe will be fired. Write their name [the person who will be fired], today’s date, today’s time, and your name. Seal it in an envelope and give it to the manager to put in my envelope.
Here’s how the game will work: We are doubling our secret-shopper efforts, and your store will be visited during the day and at night several times a week. Secret shoppers will be looking for cashiers wearing a hat, talking on a cell phone, not wearing a QC Mart shirt, having someone hanging around/behind the counter, and/or a personal car parked by the pumps after 7 p.m., among other things.
If the name in your envelope has the right answer, you will win $10 CASH. Only one winner per firing unless there are multiple right answers with the exact same name, date, and time. Once we fire the person, we will open all the envelopes, award the prize, and start the contest again.
And no fair picking Mike Miller from (the Rockingham Road store). He was fired at around 11:30 a.m. today for wearing a hat and talking on his cell phone. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!”
Any firms considering cuts in the near to intermediate future, could really do well by this method. Although, since we’re dealing with a workforce that’s a little preoccupied with money, you’ll probably have to up the award to $100.