Is it appropriate to express condolences to a co-worker who was terminated, if you feel that termination was well-justified?
The co-worker is surely stressed at having lost his job, but he didn’t deliver what was asked of him. I was often slowed down or frustrated by his professional actions. Still, I didn’t personally dislike him. I feel like I should say something nice to him, to ease his emotional distress. What do you think?
— Conscientious Co-worker
I think you should shut your manatee-sized yap and go back to putting your head down and shoveling shit into it.
Why the fuck would you have this inclination to say something to Fired Fred? Oh, right, it’s because it’s not about him at all, is it? It’s about you and getting more attention on you for being some kind of two-faced, self-righteous pariah.
On the one face, he’s been actively (or unintentionally) making your job, and your life, harder by either his willful unprofessionalism or his ignorance of the proper ways to do things. I’m not sure which is worse, frankly. But the point is, he wasn’t getting done what needed to be done, what he had agreed to do, and which others, at several different levels, were counting on him to do, so you’ve been picking up his slack. As a result, you would be fully justified in being happy that he’s now gone and management can hire someone with a greater-than-79 IQ for once and you can go back to fulfilling your appropriate role without burning out over his incompetence.
For the other face…