Recession Lexicon: Pre-Fired

by Sara Clemence on January 31, 2009 in Culture


We have plenty of synonyms for losing one’s job: laid off, fired, canned, made redundant, eliminated, dismissed, pink-slipped, discharged, and my personal favorite from a friend: “squirted out of the company.”

But new times demand new words, to describe concepts and situations we’ve never encountered before—like losing your job before you’ve even started it.

Last week I got pre-fired.

Around mid-morning Wednesday, I accepted a senior editor position with Domino magazine. It was a great gig at a great book—complete with a talented, energetic, sane boss; nice colleagues; and even a slightly higher salary than I’d made at my last job. The editor-in-chief was brimming with ideas. I was psyched. In my head, I loosened up my budget. I could start sending out the laundry again, pay for a personal trainer, replace my totaled car.

Two hours later, Domino folded.

The speed with which everything went down—less time than it took the Titanic to sink, incidentally—was shocking. But I’m not the first to be pre-fired in this economy. Last spring, J.P. Morgan withdrew dozens of Bear Stearns job offers when it acquired the company. And these days, there are probably many smaller, less dramatic examples out there.

Have you been pre-fired? Tell us in a comment or send us an email.

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