Make A Speech – Lose Your Job

I started a new job in Colorado three weeks ago. We had a design review last Thursday where my boss said things were going very well. I debugged about a dozen bugs in other people’s code, and got the application running later that day – right on schedule.

When working late yesterday debugging my bosses’ code on the next phase, the big boss came and fired me. She said I wasn’t coming up to speed fast enough. Total BS. I was the most productive person in the group.

Couldn’t possibly have had anything to do with my Omaha speech, which I told her about a few days earlier.

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45 Responses to Make A Speech – Lose Your Job

  1. TheLockean says:

    Sorry to hear that. Hope you land on your feet.

  2. Neal S says:

    I hope their unfair dismissal of you, comes back to bite them in a big way.

  3. Jim Lion says:

    You’re a hero, my friend. Keep up the good work.

  4. JN says:

    I’m surprised it took Gavin a few days to find your boss’s phone #.

  5. dave1billion says:

    Sorry to hear that, Steve.

    I’m a software developer and the whole “not coming up to speed fast enough” does sound like BS. Debugging other people’s code is hard work and my least favorite task. I assume you’re older and more experienced than most of the other programmers there so “not coming up to speed” doesn’t make much sense.

    The only other valid reason I can think of to let someone go is “You aren’t a good fit here” which she would have used if that was the case.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it had something to do with your views. I always see people who post conservative comments with their user description being something like “Widget Engineer, Whoville Aeronautics” being threatened by someone saying that they’re emailing the employer to let them know what their employee is writing.

    I hope you find new work soon.

    • gator69 says:

      I use a pseudonym for that very reason, as well as protecting other family members who work for Big Brother. And this is one reason why Tony is a hero to me.

      Thankyou Mr Heller. Godspeed.

  6. shempus says:

    coming up to speed = coming around to the groupthink?

    • tonyheller says:

      Pretty much ….

      • annieoakley says:

        So sorry. I have had the same experience, very discouraging. And the older one is, the more difficult it is to find a new job. I know you are very good at what you do. Not being PC is job hell these days.

    • AndyG55 says:

      group-think will NOT remove those bugs..

      That is the major point to be made here.

      TH, Hopefully something else will come around.

  7. Andy DC says:

    That is even worse then when I got fired from a job for being “cold and mechanical” when I thought I was doing fine. If they are going to be climate change Nazis and otherwise act like pricks, you are far better off somewhere else.

    • annieoakley says:

      The trouble is everyone has to be PC, smile and nod at the most outrageous crap in any discipline or out you go.

      • Gail Combs says:


        I am so glad I am now retired and do not have to deal with that BS anymore. It is sad when honesty is a sure way to get fired.

        • RAH says:

          Oh so thankfully that is not the case at my job. I can and have many times told it like I see it about anything work related or having to do with pay or HR to any of the dispatchers or supervisors with no problems.

          I’m not a whiner but when it comes to improving things at work or having to do with my job I either convey my thoughts verbally or in a well thought out e-mail to the appropriate boss. I also make sure to convey approval and complements when I believe someone in dispatch or a driver is doing a good job or when I see improvements in policies or systems.

          That being said, not a single time in the nearly 9 years I have worked there have I had a grievance or issue that caused me to go to the offices of either of the top two bosses. Some other drivers are bugging #2 all the time. I’ll save the big guns for when it really counts. Thankfully, both have reputations as being driver friendly.

  8. Dan Z says:

    I’m very sorry to hear that. I hope that a new opportunity comes along quickly. I appreciate your information. Unfortunately, I seem to be blocked from your Twitter feed. Can I be put back in your good graces? @dzielinski

  9. Michael Spencer says:


  10. Russell Cook says:

    One other possibility: you were TOO productive, and removing one too many bugs from the boss’s program was the last straw that broke the camel’s back…. potentially on top of a few additional ‘straw bales of confidence’ stemming from a political ideology. I’ve been fired from two separate small business jobs where my work was demonstratively better than the owner/boss, and each guy was crippled with elemental self esteem problems. Strong self esteem people welcome feedback, growth, and debate. Low self esteemers seek to destroy anyone who makes them look bad by any means possible, ultimately because all they have are unsupportable beliefs to keep their agendas in the air rather than hard facts. Remind anyone of a particular science/political issue, or of a few other social issues?

  11. geran says:

    Most times you never know the reason behind hiring/firing decisions. One time I had to take a written test, applying for a low-level position. After scoring the test, they said I was “over-qualified” for the position! Like, that’s bad?

    Some years later, it happened that I again had to take another written test for a job. Remembering the first experience, I threw in a few wrong answers, trying not to do too well. That didn’t work either!

    Only the shadow knows….

  12. Gail Combs says:


    It is a shame your hard work has been rewarded with getting fired.

    I really hope you find a better job real soon.
    Best of luck.

  13. Don says:

    Lawsuit, make her show the reasons.

  14. Jonathan sawyer says:

    Know anything about embedded linux? We are looking for someone with that skill set. Word of warning, though, we are all abunch of gun packing conservative wackos!

  15. ossqss says:

    It is not permitted to be exceptional anylonger in this fundamentally changed country that we were forced into. I am sorry to hear the news about the job. You can bet your exposing the speech, and subsequent personal info in that speech, brought out the hounds of percieved liability in your boss. I would have an attorney write a letter requesting they document your dismissal. I would be happy to hit the tip jar to help.

    Good luck to you Tony. If you ever get to Florida, I will have a cold one set up for you.

  16. JRo says:

    Let me know if you would be interested in relocating to Salt Lake City, Utah.

  17. fourtimesayear says:

    I’m so sorry….sure hope there’s someone in the skeptic community that can help out.

  18. Bob Grise says:

    Don’t worry about it Tony/Steve. I will hire you. But I don’t pay well. LOL. Look, the Libs stick together. My daughter wanted to go to a Lib school. I said who the heck is going to hire you with that worthless degree? A teacher friend of mine answered the question: Liberals hire other liberals! Oh…duh! LOL. I watched your Omaha presentation and loved it. I live near St. Cloud, MN Our local temp records show the most recent 25 years was actually a tenth degree cooler than the years 1900 – 1924. You would think that would be newsworthy. I tip off the Minneapolis newspaper of this fact often and they ignore it. A local radio host loves to chide on our new reaction to heat. KSTP’s Joe Soucheray said that decades ago a heatwave was something to have fun with, maybe cook an egg on the tar. But now it is trumpeted as something to be feared as you need to seek shelter or you may die! Joe is a funny guy!!

  19. RAH says:

    All I can say is *&%#kers. Their loss.
    So sorry Tony.

  20. Latitude says:

    which I told her about a few days earlier…….

    Don’t do that…it’s none of their business anyway

  21. gregole says:

    Sounds like the typical total crap that passes for management these days. Hope you get a good gig soon!

  22. Tim Acomb says:

    Hi Tony,
    Was stunned to learn you were that Tony from Los Alamos. I greatly appreciate your stance and courage on this subject. That and the fact that you’re a gun enthusiast gets you two thumbs up. If you’re ever in LA give me a call,I’ll buy you a coffee!

  23. David A says:

    Tony, thanks for all you do. It is hard to keep a good man down, and I rate you a very good man!

    Mark Twains definition of life;
    “One damm thing after another”

  24. Robertv says:

    You past the 3,500 views on YouTube so this is the result. More time to ride the bike.

  25. Stephen Richards says:

    Your character shows in not naming the slimeballs company. I’m not sure if I could have done the same.

  26. Timo Soren says:

    I personally recommend an exit interview, where you explain that any rationale basis for the firing is mote based on the expectations provided.

    Then you can have fun informing them that although Colorado is a right-to-work/work-at-will state, that Federal Law does not allow discrimination.

    You can point out that their release of you is Religeous Discrimination (on their part!) since you don’t belong to their Church of CAGW they have fired you! Would love to see that one in the papers!

  27. Michael says:

    Please name and shame.

    What is the company and what is her name?

    She will have to live with this as much as you do.

  28. Ann Chovie says:

    That really sucks. I have had the same experience in the Denver metro area while working at NREL and other government agencies.

    On the bright side Colorado has jobs around if you know where to look. I would recommend seeking out employment further south of Denver in the Colorado Springs area where PC is not as pronounced. I feel much more at home down here.

  29. So the big boss claimed that the Debugging God did not come up to speed quick enough?

    Beats me!

    “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
    – Albert Einstein

  30. The Old Man says:

    As one of the Old Guys on the Planet, in this moment, I can honestly say you can’t tell good luck from bad. I’m confident your honest and skillful trajectory will confirm that as you head down the road from here..

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