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My dad has been with the same company for over 30+ years. He's around 63 years old and has been very dedicated to his employer for all of these years. He wakes up at 3am every morning, drives to work and has been working this job since he was 30 years old.

The original owner of this company loved my dad and treated him like a son.

Anyhow gone are those times and recently my dad has been having issues with the new owner (son of the old man since the old man passed away). He has my dad do strange jobs like drive the forklift, and sweeping and just anything to piss my dad off.

This morning he told my dad to get on the forklift again to do some work. My dad responded that his health is not good for doing that job and that it wasn't his main job anyway.

My dad is 63 and not as strong as he used to be. In any event the new owner said that if he doesn't do it he can go home, and immediately he sent my dad home.

My dad came home and my ma says he was a bit frustrated because he has put in over 30+ years and this is how he is being treated. I talked to my dad and mentioned to him to be professional, do whatever you have to do to maintain your job. He was a bit scared because he didn't know if he was fired or not. I told him tomorrow morning go to work and just be professional DO NOT GET ANGRY.

In any event he just called me and said that the company called him and asked him to please come into work tomorrow. I couldn't believe it first they sent him home now they are asking him to come back...and to do this to a man whose 63 and put in 30+ years at this place.

My dad would love for them to fire him...but I don't think they will. I almost think they just want him to quit on his own. I know my dad's not like he used to be due to his age...but just making it hard on him just pisses me off.

Have you seen companies who really want an employee just to quit?

closed as off-topic by Jim G., gnat, IDrinkandIKnowThings, Michael Grubey, Chris E Apr 16 '15 at 21:54

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    Have you seen companies who really want an employee just to quit? Yes, not just one, and more extreme methods. Facts are, a new employee could perform better than your dad (as you´re saying yourself) and the new owner doesn´t care about the past. If there were any firing reason for your dad, the owner would´t hesitate. ... As long as the owner doesn´t do anything illegal, I don´t think there is much you can do. What your dad does is still part of the work, and if he isn´t satisfied with this... – deviantfan Apr 13 '15 at 19:42
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    As it says in the Bible "And a pharaoh came along who did not know Joseph" and things went downhill from there ... Is your dad eligible to collect a pension from the company? – Vietnhi Phuvan Apr 13 '15 at 21:19
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    Your last sentence Have you seen companies who really want an employee just to quit? does not sound like the question you actually want to ask (read The X-Y problem). Why are you posting this story here? What outcome do you want? It also sounds like you are in a country/legislation where he will receive benefits if he gets fired, but you are not telling us. Please edit your text. I suggest you add your actual question instead of replacing the current one, because people are already answering that. – Jan Doggen Apr 14 '15 at 8:10
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As you certainly realize, they probably want your Dad out of there. A new young boss comes in and wants to make things their own, so "out with the old, in with the new". Is it smart, nice, polite or appropriate? No. But like they say in the gangster movies, "It's not personal - it's just business". There usually isn't much you can do about it unless a new and more appropriate role can be found for someone like your dad. That may or may not be a viable option in your case.

Do companies or have you seen companies who really want an employee just to quit?

This is not at all uncommon. Avoiding paying unemployment and other benefits is a very common reason for doing so. If an employee quits, they won't have to play those benefits, but if they fire him, they will.

In the case of your dad, it's very possible there is an additional reason: Management wants to save face and not destroy company morale: Firing a dedicated and respected employee of 30 years without some very good, well known reason makes management look very bad: Cruel and heartless, unappreciative of their employees, insensitive to their needs - that's not good for anybody.

I told him tomorrow morning go to work and just be professional DO NOT GET ANGRY.

I think you are giving him exactly the right advice. He should maintain his dignity and go about his business like the good employee he has always been. That will help things in at least two ways that I can think of offhand:

1) Your Dad maintains his dignity and integrity.

2) It may give the new boss pause. Depending on how smart and honest he is, he may realize that although your Dad might not be as productive as he was a decade ago, he contributes certain "intangibles" that make it worthwhile to have him around.

It seems pretty clear that your dad is a man of integrity and would never consider doing little things that might make it easier for them to fire him, but in some situations people do such things.

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    Very nice answer that at least makes me feel better. – JonH Apr 14 '15 at 0:25
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Do companies intentionally drive people out?

Yes, sadly this does happen and usually is a poor indicator of leadership. As the former boss's son now runs the show it shows he's either a poor leader or is treating your father vindictively. (either because he personally doesn't like your dad, or he doesn't like the "old guard")

What can your father do?

As you said, be professional in all interactions, but he also has the right to refuse work outside his written responsibilities, or work that is unsafe / unreasonable for him to do. Frankly I doubt the new CEO cares about your father. The idea here is it's unfortunately REALLY hard to find a job at his age. Age prejudice is a real thing. Your father should put his health first, job second.

If the new CEO intends to fire him, he'll do it no matter what your father does to protect himself. At this point your father should just try and keep himself healthy and be the professional. If he's let go take that as it comes, if he can retire now might be an excellent time, if he can survive short term until retirement that works too. He can start looking for another employer, but at 30 years he might be giving up more than he could gain, plus as I said getting a job at 65 is difficult since everyone assumes you'll retire at any moment.

Good luck to you and your father, I hope this is some short power trip and the new CEO will get off his high horse. Your father might also consider changing roles in the company to something the CEO is less likely to be involved in if possible. (If it's a small / med company this could be difficult, but a big company it'd be easy enough)

  • A couple of scenes from the movie "Horrible Bosses" perfectly depicts alinea 1. I find it very unlikely, though, that this new CEO will come off his high horse. – Edwin Lambregts Apr 14 '15 at 11:32
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I don't like the answers so far. I agree with them in the premise that he needs to be professional and do his job to his best ability. However I don't like the long-term solution.

He needs to do a one-on-one with the boss. Lay it out on the table with him. Let him know that he feels that he is being pushed out the door. Then go over what value he brings to the company. Your dad being there that long I am sure has value more than physical labor. He needs to be honest about what he can and can't do, and go over a plan. Come up with some ideas about how he can contribute and become an ally to current management.

The worst case scenario here is the boss says that he wants him out. At least your father gets that out in the open. And if I were your father I would simply say, "That is fine, but I am going to show up and do my job until you fire me."

More likely the current management will give it a thought to what they might do with your dad. If he can present a few positives for himself he can more likely get them off his back.

Probably what it comes down to is how much is your dad contributing right now? I would go over with him what he does on an average day compared to his co-workers. Ask him if he has expertise that aren't being used (day-to-day expertise not new ideas). Then you can go over a game plan with the talk with management.

It is really important that he is ready before going in there. As a son you need to be honest with your dad and try to get to the bottom of how he can win over the new management just a little. That's his chance. He is not getting anywhere right now by ignoring the elephant in the room and him not doing activities or staying home is disrespectful. Even if the new management doesn't deserve respect nothing good is going to happen to fight them every day.

  • Look at what he says: I know my dad's not like he used to be due to his age. That says to me his father isn't producing like he used to, that's likely why they're trying to push him out. – Loren Pechtel Apr 14 '15 at 2:40
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    @LorenPechtel - yea but who knows? We don't really even know what he does. Giving him the benefit of the doubt. Also it is new management. Often new management comes in with a perceived notion of certain employees. This can change. This can change with a good conversation and plan. It won't change by refusing to do things and calling in sick. – blankip Apr 14 '15 at 2:42
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    I agree this might be a good idea if undertaken properly, but it's not without risk: Consider that the new boss doesn't sound like the sort of person that would appreciate being confronted in such manner. It might accomplish nothing more than "dad" getting fired for insubordination or some such thing, which has legal ramifications. It also requires "dad" to have the required people skills to handle a delicate and potentially volatile situation correctly. – Vector Apr 14 '15 at 16:26
  • @JonH - is there a manager or shop steward on the job that could be helpful in a meeting such as has been suggested here? I don't know the "company culture" at the firm in question but it's generally a good idea to have an intermediary of some sort involved in a meeting of this sort. – Vector Apr 14 '15 at 16:31
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    @Vector - it would have to be behind closed doors and I mentioned that son has to prep him. It is a risk, but when you don't have much to lose you might as well do what could have the best long-term ramifications. – blankip Apr 14 '15 at 16:32

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