Strong Leaders Don’t Quiet Fire People

Jake Wilder
4 min readSep 22, 2022

It’s a Practice for Cowards

Photo: iStock

“I think I’m being quiet fired,” my friend Erin told me.

I had no idea what she was talking about. Quiet fired? Like what happened to Milton in Office Space? Is that actually happening to people?

It turns out that yes, yes it is.

Erin said she’s been passed over for a promotion, she’s not being assigned to new projects, and her boss won’t give her any feedback. She feels as though the company’s icing her out.

The only thing left is for them to move her desk into Storage Room B.

Unfortunately, she’s not alone. Quiet firing is management’s latest response to the quiet quitting trend. Instead of addressing performance issues with conversations, they treat people like dirt until eventually they quit on their own. Tactics include denying people raises, excluding them from key projects, or refusing to provide the resources they need to succeed.

It’s despicable. It reminds me of how a petulant child, or some conservative politicians, would respond to difficulties. It’s the weakest form of leadership.

But Jake, you might be thinking, managers are just responding in kind. After all, if employees are quiet quitting, don’t managers have the right to quiet fire them?



Jake Wilder

I don’t know where I’m going. But at least I know how to get there.