Mine’s a slightly different kind of fired boss story.
One summer during college I was an intern at the Office for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in Washington, where I became friends with Margie, the woman who supervised me, and that led to a paid summer job the next year with an OJJDP project in Boston. I got along well with my boss, “Jim,” who seemed like a decent guy.
Anyway, a year or two later I found out from Margie that Jim had subsequently been fired. She told me all the gruesome details. I no longer recall them, but essentially Jim got a really raw deal - as a result of some political infighting, he was unjustly accused of serious mismanagement. The Powers That Be believed the accusers, and he was fired for cause. Margie knew it was unfair but was not in a position to stop the firing.
I was horrified, and immediately sat down to write a letter to Jim. It didn’t say much other than, “hey, Margie told me what happened to you, and I’m so sorry. You were always a really good boss, take care.”
Fast forward another five or ten years. I was back in Boston and ran into Jim on a bus. We arranged to have lunch and catch up.
During our lunch, he was at pains to thank me for the letter I had written him - he said it had really meant a lot to him at a time when he was depressed and worried about his future. (Happily, by the time of our lunch he was back on his feet and had a good job.)
I probably shouldn’t have been surprised to hear him say that, but I was. I hadn’t realized how much it would mean to him. I was just so damned angry that he’d been mistreated, I really wanted to let him know I supported him.