Posted by: Steve Hamm on October 28, 2005
I heard a wild story today from some exployees of NCR Corp. It involves Thomas J. Watson, the founder of IBM, and the origin of the use of the word “fired” for an employee being terminated. They told me that when Watson, who was the sales manager at NCR, was fired in 1914, the company wasn’t satisfied to cut him loose but also had workmen carry his desk outside HQ in Dayton and light it on fire. There was motive. Watson was one of the employees blamed for bringing a federal anti-trust judgment down on the cash register company. But can this be true?