Q: I've been working in an outside sales position where I made a sizable contribution to the company's revenue. Then I was notified that...

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Q: I’ve been working in an outside sales position where I made a sizable contribution to the company’s revenue.

Then I was notified that I was being terminated. I feel borderline paranoid that I can’t get the company to tell me why I was terminated. Is there a way to compel the company to tell me?

A: There’s no way I know of to compel a company to tell you, but you are not borderline paranoid to want to know.

It’s human nature to try and make sense of our lives.

You may be able to sweet-talk someone in the company into giving you more information if you don’t blame them or attack them.

However, given the description you provided in your letter, I believe the company is being vague because there’s nothing you did or said to cause your termination.

Companies are reluctant to tell employees, “For our own business reasons, we find it convenient to terminate your employment even though you’re a terrific employee.”

This causes businesses to look irrational, and businesses pride themselves on looking rational.

In the old days, most employees expected consistent employment if they did a good job, and most companies provided it.

Today, almost no one gets a gold watch after 40 years at the same company.

Unfortunately, companies still believe that providing the illusion of stability is important public relations to attract good employees.

This backfires when the company terminates good employees without reason.

You just can’t buy the kind of (bad) publicity disgruntled employees provide for free.

The reality is most companies simply cannot provide stability, no matter how stellar the work of any individual.

Making a extraordinary contribution is no longer a protection against unemployment.

I find much suffering in work and life can be avoided if we can walk through life debunking popular myths.

The myth you believed is: “Good work equals employment.”

The best reason to do good work is that you’ll learn more skills, you’ll have more fun and you’ll increase your chances of finding a new job should you need one.

Q: Someone I work with just got promoted because he’s sleeping with our boss. Should I tell our boss’s manager?

A: No.

Daneen Skube, Ph.D., can be reached at 1420 N.W. Gilman Blvd., No. 2845, Issaquah, WA 98027-7001; by e-mail at interpersonaledge@comcast.net; or at www.interpersonaledge.com. Sorry, no personal replies. To read other Daneen Skube columns, go to: www.seattletimes.com/daneenskube