It’s bad enough getting hauled into the boss’s office on a Thursday afternoon for an unexpected conversation that doesn’t end well. It’s another to be canned by a woman wearing designer sunglasses.
This is what purportedly happened to a female employee at The Hill late last week who worked in the publication’s advertising department. The employee, who had worked there a year and nearly four months, agreed to speak to FishbowlDC on condition of anonymity. The 15 minute conversation, in which she learned she was being pink-slipped, transpired at The Hill offices at 16th and K. The employee was let go with a month’s pay and was told she could work through Friday. But feeling a bit mortified, she came into the office the following day at 6:30 a.m. to grab her things and leave.
Among the reasons the employee was given for being terminated included looking bored — “She said she was terminating me because I seemed bored and the advertising reps didn’t want to give me things to do anymore, which was interesting because that didn’t seem to be the case with the 12-person department.” The sunglasses, meanwhile, are in dispute. We’re told the female boss donned cream colored shades with rose/brown tint lenses and fired the employee without ever once removing them. “Who does she think she is, Anna Wintour?” snapped a journalist and close friend of the jobless employee referring to the famed Vogue Magazine editor depicted to be a tyrant boss in The Devil Wears Prada. As the scene was described to us by the employee, the sunglasses “were basically what Fran Drescher‘s grandmother from ‘The Nanny’ would wear should she want to be Jackie O for Halloween.” More seriously, she added, “The sunglasses bit put me over the edge. It’s like, how little can you respect someone? It’s not like I sat there and sabotaged her department for 16 months.”
But Fran McMahon, The Hill‘s longtime Publisher and supervisor in question, denies even wearing sunglasses per say. When we asked about it, she replied, “To answer your inquiry, I wear tinted prescription eyeglasses, which would never be mistaken for sunglasses.”
The employee shot back, “That’s like saying my Ray Ban aviators are prescription so that makes it okay to wear them while I terminate someone. But whatever. Maybe I just find that rude, regardless. I feel like if I’m sitting three feet from you, you wouldn’t need to have them on.”
McMahon, known for being a tough, unapologetic businesswoman, declined to comment on the firing.