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Fired Dad Still Upset By Daughters’ Day Firing

May 5, 1995

CINCINNATI (AP) _ Bill Means’ former boss admits the timing could have been better.

Means had brought his 8-year-old daughter to the office for Take Our Daughters to Work Day. They left a short time later with an escort _ not as part of the special occasion, but because Means had just been fired.

``There’s no humanity,″ Bill Means said Friday. He was laid off April 27 as a systems engineering manager at the computer software company Structural Dynamics Research Corp.

Ed Neenan, the company vice president who gave Means the bad news, said he didn’t know Means’ daughter, Marisa, was in the office.

Neenan said the company won’t reconsider the firing, though it admits the ``timing was truly regrettable.″

``We’re so sorry about this that I don’t know how I could express it,″ Neenan said. ``It’s just made us look like very bad people out here.″

Marisa had packed a lunch and brought along some books for her day at Dad’s job. She was only two hours into her special day when Neenan broke the news to Dad.

Means said he believed Neenan didn’t know Marisa was with him. ``But I also think that’s part of his job, to know there are daughters in the building.″

The company, which makes and sells computer software used in product design, has laid off about 140 employees, or 12 percent of its worldwide work force, since disclosing financial problems in September.

The company has eliminated about 100 jobs at its Milford headquarters, 15 miles east of Cincinnati. That includes Means’ boss in February.

The company gave Means two weeks severance pay, credit for three weeks of unused vacation and offered to help him find a job, Means said. He has worked in computer systems for 20 years and was recruited two years ago from General Electric Co.

Means said that since his firing became public, he has received about 70 phone calls from reporters seeking interviews. He has had one job interview, with a neighbor who operates a small business and read about his plight.

He and his wife, Daileen, have tried to explain the firing to their daughter. She was disappointed that daughters’ day was cut short and confused about what happened, her parents said.

``She doesn’t really know,″ Means said. ``I look at it in the long run as good for me because it’s not the kind of company I want to work for or in.″

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