Raad Ahmed
March 19, 2022

Why I Got Fired from CVS

A conversation with Kamrul Khan for the Bengalis of New York podcast

Kamrul: Raad, I'm just curious. Why did you get fired from CVS?

Raad: There was one night where someone asked me to vacuum the aisle, and I think I

was the youngest worker there and I just didn't want to vacuum it. It was supposed to

be an every other day thing. And they were like, you have to. I was like, no, I'd rather

just do anything else.

They fired me the next day. They found some excuse. They were just like, oh, your cash

register was short by 36 cents. I knew it was because I pushed back on doing something

I genuinely didn't want to do. It was a common theme in my life where I just didn't like

being told what to do.

I'm a little bit of a free thinker and maybe that seeded the plants of not ever being able to

hold a steady job since then, which leads into a bigger story.

Kamrul: But you've never held a job?

Raad: I have, but they were very short-lived. I wasn't very good at showing up at

one place at a specific time and doing the same thing over and over again. I'm

just not a very big morning person. Whenever I had to forcefully wake up, that

would just dampen in my mood right then.

I'm a curious person. So if I'm told to do something and I don't really understand the why

behind it, I'm just not going to be naturally into it. I'm going to do it by force. I think I did

that with a lot of my other jobs because I needed the money. But I knew it wasn't going

to be long lasting because I'd rather be poor than do something that I'm not generally

interested in.

Before CVS I worked at Jones beach concession stand, I worked at a country club as a

food server. Then I worked at a couple of law firms and luckily those were pretty short

because they were while I was in law school, they were two or three months long. It

was just enough to realize this has to end at some point. I needed to look at the writing

on the wall. I just got into making stuff on the internet.

Kamrul: Obviously you have this company and you manage people. How would you deal

with someone like you? Someone that's a free thinker and maybe takes direction, but

doesn't want to do exactly what they're told?

Raad: I try to actively find those people. I'm not the best manager. The people that

we hire and bring on have to be self-starters, and just be generally curious.

I'm good with setting the stage and setting the vision and letting them know

why this work is important and the impact they could have on the greater society.

After that, it's really just up to them on how they perform. Money is a decent motivator,

but if you're building anything early stage, you really need people to go away beyond

just money being the main motivator. It needs to be something that comes from

the heart.

And that's the only way you're really going to succeed. When you're doing something

really early stage, especially in the technology sector, and within law. There's been

institutions around for hundreds of years, and you're this less than 10 year-old startup

trying to disrupt it.

You need people to go to the extreme. Extreme actions lead to extreme results. I try to

actively find those people. It's very hard for us to hire because there's not too many

of them out there.