When the owner at Accurate Background Check in Ocala, Fla., realized the grim reality that to save her company she had to trim her staff, she made an unlikely choice: herself.
Lola Gonzalez said she couldn't bring herself to fire any of her hard-working employees, so she walked away from her own six-figure job.
In an "Early Show on Saturday Morning" exclusive, Gonzalez shared her story from Tampa, Fla.
So what made her decide to do this?
She told "Early Show" co-anchor Chris Wragge, simply, it was the right thing to do.
Gonzalez explained, "My husband told me I should cut an employee back. And it angered me. And I decided that I was going to call my confidant, my good friend, my attorney ... and told him what I wanted to do, and he gave me his blessings and told me go for it."
So what did the staff think of her choice? Wragge remarked, "They must have been slack-jawed."
Gonzalez replied, "Yes, they thought that I was kidding because I do like to play pranks.
"But I told them that I was serious, and that I trusted them - I hired them. We provide wise hiring decisions, I mean, information for employers to make the wise hiring decisions. As I hired them, I was confident I was doing the right thing.
"They thought I was crazy," she said.
Wragge said, "When you told them were you leaving and were going to sacrifice your own job, did they look around the room, (and say), 'OK, if she's leaving, who's running this place?'"
Gonzalez answered, "Yes, they asked me that and I said, 'You are. You are, and I trust you.' They've taken ownership, and I do not regret what I've done, for a minute."
But things have turned out all right for Gonzalez because, she said, she got creative and started talking with people about her job search.
She told Wragge, "(My current job) was a blessing. And it was not planned. It so happened I crossed the street and ran into somebody, our sheriff, and told him I was looking for a job, and the next thing I knew I got a referral, and it was a job made for me."
She was hired for Devereux in Florida at half the salary, but now has the flexibility to help her former company and not burden it by taking a salary and health benefits.
But would Gonzalez go back to her former company if things turn around?
She said, "As a facilitator, my job is to put myself in these communities, bring in the resources and leave in about two years. And then the community center should be able to run by its own. We don't have public transportation, so there's a lot of things I'm working on. But my job is to put myself out of business."
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