After playing a tycoon/Idle Game hybrid called Clicking Bad for a while, I realized what actually happens when you "sell" a "building" that's a person. In Clicking Bad, you run an illicit business producing the controlled stimulant medication desoxyephedrine, much as in the TV series Breaking Bad. You "buy" and "sell" drug dealers and attorney-dealers in the same list as actual buildings such as a nightclub with a pharmacy, and after a while, you realize that what you're doing by "selling" your dealers or bakers is giving them a pink slip.
"I thought you loved me."
"I still do. I just have to let you go. Feel free to use me as a reference."