Thursday, August 18, 2011

When you get fired ...

How many readers have ever been fired from a job? Been fired more than once?

How did it happen? What happened? Did you see it coming?

Is it like when The Donald shouts, "You're fired!"

Or did you show up for work one day and your car was the only car in the parking lot? The company had moved to Hong Kong, and nobody told you?

Or did the boss call you in and say, "Harry, we're making some changes, and your job is over today"?

Or did it happen the way one of my jobs ended, when my boss and I returned to the office in her car. I started to get out and she told me to hang on for a minute.

"Remember how you told me that you liked to be coached straight-up?" she asked. "Today is your last day." To this day I respect her for her direct approach and her honest words. I had noticed the small company's business shrinking and had guessed it was only a matter of time, before I'd be out the door. "Last hired, first fired," as they say.

Did your boss handle it during business hours at work? Or did your boss take the coward's way out and send someone else to do his dirty work? How far down the ladder did he push the dirty job?

Terminating an employee is a straight-forward, human resources matter. You don't send a low-level employee to the home of the employee being terminated to deliver the bad news. And you don't send more than one. And you don't send them in the middle of the night. And you don't send a person with a gun to deliver a termination letter!

You deal with it honestly, straight-forward, professionally and quickly. If you aren't man enough to handle it yourself, then you let the HR Department handle it.


Ralph G. said...

This goes to address the earlier blog about the termination letter and the comments about termination.

I dispute several statements.

Yes you can use lower level personnel to deliver the bad news as long as they are supervisory level people and you ALWAYS have more than one. This is for purposes of security and any vrification witness for any future litigation. This man carried a gun as part of his job so I would expect the people going there to be also armed. This appears common sense.

I was the Chief Operations Manager for a company employing several thousand personnel nationwide and nearly 300 locally. I worked in several company locations over a employment there of 23 years. When someone was terminated it was done with great apprehension. This day and the days following are notoriously the most likely time a discharged employee with seek retribution and return to commit workplace violence. Workplace violence is a serious problem in the US today and on a few occasions we had to have police escort personnel from the premise or block them when they tried to return.

Termination letters are very commonly delivered supervisors sometimes personally by HR. In some situations certified mail. Rarely is the Senor staff involved unless the person discharged was a supervisor. Being we were a local unit of 300, we also notified all areas and units of the termination. We were primarily a secure installation and even with photo ID card and locked doors, breaches of security had occurred. We did have 24 hour unarmed security but that was more aimed at facilities door and gate security.

Not knowing the entire history of this termination, it appears to be consistent with industry protocol and as a taxpayer, I would want everyone notified lest the person return and inflict harm. There are questions as to this mans grasp of reality.

As an aside, I felt that his joining the McCullom Lake brain cancer lawsuit because he patrolled the area would be like me suing Dunkin Donuts because I get fat as I'm driving by. How about the thousands that work there or drive through daily. When I read that it the paper I just shook my head.

Gus said...

Ralph G., I don't know how familiar you are with what is going on between Nygren and Milliman.

I agree that somebody up the food chain should have been the one to deliver the bad news. Actually, it's just a stupid move by Nygren to handle it the way he did. The union contract controls the procedure. I suspect Nygren has just bought himself another juicy lawsuit.

But why should he care? It's not his money.

It will be interesting to learn who went to Milliman's door, at what times, and how many times.

Could it have been handled this way? Was there a decent, respectful supervisor who could have called Scott and told him that the letter he was probably expecting was ready to be delivered?

Scott's a gentleman, and he would have met that supervisor at MCSD or at a mutually-agreed location, such as his home or maybe a coffee shop. They'd have shaken hands, and that would have been that. Scott would know the poor guy had just been the unlucky stiff to draw the short straw.

Instead, the sheriff ... well, you can fill in the blanks ...