Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Burning Bridges

I've avoided writing about my new job too much, because I am a firm believer in the practice of not talking about work on your blog. Not worth the potential fallout. But there is a story I must share, and hopefully it will be generic enough to not set off any alarms.

There have been two occasions in my career that I've had to fire someone. The first was a telemarketer who misrepresented his qualifications & computer expertise, which might not have mattered much, but he followed that by performing very poorly in the first couple of months. There was a 6 month "probation" period and so we had the option of terminating him without a warning period, which we chose to do. The system made it easy, but the actual moment wasn't - he was angry, defensive, and belligerent. Luckily I was with an HR rep, who facilitated the conversation.

The second was an administrative assistant who had a really bad lateness/attendance record. It was constantly something - her mother was in the hospital, her child was sick, her sister had an accident - all of which might have been completely true, but they were having a really negative effect on her ability to perform her job. And she wasn't communicating consistently or clearly about them, so there wasn't even a way to try to work it out. We (my boss, who was also hers, and I) put her on formal warning twice, and then when she still didn't improve, set up a meeting with her. She called in sick that day. She didn't show up for the rest of the week. Finally HR had to send a registered letter to her house, letting her know she was at risk of being let go for "job abandonment" if she didn't make an effort to respond.

We never saw her again.

Until I got to my new job, that is. She works here. Not directly for my team, but within the overall department. She has so far avoided me, which I understand. And it's been 7 or 8 years since our shared history, so it's possible she's turned her life around and is an exemplary employee. I'm certainly not going to say anything to anybody about the past; I'll give her the benefit of the doubt.

But it just proves the old saying about not burning bridges. I'm sure she never expected to have to work with me again.

Blogger spellcheck doesn't know "blog." How is that possible?


Blogger jane said...

That's a weird coincidence. I'd think she would be extremely uncomfortable, wondering if you've said anything to management.

Blogger spellcheck sucks. There are so many common words that it doesn't know. Someone with a 1st grade education must have input the words, or something.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Pynchon said...

Probably best to give her the benefit of the doubt. People can change.

I also noticed that blogger does not know the word blog. Rubbish, eh?

3:23 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

ring logo
Writing Desk Webring

Join | List | Random
Previous | Next
Powered by RingSurf
Locations of visitors to this page