Saturday, February 15, 2014

Tips on how not to get fired or...Maria fires another employee

I had to. She was warned. Twice. Warned that the third time was the end.

Four years ago, we decided that we needed a full time translator. We had used a part time one but the work load was too heavy for her and she only wanted to spend four hours a day here, four days a week. So, we parted ways with Donna. Very congenially. She still brings her kids in occasionally to visit and let us know how things are with her.

So we hired Marisa. It felt wrong from day one. But, I was the only one who didn't fall under her friendly spell. Marisa was in her late twenties and this was her first job out of college. She had a degree in Spanish, which I found confusing as she grew up in a Spanish speaking family but said that she learned English when she went to grade school.

Maybe this sounds petty, but it seemed like sort of a lazy degree to get. I mean, she was fluent in Spanish and obtained a degree in Spanish? But, I let it go.

At her interview, I kept noticing this habit she had of picking her zits. She had a few. She would pick and then when she thought we weren't looking, observe her fingers for...what....pus? And then she would sort of roll whatever she had found into a ball and surreptitiously wipe it on her leg. This totally nauseated me but when I brought it up to my fellow interviewers, they gave me blank looks. Had not even noticed it. Maybe I am too well trained to observe all body language. I don't know....but it bugged me. I thought that if she would do that in a job interview, she would surely do it more freely after she was hired.

I was correct. She did. And yes, we all noticed, but no one thought that was reason to fire Marisa.

On the surface, Marisa seemed almost exuberantly friendly. She reminded me of Socks when he was a puppy, always jumping up for attention, seemingly never to be in a bad mood. Marisa was a talker and loved nothing more than to visit with anyone and everyone. I thought this might work in her favor since she WAS our interpreter. And she was SO excited to be working with me, a LESBIAN!!! her first lesbian friend. I almost told her that actually I was bi-sexual, but I just didn't want to share or burst her bubble of excitement, so I never did. She would come into my office to talk and pick up photos of Bing and me and say, "You two are so CUTE!" The few times that Bing came in to meet me for lunch or bring Liv to see me, I thought that Marisa might faint with sheer excitement. There we were: A LESBIAN couple with their offspring! How hip! How cool! How freaking CUTE!

A year passed. Little by little, we all began to dislike her. Except for one of our secretaries, a shy loner whom Marisa had brought out of her shell quite skillfully. I did admire her for that.

Marisa's job was pretty straight forward. We told her up front that her job was mainly a desk job, that a big part of it would be to translate medical records and documents from English to Spanish and vice versa. She would also be called upon to translate, in office, when one of us had a child to treat who only spoke Spanish. She was told that many of our children were in the foster care system and that their evaluations were court ordered. Occasionally, she would attend lectures and presentations that all of us took turns giving and that she would translate for any attendees who only spoke Spanish. She said that she understood and that she was so happy to be here, yada, yada, yada.

Well, after a few months, Marisa began to beg to go with whichever one of us was presenting at some conference, etc. even when we didn't need an interpreter. She loved outings. She was like a dog seeing his human put on a coat. Can I come!? Can I?! PLEASE!!!?? I'd tell her that no, I was speaking to a group of health and human service social workers and they all spoke English, so there was no need and besides, didn't she need to be here to translate all those medical records that needed to be sent to the state? She'd sulk like a tween, actually dragging her feet, hangdog, back to her desk, glaring balefully at me over her shoulder.

We were notified by the state that we were late in sending documents. We talked to Marisa. Told her how important it was to be timely. That if a document needed to be sent by December 1st, that meant December 1st, not the 21st. She would shrug and sigh as if we were telling her to get moving on that algebra homework.

She lied often and badly. She was married and had been raised by her grandmother. She told me that she had moved in with her grandmother when she was 12 because her mother made her stick to unfair curfews. (What's an unfair curfew at TWELVE years old???) She told a co-worker that she had moved in with her grandmother because her mother drank too much and that she had been taking care of her grandmother ever since, who was practically a cripple. Her grandmother stopped in one day and she was Joan Rivers' Hispanic twin, dripping in big fake jewelry and loudly dressing down a secretary for "having a gut on you." Not crippled. She told me that her husband was a mechanic. She told a secretary that he was a car salesman. Maybe he was both. She told me that her husband had no health insurance, but declined when I offered to have her husband put on her insurance with us. She told another co-worker that her husband had private insurance but that it was killing them financially. I have no idea where the actual truth was. But, it was unsettling.

She found out that I liked the show Walking Dead and started watching it because "If you watch it, it has to be smart because you are so dang smart, Maria!" And after that, she became my nightmare on the day after a Walking Dead segment. She would come into my office, plop down in a chair across from my desk and say, "Ok, let's dish DEAD, babeeee!"

I think I could have put up with all of this if she was a diligent worker. But, she wasn't. She could not sit in a chair for more than 20 minutes before jumping up to go find someone to talk to. And her work was shoddy and late. A lot. She once infuriated me when she sat in while I was doing an initial visit with a Spanish speaking child and his foster parent. That particular foster parent was a very unsavory person, anyone could see that. But, we must treat everyone professionally in my business. Instead, Marisa sat across from me and made comical faces at me, mocking this woman. I was horrified and told her so when they had left.

Marisa was bewildered. But that foster parent was SKANKY, surely I saw that? Yes, I told her, but we DO NOT make fun of people behind their backs. Every person who we see needs to be treated with professionalism.

I said, "This isn't a high school lunch table, Marisa. I don't want to see you do that again. Do you understand?"

She sulked for a week before she was back to her usual chummy self.

But, then things started getting darker. She went to a chiropractor who told her that she should file a Workers comp form because her back pain was due to sitting in a chair for too long. I informed her that she was told that this was a desk job from the get go and that she had not been observed sitting in her chair for more than 20 minutes at a time before popping up, so her job was hardly the culprit. I told her to go ahead with the form if she really felt it necessary, but that this office was prepared to fight back on it.

She dropped it. But a few weeks later, she didn't show up for work and didn't call in sick. I instructed the secretary in charge of payroll to please call Marisa at home and see if she forgot to call in sick, etc. The secretary came into my office and said that she had texted Marisa and that she had texted back that she was sick and to leave her the fuck alone. I immediately called Marisa and when she answered, I curtly informed her that in compliance with our office policy, she was to please call in sick when she was not coming into the office. She burst into tears and said, "I'm just stressed, please leave me alone!" I said that I hoped her day improved and said goodbye.

The next day, she came into my office and said that she had felt violated by the secretary who had called her and by me, for calling her at home. That she had had an argument with her husband and she didn't want to come in to work. She felt that we had treated her this way because she was Hispanic and "we brown girls always get picked on." She said that she was pondering talking to a lawyer about this. I told her to go right ahead, that the secretary had saved her texts and that I had saved our phone call. If she wanted to look like a fool in a courtroom, DO IT.

She immediately saw that I meant business, apologized and said that she was just so stressed! It took everything I had not to remind her that we ALL fight with our spouses and that one of our secretaries had a son who was in Afghanistan and our nurse had just found out that she had lupus, but we were all managing to deal with our lives and get ourselves to work. Instead, I asked her if I could be of assistance. She said that she was just so sick of her husband wanting her to party all the time. Couldn't he ever just stay home with her, why did he have to drag her to bars all the time?

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THIS is why she couldn't come into work? Instead, I suggested that we take a look at her calendar and see if she had any personal days/vacation days/sick days that she could take.

Of course, she had none.

They were gone when she went on vacation for nearly a month with her husband to visit friends in L.A. several months ago.

My partners and I immediately contacted a lawyer that we keep on a retainer. We were advised to start documenting everything she did that was against office policy. And that we should immediately give her a warning when we had enough documented. And then a second warning. And then we needed to fire her, but to make VERY sure that we dotted all of our i's and crossed all of our t's. There should be no room for her to have anything on us to throw a lawsuit at us. 

Marisa began strolling into the office at least a half hour late every morning. We're a pretty laid back office and no one cares if someone is late occasionally or needs to take a long lunch hour or leave early to pick up a sick child at daycare. But, she took things to the limit. She was constantly late, began taking two hour lunches daily and actually took to sneaking out our back door 45 minutes early each day.

There are two others who are my partners in our business. We all talked to her at one time or another. She always promised to do better. She never did. We documented.

She started wearing jeans to work daily. Fancy jeans, I will admit, with rhinestones on them. But, the day that she wore a tube top with jeans and high platform heels, one of my partners told her that this was unacceptable. She was expected to wear business attire to work.

Last month, she was given her last warning. She was told that this behavior had to stop or she would be fired. She pouted back that she was looking into another job anyway, that she felt unappreciated here.

She was telling the truth because I received a call from a local non-profit business. She had applied for a translator job. Could we talk about Marisa? I sighed. I wanted to lie. It would have been such an easy way to get rid of her. But, I couldn't do it. I told the truth.

So, yesterday, we gave her two weeks notice.

She, (as we predicted) flew into a rage and had a raging tantrum in our conference room. Said we were all a bunch of racist bitches who didn't appreciate her hard work. I sat very quietly and finally, working as hard as I could to keep my voice even and strong, informed her that her work was sloppy and inaccurate. That we had been cited by the state twice for lateness in document return. That she was habitually late, took two hour lunches and snuck out early on a regular basis. That she was lazy and had a bad work ethic and that none of this had anything to do with the color of her skin. And I told her that as of February 28th, she was out of a job with us. That we wished her well, but she was not going to be a part of our office anymore.

She actually stomped her foot at me and said, "You are such a high and mighty lesbo bitch. You think you are so special walking around in your Chanel suits and Jimmy Choo shoes. (I don't own Jimmy Choos...but maybe she meant Salvatore Ferragamo? Guilty.) I hope your ugly pretend wife cheats on you."

And she flounced out. Cleaned her desk out in ten minutes flat. Stole several pads of paper, a stapler and a box of pens with our logo on them.

But, she's gone.

So...if you are looking for a job? This post is pretty much what NOT to do.

Have any of you had to fire someone? Have you been fired? Tell.....


Joanne Noragon said...

There are just an unbelievable number of self-centered youngsters out there in the work force, aren't there. I was warned to do my business with a young government employee early in the morning, by afternoon he is a raving maniac. Of course I had to find out. And, he is. Why are we still paying his salary?
Years ago I had to fire a pretty, pretty young payroll clerk who spent a great deal of time strolling through the factory. After her umpteenth warning she went to my boss; it was me or her! Larry told her not to let the door hit her n the butt. She pouted and told me Larry was mean. I fired her.

the only daughter said...

I've never been fired. I've had to fire an employee. The scenario was pretty much what you painted with Marisa. You and your partners gave Marisa every opportunity. It is unfortunate that she wasn't mature enough to recognize. I've known so many Marisas in my time.

Anonymous said...

Oh holy hell, she sounds like a nightmare. If you're hiring, read this blog, it's fabulous and gives a ton of tips on how to hire the right person for your business:

Just being completely honest here, but once someone has threatened to sue you as she did, getting rid of her needs to be top priority as in about 10 seconds after she says that. Consult an employment lawyer in your state for your rights here if you need to know them, but seriously giving her two weeks notice after she'd behaved this way is very poor management on your part. You do not want to give her a chance to sabotage your business. Fire her and have security escort her from the office THAT day. People like her with no work ethic and a total inability to understand professional norms are the type who will do bad things to your paperwork, your computer systems, etc. Don't give her the chance.

UGH. Sorry you had someone this bad, but seriously visit Ask a Manager and search for hiring tips. She's got some great stuff on that so maybe next time you can get a good employee.

And the zit picking during an interview??????? OMG. No. Just no. That is disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a story! I'm currently working in a project where there are several teams of us, working on different social businesses. I'm the head of my team because the business we're working on was my idea initially. We started it all very gung-ho, very serious about wanting this to succeed and yet still with a really delightful camaraderie and a cheerful, hopeful spirit. It's the first time in my life I've worked with an all-women team and I love it. But, there was Jenna. Jenna seemed fine at first, even though her expertise didn't really fit in with what we wanted. But she'd wanted to be in our team so badly, we let her. She was unreliable and unproductive from the get-go. Came late, didn't come at all, never gave notice of where she was and never replied to emails or texts. We had to catch her up on everything we'd done without her every time she did deign to come in and then she'd question every little thing and put us in a position where we thought we had to defend our decisions. And then one day, she felt comfortable, we were talking during a break and suddenly, it all came tumbling out of her. She didn't want to be there, thought our group was just "fun to be with to pass the time", she had other projects she'd rather be working on and all of this was actually keeping her from it and then the big doozy: Whenever she felt too fed up with the office and the project (we do other stuff at work besides the social business projects), she'd just go to her doctor, say she was depressed again - "because I used to be depressed, so now I just have to show up and say my depression is acting up again and I get sick leave for as long as I want" - and boom, she was off the hook. And this happened every few days. When she told us all this, we were all horrified. We tried to tell her nicely that she could leave our team to work on her own projects, wouldn't that be more satisfying and more productive for her? "No, no, I'll just bide my time here and gab with you gals." I talked to every team member after that and we talked about Jenna as a group too. I asked our boss what he thought and he said it was ok with him if we needed Jenna gone from our team. The following Monday, I asked Jenna if I could talk to her privately. She immediately said "Oh, you want me off the team, don't you?". Our talk after that was short and she got really mad and just grabbed her stuff and disappeared for 10 days. Our boss has since told me that Jenna's been fired from quite a lot of jobs for just that kind of behaviour and that she's with us because they wanted to give her a chance. Well, she's off my team. I just had to remove her because I could see, with each passing day, how she was sapping morale and being a terrible example. We work much better without her now. This just happened recently and was the first time I ever had to do that. It wasn't pleasant, but boy was it necessary!

kj said...

I am laughing my ass off,

This line took the cake: I hope your ugly pretend wife cheats on you

I have a feeling your airspace will feel a lot fresher. Which is all good

Great storytelling, Maria. I was riveted


Destingirls said...

When my girls were little, I was a director of a child care center. I had to fire an 80 year old woman that had been working in the infant room for atleast 10 years before i got there. She was horrible!! She was was very grouchy and set in her ways. Three times I had to sit her down and explain that these mothers would leave our center in tears because she was so rude to them. She just didnt care. So I fired her and didnt really feel bad about it.

Maria said...

Anon, sorry....but I totally disagree with your assessment. And my partners and do retain a legal consultant who advised us to do precisely the opposite of what you suggested. The second she mentioned getting a lawyer, I made a note to talk to my partners and we consulted our lawyer. She made it clear that to fire her (that day, as you suggested) would give Marisa plenty of fuel for a lawsuit since our office policy is to give two warnings before someone is fired unless they break the law. She told us to carefully DOCUMENT every single lateness, late report, bit of sloppy work, rudeness to others, etc. and immediately give her a first warning. Then to keep documenting and give her a second and then fire her the second she messed up a third time. This is exactly what we did. And her two weeks were to give her face time translation only and her computer was removed from her cube while we were firing her. But...she announced that she was quitting immediately (as our lawyer predicted and we did too since Marisa was a very prideful person and we didn't have to worry. But, you cannot just FIRE someone for threatening to lawyer up in this country without leaving yourself open for a HUGE lawsuit. I believe that we handled the situation as prudently as we could. I do agree with your basic assessment that I am a poor manager, however. I don't much like being the boss, never have and leave much of the tasks related to that to my partners.

Maria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jocelyn said...

I probably should be ashamed of myself for how eagerly I sucked down this post--like it was a piece of lemon pound cake or something. But I tell you: not only is this a riveting tale of human behavior, it also confirmed that slackers and blamers appear in every profession and work setting. To have to deal with her sounds tiring, to say the least, yet your responses to her are an object lesson in how not to flinch in the face of someone who is conflict oriented and full of unwarranted righteous indignation.

Perhaps the saddest part of this tale is that Marisa no longer has a token lesbian to call her own. Poor thing.

As far as similar experiences, I have parallel stories with students who willfully do crap work and then try to blame me for it. Perhaps the hardest part of such interactions is that I can't unleash with all the "real" that I want to. Instead, I have to keep a lid on it and make strong statements that are, at the same time, fairly generic. Wouldn't it be lovely to truly call out such souls?

Anyhow, your Ferragamos have reminded me that I've been meaning to reply to your email...for many reasons--one of which is to swoon over shoes. Anyhow, if I continue to be lame about replying, do know that I've had lots of conversations back at you in my head. We're getting along so very well there.

Anonymous said...

Not really Anonymous, but I don't think the account I used to have for commenting on blogspot blogs exists anymore, so here's your faithful reader from Russia.

Good riddance, Maria, and honestly, it should've been done sooner. I am not familiar with the US employment legislation, but here an undocumented 4-hour absense is a legal reason to fire someone. Also 3 documented cases of being late/leaving early/being late on work is enough. It sounds like you gave her too many chances.

I currently am the boss in a small company, have been for about 1.5 years and it's hard and I only manage 3-6 people. People like that show up all the time. And the worst thing is that they can totally fuck up your business, cause a lot of monetary damage and you can't fine them for more than their salary, unless you go to court and so on (which barely anyone does). So, at first I was big on giving chances and being the trade union personified, but then I realized if they fuck up one, two, three times and if they appear lazy, they will fuck up more and more and then stop working altogether. Also, people start abusing your trust very quickly if you let them. E.g. pretending to work instead of doing work, asking to leave early sometimes, but wouldn't want to stay late(r) for an important client, etc. And of course you're the mean bitch in the end.

And then you have to talk to them and tell them it's not working out. Even when the person is really bad, it's difficult and so stressful. It's something I hate to do. However, sometimes the employee will feel that you're close to firing them and will decide to 'quit first', leaving a lot of things undone, mistakes will start coming to the surface and there is no remorse on that side.

I've come to the conclusion business should be a tyrany, not a democracy. :)

kj said...

One thing I've learned from letting people go; they are gone that day and the locks are changed. Good that you knew she would leave immediately but if she had stayed for two weeks that would have been a mess. I had maybe 25 employees in my company and I and the large corporations where I consulted followed exactly what you did in terms of warnings and documentation, but no two weeks or even one day's notice. 'We'll mail your personal things to you, here's your final paycheck, please hand over your keys, you'll now be escorted out of the building, best wishes, goodbye

A well intentioned employee who has to go: that's a different matter. Often just as necessary but harder

I still laughing you-know-why

sister AE said...

Hi, Maria,
I've had to fire people a couple of times.

The first was the hardest. I was new to management. I had an employee who did not successfully complete the probationary period we have. Somehow neither me nor the HR person with me managed to impress upon him that he was being given exactly ONE more chance to stay on. He managed to spend the next few weeks NOT finishing that one task, so I let him go. He seemed dumbfounded.

The second person was years later. She wasn't working out. I knew I needed Human Resources help with this. They suggested that we give her a series of tasks to prove she was up for the job. I told HR that she would get huffy and quit if we did that. We agreed that we were OK with that, if it came to pass. It did.

I was let go from a temp job during a college summer. The hospital I was working at ran out of money to pay me and since I wasn't really learning anything working there, I took it gracefully. Happy to say I've avoided that sort of thing since.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that someone with such poor credentials and skills is translating court documents.

Isn't an authorized translator required?

Sarah Flandro said...

Wow, she sounds like a nightmare. I feel bad for the next company that decides to employ her. Lol. I've never been fired and I've never had to fire anyone, luckily. I can imagine how awkward that would be... but sometimes (especially in cases like this) it has to be done.

xo, Sarah
Hustla, baby.

Maria said...

Sighing again, Anonymous. (And what a lovely name, I might add!) Marisa never translated COURT documents. I am not a lawyer nor does my business need to translate court documents. She was, however, responsible for completing several STATE documents that were time sensitive.

lily cedar said...

I've never had to fire someone but would love to fire a passive aggressive coworker. She's a bully and a professional victim. When she fucks up she calls in the union and management is afraid of the nursing union, sadly.

Anonymous said...

I'm the first anon who recommended Ask a Manager (just to distinguish myself from the second anon so it doesn't get so confusing). I'm glad you consulted your lawyer to handle this and it sounds like you got good guidance there. I have no problem admitting I was wrong about firing her that day, following your procedures is clearly the better way to have gone.

Management and hiring is hard. It just is. I don't have the personality type for it either so no judgment of any inability you have not to do it well because I'm certainly not there myself. Also, I tend to think that really great management is kind of inbred. Sure, you can learn a lot about being a good manager, but I think it's pretty rare to have someone who can strike that balance between being tough when needed, but caring, compassionate and has the ability to lead others appropriately. It's just hard.

I also have to say too that I don't think it's fair to say that majoring in Spanish for a person who speaks Spanish is lazy per se. If you want to be a translator, it helps to major in the language even if you already speak it fluently because by majoring in it, you're learning all the nuances of the language, both spoken and written that you don't necessarily understand just because you speak it fluently. It's akin to English speakers who take grammar and writing courses. You already speak the language and you know to write it, but learning all the rules is entirely different.

Anyway, I'm glad she's out of your office and I really hope you find someone better in the future. What a nightmare to deal with this woman. I suspect she'll have a very hard time finding another job with this kind of bad attitude and total lack of professionalism.

Sarahf said...

A tube top, rhinestone jeans and platform shoes? Brilliant. You've just inspired my outfit for my last day at work (OK, not really, but the next time I'm a disgruntled employee, that will become my uniform). It sounds like you were more than fair, and acted as respectfully as you could in the circumstances.

Anonymous said...

We usually interview the first time over the phone since most candidates are not local. We needed someone quickly for a project ramping up so we hired the person since we were so impressed with his skills, since our work is specialized.

He came to work and was like a totally different person. We asked him questions and he didn't know what we were talking about. He finally admitted he hired someone to do his interview.

He was escorted out immediately. We now require at least a webcam interview - if not face to face.

Lawfrog said...


He HIRED someone to do his interview??? WTH?? Wow, that is so weird.

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

Sorry for your troubles.

Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

Fiona said...

As I'm in HR and have been for many years, I'm sad to say I've done more than my fair share of firing (I do so much more enjoy the hiring).

Two cases I will never forget:

1. My new boss at the time had to fire someone and he thought it would be a great opportunity to teach me 'how things are done around here'. He brought this poor nervous woman to his office, sat her down, told her that things weren't working out and then proceeded to tell her that this was in face a very good thing for her as it meant she could go on and do different things, and isn't this a wonderful opportunity. Needless to say I was appalled and spent the rest of the day dealing with it my way.

2. I had to fire this person in IT who just wasn't performing, couldn't/wouldn't meet targets. She refused to leave though. Wouldn't speak to me, wouldn't take her file and leave. Just sat there looking at the table. I had to eventually (9pm) physically lift her up from her seat and escort her to the door. I wanted to go home! I have to admit that those quiet ones worry me a little. Not too sure what they might do.

I've had to deal with all sorts of responses....tears, silence, shouting, slamming of fists, screeching one time, and even one person who rolled around on the floor.

Anonymous said...

I love every piece you write - usually because I am moved, learn something or reflect on what I can do to embrace life just a bit more. However, this one is icing on the cake! I think it would be a great pilot for a show. I feel a bit bad for laughing so much, but, seriously? Her behavior and parting words are too much. I'm sorry you had to go through this ordeal but who knew someone could act this way.
And, "pawsingtospeak": I cannot believe people hire people to do their interviews. That is something I have never heard of.

Jacquelineand.... said...

I both feel for you, and admire the way you handled the situation.
In the far-distant past I was veep of an asbestos-abatement monitoring laboratory and, amongst other things, handled all personnel issues. It was the least-favourite part of my job; especially when I discovered that one of my employees had faked their certification and had guessed at the ppm's. Firing, dealing with the police (fraud), and having to re-take and re-scan, etc.... every test he'd done for every location. Not pretty.
Isn't it sadly ironic that she treated you in exactly the way she accused you of treating her. Bleagh.

Kate said...

Yes, I have had to fire a few people. Sometimes, I was sorry I had to do it. Twice, it was because a past criminal record came to light and our policy is "no tolerance". It is a school, after all. I didn't share that lack of tolerance. I feel that, in an adult education program, a person with a past deserves to try again. The school's insurance company disagreed.

I fired with less regret a member of staff who missed a ton of work to sickness, which I later discovered was drunkenness. She needed emergency services one night, and was involuntarily committed to a residential treatment center for a long stay. I had to let her go so I could get someone else into the position. She called me from the treatment center and asked me to go to her place and get her clothes, her cigarettes, etc... I went there and was picking her possessions out of her vomit-covered sheets when her roommate came in and said, "You are her BOSS?!? Well, the joke is on you. She hasn't been able to hold a job in years!" None of these moments made me feel happy. The woman whose alcoholism was out of control keeps in touch with me from time to time. She is out of rehab and trying to finish graduate school. Maybe someday we can try again. I would be open to that.

Trop said...

My first real job was directing a survey research center where we did a substantial amount of telephone interviewing. I had to fire almost my entire day shift when I discovered they were calling back male respondents to flirt and provide phone sex. These were married women with young children, and their firings came right before Christmas.

Mitchell is Moving said...

I went through a very similar situation with a staff member some years ago. It was at a major university in San Diego. What a nightmare. And the excuses! She couldn't work because "you know that army tank that was stolen and taken on the freeway last night? I was right behind it when they shot the guy inside. My car was on the news! I'm still in shock." (I saw her through the window of a pizza place at that very same time.) Another time, my aunt had died. I was out of work for three days (vacation) to fly to NY for her funeral. When I came back, her aunt had died and she took off for a week because she was her only family (she had no vacation or sick leave remaining, so wanted special bereavement leave). I found out later she never had any aunts. Another staff members house was broken into. He took the morning off to wait for repair people. The next day her house was broken into and she was so traumatized, she needed the rest of the week off. I bumped into her at a theater production that night. When I finally was able to let her go, she filed a grievance. She lost. And yet I still felt guilty. I also had Ferragamo shoes. Maybe that's the problem.

teeveezed said...

No, but I have had to performance manage staff and had one staff member resign from teaching because she did not like my assessment of her performance. She took her complaints to the teachers union but they upheld the assessment after speaking to the principal.
She went so far as to find out where I lived and to drive by a lot, and even attended a few local council meetings she knew I would be going to as a representative of my school, sitting behind me and making comments to her friends.
Eventually she went away, no idea where to.

teeveezed said...

No, but I have had to performance manage staff and had one staff member resign from teaching because she did not like my assessment of her performance. She took her complaints to the teachers union but they upheld the assessment after speaking to the principal.
She went so far as to find out where I lived and to drive by a lot, and even attended a few local council meetings she knew I would be going to as a representative of my school, sitting behind me and making comments to her friends.
Eventually she went away, no idea where to.