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So upset for firing an employee


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Old 16th August 2017, 5:48 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by CptInsano View Post
Yes, one of the things that are hard to adjust to. You will not be universally liked if you are taking your job seriously, which can be very awkward if you were friends with the same group of employees before.
Definitely, it's really thrown me for a loop. I've seen it completely implode in other departments when someone gets moved up to a manager position and suddenly goes from being "one of the guys" to the authoritarian. It's amazing how complex human interactions in the workplace are and I think I'm probably just seeing the tip of the iceberg. Thanks for your message
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Old 25th August 2017, 10:07 PM   #47
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I befriended someone who worked in a competitor of ours when he was temporarily assigned to their Texas office. He was a NYC boy like me and I had just moved to Texas and he became my first friend. We bonded and I talked him into relocating permanently and coming to work for me. He had to convince his wife. He flew here down for a few weeks and my wife and I showed them around and made them feel comfortable. Before they left my job offer was accepted and they up and moved at their own expense to a house near ours.

The first disaster was having their brand new car totaled after being stolen without any insurance on it. His fault really but 20K down the drain. Then after two months with me I got word that due to the recession I had to let go of one person and the company has a last in, first to go policy that they would not back down from. I was only 21 and a branch manager with no experience, just knowledge. I actually was crying on the phone talking to the President of the company. They told me that they would send down a VP to do the firing and it would not affect my career with them (they were good about that).

I felt terrible. The poor guy was in debt, had a new mortgage and a wife who only agreed to relocate away from her family because we were ready made friends and it was substantially more money for her husband. Welcome to the business world where people are commodities like copier toner. He was my best worker too. So my first firing was traumatic for me and obviously I still think about it. I did get used to it during my 46 year career.

The last firing I had to do was 178 people all at once when we shut down a distribution center. I felt bad about it but also realized that it was necessary to avoid bankruptcy and put the other 800 people out of work. Not too long ago I gave up a 25% share of one million dollars just so we did not have to lay off some people during the last recession. Actually I was not that for it but felt it was the right thing to do. Problem was that instead of using the extra time we bought them, none of the ones marked to leave spent a minute looking for a new job. A year later we had to let them go anyway and I was out of $250,000.

You do get used to it but still have feelings for the people you fire. I have even found new jobs for some good people we had to lay off due to a branch office closing. With bad workers, it did not bother me at all. People spending two hours a day on social media or shopping. Putting out half of the work of their fellow employees who were paid less, etc.. Just hang in there. It goes with the job so get used to it.
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Old 27th August 2017, 3:40 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Steve51 View Post
I befriended someone who worked in a competitor of ours when he was temporarily assigned to their Texas office. He was a NYC boy like me and I had just moved to Texas and he became my first friend. We bonded and I talked him into relocating permanently and coming to work for me. He had to convince his wife. He flew here down for a few weeks and my wife and I showed them around and made them feel comfortable. Before they left my job offer was accepted and they up and moved at their own expense to a house near ours.

The first disaster was having their brand new car totaled after being stolen without any insurance on it. His fault really but 20K down the drain. Then after two months with me I got word that due to the recession I had to let go of one person and the company has a last in, first to go policy that they would not back down from. I was only 21 and a branch manager with no experience, just knowledge. I actually was crying on the phone talking to the President of the company. They told me that they would send down a VP to do the firing and it would not affect my career with them (they were good about that).

I felt terrible. The poor guy was in debt, had a new mortgage and a wife who only agreed to relocate away from her family because we were ready made friends and it was substantially more money for her husband. Welcome to the business world where people are commodities like copier toner. He was my best worker too. So my first firing was traumatic for me and obviously I still think about it. I did get used to it during my 46 year career.

The last firing I had to do was 178 people all at once when we shut down a distribution center. I felt bad about it but also realized that it was necessary to avoid bankruptcy and put the other 800 people out of work. Not too long ago I gave up a 25% share of one million dollars just so we did not have to lay off some people during the last recession. Actually I was not that for it but felt it was the right thing to do. Problem was that instead of using the extra time we bought them, none of the ones marked to leave spent a minute looking for a new job. A year later we had to let them go anyway and I was out of $250,000.

You do get used to it but still have feelings for the people you fire. I have even found new jobs for some good people we had to lay off due to a branch office closing. With bad workers, it did not bother me at all. People spending two hours a day on social media or shopping. Putting out half of the work of their fellow employees who were paid less, etc.. Just hang in there. It goes with the job so get used to it.
Thanks so much for weighing in here and talking about your own experiences. It sounds like you're a very strong and fair manager and I'd like to have your confidence at some point. Your first experience of letting someone go sounds really stressful and I can see that you were in an incredibly difficult situation despite doing everything with the very best of intentions.

I think I'm starting to realise the distinction between letting people go because of funding issues vs because someone not making an effort or being difficult and confrontational. Sometimes good competent workers are made redundant and it's unfortunate and something no one wants. But I've spent a month now beating myself up about someone who wasn't doing their job and upsetting others. I've learned through this whole experience that acknowledging intent and circumstance plays a big part of good management.

Thank you again
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