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Hiring and firing, retention and turnover


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Old 24th September 2013, 3:28 PM   #1
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Hiring and firing, retention and turnover

I promise this thread relates to infidelity at some point, but it is a long read. Good luck.


About 10 years ago, I was the branch manager for a company where I managed a team of 8-12 salespeople. The position was somewhat different than a "normal" job, and required a skill set combination that few possess, which is probably a good thing for society. It was also a terrible paying job for the salespeople, with long hours and a lot of stress, so it was extremely difficult to keep employees. We had a very high turnover. So I was always hiring people or letting someone go, or someone was quitting.

However, in comparison to the other branches in my region, I had the lowest turnover rate, by a large percentage gap. So when we had our manager meetings, I would always be asked to talk about my hiring strategies and things like that. We did not have a sophisticated HR department who pre-screened applicants or anything. I had difficulty explaining to my fellow managers what it was that was different about who I hired and why. I always had some crazy people working for me, and my branch was notorious for breaking rules and getting in trouble. But we always outperformed everyone else, by a lot, and my people seemed to stick around longer.

when I was interviewing people, I would make the decision to hire them or not based on instinct more than anything. We were very busy, and I hated interviewing people, so interviews were short and probably didn't even resemble anything close to following company policy. I barely read peoples resumes. These facts made my boss somewhat angry, and she didn't want me telling the other branch managers any of it. She wanted me to read a book about hiring and tell them I was doing whatever the advice in the book said to do. And she wanted me to start following the rules and implementing the fake advice I was told to give my colleagues. It was very stressful.
So I did it. I dutifully read some book on how to hire employees, and started using the strategies from the book. I figured experts knew more than me, and I could do better anyway. Maybe it would improve my retention rate even more if I learned some expert skills.
The following year I had the worst turnover rate in the region. And everyone else's got better!! I wanted to poke my eyes out from not understanding why I was suffering because I was trying harder to do the right thing, improve my skills and be a better hiring manager. So I read more books and went crazy trying to learn everything there was about how to effectively hire employees. I had to have been doing something wrong in implementing the expert strategies, but to this day it is still a mystery to me. I decided I hated managing people, switched career paths altogether, and have not managed anyone, hired or fired anyone since then.

OK that was a long analogy to get to this idea here, sorry.

I had a pretty rough start to my adult life, after no real parenting to speak of, and when I was about 20 I decided I wanted to not be who I had become. I cleaned up my life, put myself through college, and went on a mission to learn what healthy relationships were. Not just with men, but family, work, everyone. I thought I did a pretty good job of self teaching myself what good parents would have taught me if I had had them. I learned about boundaries and effective communication and yada yada yada. I attempted to practice these things. Most people seem to like me, and after college I met a guy and we embarked on a relationship that lasted almost 10 years. So for a long time I thought I was doing pretty good.

Then after that relationship fell apart(not because of cheating) I spent some time being single and then I got into a relationship with this last guy, the sex addict cheater. So something another poster said in another thread made me think about 2 things. Here is the post, and my reply, and then the questions I have.

----------------------
Originally Posted by Spark1111
All great points here.

I learned to better express my needs; clearly, succinctly, directly....and my discontent when they are ignored or go unmet.

I NEVER let things lie or fester that are important to me.....no more do I sacrifice or stuff them for the sake of making his life easier or less fractious. Those days are gone.

BTT:
I really like your post. I have a lot of questions about it. Because I was under the impression that I was already like this. I have historically not been a person to let things lie and fester, to not express my needs, to not enforce boundaries or stuff emotions, etc... I learned all that stuff a long long time ago and put it to action. But I think where I have gone wrong is that I compartmentalized a whole part of my brain where the true needs were and cut it off from the whole process. So even though I was displaying the right types of healthy behaviors it was was still not quite right. Anyway I don't want to T/J so Ill start a new thread to ask my questions
---------------------------------

This post made me think of what my therapist said about my "picker" malfunctioning during the time I met xbf. It also made me think about what a "picker" is, which reminded me of the hiring and firing debacle I made you read at the beginning of this thread. Isn't hiring people very similar to picking a mate? Somehow I managed to get that all wrong.... and just give up on it. But I can't give up on my "picker" unless I want to be alone forever. So the examination and analysis continues...

The second thing... I *thought* I was doing all the things that Spark talked about learning how to do better after experiencing infidelity. I thought I was already doing those things! Have I been doing them wrong all along? Or have I been missing something huge? Have I squashed and suffocated my natural instincts by too much book learning? That kind of seems like what I did in the hiring example. I was good at it, then I learned about it, then all of a sudden I was BAD at it. How is that possible? Was it self sabotage? A giant coincidence? Bad luck? What the heck is that?
Is that what I did when I got involved with xbf? Did I tell myself I was emotionally healthy because I knew all this stuff,.... but I really wasn't, because I was missing some obvious thing that everyone else knows about and I don't? Did I sabotage my own self by getting involved with a serial cheater, then taking him back even after I got a glimpse of his true nature? More than a glimpse. Finding a thong in your own bed that is not yours is more than a glimpse. Argh.

I'm awesome at picking friends. I have some really great friends. I am terrible at picking boyfriends. This is stupid. I am too old for this crap. Do I have situational blindness? Do I rationalize a boyfriend's behavior differently that I would a friend's? Do I just fake stuff (like all the things Spark said) really well and not truly understand it?

I'm stumped.
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Old 24th September 2013, 3:59 PM   #2
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Your hiring story leads me to believe that you process information intuitively and so were able to select good candidates that way. Once you went by the book you must have not been able to pay attention or integrate your intuition into that process.

What distracted you from the intuitive knowledge that was available to you that would have given you a clue your boyfriend was not a good choice? Did you see red flags you ignored and if so why?

You gloss over your "rough start" and "lack of real parenting" in a couple of sentences almost as if it was no big deal and you were able to just go to college and reinvent yourself into a whole healthy person no sweat. Maybe you just didn't want to spell it out, but you seem a bit emotionally disconnected from what was surely a huge factor in who you are and how you deal with life. Whatever that "stuff" is, have you worked through it in therapy? Usually, that's where the answer is.
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Old 24th September 2013, 4:04 PM   #3
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(raises hand) Pick me! Pick me!

j/k

in all seriousness...um. I'm a troll.

Actually, it sounds like you are beating yourself up for something that probably wasn't your fault at all. I think there's a certain amount of risk you take that's just simply unavoidable. This kind of thing is ridiculously hard to analyze. I'm betting only you could answer these questions, or maybe a therapist after God knows how many hours of discussion.

Hmm, were there any clues that your last bf was a serial cheater early on?

Oh and don't discount book learning. I think it's really good...I think of it in music terms. People hate music theory because they feel it's limiting. I think they don't understand music theory and only try to use the small set of rules they know. If you know a TON of music theory it's actually amazing how liberating it is, and how much control it gives you.

So maybe you did a little book learning, and tried to use only the rules in the book? When really your training was far from complete and you needed to trust your gut for the more complex stuff.
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Old 24th September 2013, 4:49 PM   #4
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I'm going to go way out on a limb here and suggest that you might be over thinking it.

Don't ignore red flags but recognize that there are no guarantees. Any relationship is going to require a certain amount of risk, trust and vulnerabilty. You either accept that or turn into a cat lady.
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Old 24th September 2013, 7:58 PM   #5
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I think that recruiting has a number of similarities to dating and can share similar thought processes/biases. I have always joked that one needs to approach the same way, don't chase, don't act desperate and the person who cares least wins.

But yes, in recruiting there are definite issues with sameness bias, halo effect, etc. Studies have shown that humans, in general, do not actually do a good job of impartially choosing the most suitable person for the position. That is why most companies go to third party testing for skill and behavioral assessments.

So, translating this, one could assume the same types of biases when dating. I have a coworker that is so optimist that she doesn't see the red flags when dating! She has spun things for herself that she put up with an abusive, cheating jerk and really didn't seem to recognize what was going on for a long time. She divorced and have seen her foray into dating. HUGE red flags but she is so in love with love that she doesn't see it until it explodes. She had similar issues with recruiting that she would hit sameness bias and would assume her attributes onto someone else because they may share a similar past experience.

I think self awareness on this is beneficial. I can't say that even knowing all of this is would prevent you from dating/marrying someone that ends up cheating as people are complex and do change so who they were on June 1st, 1988 doesn't mean they are the same person June 1st, 2013.
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Old 25th September 2013, 11:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by velvette View Post
Your hiring story leads me to believe that you process information intuitively and so were able to select good candidates that way. Once you went by the book you must have not been able to pay attention or integrate your intuition into that process.
"Integrate into the process" is where I think I went wrong. If I had done that, I would likely have had very good results. I was probably being closed minded and stubborn.
What distracted you from the intuitive knowledge that was available to you that would have given you a clue your boyfriend was not a good choice? Did you see red flags you ignored and if so why?

There were red flags in the beginning--He is a couple years younger, had never been married or lived with a woman, and works out at the gym a lot. I work out almost every day too, but I do remember thinking he might be a little obsessive about never missing workouts. I questioned him on it. He didn't seem to be doing it for narcissistic purposes, he always wore baggy tshirts and old ripped up shorts and a hat to the gym and kept to himself.. While other guys I see there wear tight shirts and fancy sneakers and gel in their hair.... I don't know. I miscalculated on this one. But none of those red flags screamed "potential serial cheating sex addict" to me at the time.

The big huge red flag was when I caught him cheating on me about a year ago. That should have been it, but I came back.


You gloss over your "rough start" and "lack of real parenting" in a couple of sentences almost as if it was no big deal and you were able to just go to college and reinvent yourself into a whole healthy person no sweat. Maybe you just didn't want to spell it out, but you seem a bit emotionally disconnected from what was surely a huge factor in who you are and how you deal with life. Whatever that "stuff" is, have you worked through it in therapy? Usually, that's where the answer is.
Yes, I have been going to a therapist off and on for about 5 years. He initially helped me work through some family issues. After this breakup I went to see a different therapist for awhile who specializes in sex addiction, but I did not find her to be helpful so now I am back to the first guy.
I don't mind going into detail, the OP was just getting really long and rambly. To summarize my FOO issues: my mom left my dad when I was 10 and took us to another country. She claimed he was an alcoholic but there is no evidence of that. My mom is a child, with the maturity of someone maybe 6 years old at best. She is a drama queen and compulsive liar. I was the oldest child and grew up in a hurry and did the best I could to protect my younger siblings and bear the brunt of her toxic behavior. She is extremely smart and manipulative. I moved out on my own at 17. Worked in bars with a fake id to support myself, dabbled in heavy drinking and some drugs, hung out with losers for a few years. Then I got knocked up.

When my child was born I resolved to do the best I could with myself for his sake and mine. I changed my life completely, top to bottom. Moved, got a new job, enrolled in college, and did anything and everything I could to teach myself how to be a good person and a good mom. It was not easy.

I do try to emotionally detach from my life prior to age 20, but I have talked about all this stuff so much with the doc, Im not trying to repress it or ignore it, I think I just get tired of it. The family issue he helped me with initially was to finally just cease all contact with my mother and one of my siblings. So we are now completely NC. It was a great move, and made my life a lot better without them in it. But it was still emotionally draining experience to cut off all contact. So thats why doc says my "picker" was malfunctioning when I met xbf, because I met him only a few months after all the family drama. So I guess that sort of makes sense. My intuition probably was off. I just wonder why in almost 3 years it never came back on? doc thinks I shut it off.....and replaced my mother with xbf. I'm not particularly fond of this theory, but he is probably right.
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Old 25th September 2013, 11:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChooseTruth View Post
(raises hand) Pick me! Pick me!

j/k

in all seriousness...um. I'm a troll.

Actually, it sounds like you are beating yourself up for something that probably wasn't your fault at all. I think there's a certain amount of risk you take that's just simply unavoidable. This kind of thing is ridiculously hard to analyze. I'm betting only you could answer these questions, or maybe a therapist after God knows how many hours of discussion.

Hmm, were there any clues that your last bf was a serial cheater early on?

Oh and don't discount book learning. I think it's really good...I think of it in music terms. People hate music theory because they feel it's limiting. I think they don't understand music theory and only try to use the small set of rules they know. If you know a TON of music theory it's actually amazing how liberating it is, and how much control it gives you.

So maybe you did a little book learning, and tried to use only the rules in the book? When really your training was far from complete and you needed to trust your gut for the more complex stuff.
The music theory one is good. Having a little knowledge on any topic but not being at expert level can sometimes be worse than having no knowledge and winging it, because when you have no knowledge you do not know what you are doing right or wrong. You are winging it. So there can potentially be less fear involved. If you have a little knowledge but also know you are not an expert, you know some of the ways you can screw it up and could be operating out of fear.
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Old 25th September 2013, 12:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by j'adore View Post
BTT I think you are "reading" too much into this. You are trying to find a reason and sometimes there isn't a reason. It just is. You just met the wrong guy.

What I will say is finding a thong in your bed, she did that on purpose. I understand why you cannot forgive her now, sorry.
I sort of think it was on purpose too! I had a thread about this topic a few months ago. I tried to understand all the possibilities. I'm pretty sure it was on purpose. But coming to the conclusion that it was on purpose is actually going to help me forgive, because there has to be something wrong with someone who would do that- she was probably very unhappy at the time, or angry or something if she felt the need to do such a thing. So I can have compassion for the fact that she was unhappy, even though she came over my house and had sex with my bf and leave her thong in my bed. Once I have a reason to have compassion, it is easier to focus on that instead of the actual things that were done, and let go of the anger.

If I do not know why sdomething was done, it just stays confusing and is harder to let go of.
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Old 25th September 2013, 12:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BetrayedH View Post
I'm going to go way out on a limb here and suggest that you might be over thinking it.

Don't ignore red flags but recognize that there are no guarantees. Any relationship is going to require a certain amount of risk, trust and vulnerabilty. You either accept that or turn into a cat lady.
Hell no! I am allergic to cats
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Old 25th September 2013, 12:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Got it View Post
I think that recruiting has a number of similarities to dating and can share similar thought processes/biases. I have always joked that one needs to approach the same way, don't chase, don't act desperate and the person who cares least wins.

But yes, in recruiting there are definite issues with sameness bias, halo effect, etc. Studies have shown that humans, in general, do not actually do a good job of impartially choosing the most suitable person for the position. That is why most companies go to third party testing for skill and behavioral assessments.

So, translating this, one could assume the same types of biases when dating. I have a coworker that is so optimist that she doesn't see the red flags when dating! She has spun things for herself that she put up with an abusive, cheating jerk and really didn't seem to recognize what was going on for a long time. She divorced and have seen her foray into dating. HUGE red flags but she is so in love with love that she doesn't see it until it explodes. She had similar issues with recruiting that she would hit sameness bias and would assume her attributes onto someone else because they may share a similar past experience.

I think self awareness on this is beneficial. I can't say that even knowing all of this is would prevent you from dating/marrying someone that ends up cheating as people are complex and do change so who they were on June 1st, 1988 doesn't mean they are the same person June 1st, 2013.
True. I know I can not prevent cheating because I cant cause it, and people do change over time. So I am not going to worry about that. That is the goal, anyway.

The original way I did interviews was to just throw weird questions at them and see how they reacted to being in a situation that was abnormal or unexpected. You go to an interview anticipating that you will be asked about your resume, your work experience, and that it will be somewhat formal. I would get up and walk around and act in an unpredictable manner. I would interrupt them when they were talking, crack jokes and do all kinds of bizarre things. If I could sense them getting uncomfortable or upset with the situation, it was a no. If they rolled with it and were laughing and having fun by the end of the interfview, I hired them. It was a sales job they were applying for, and I figured the most important thing was that they were adaptable and could roll with stuff. I figured if they were going along with me and seemed to be enjoying themselves, they either would genuinely like the crazy job I was offering, or they were faking it and were just desperate for a job. Either way, it seemed to work. Once I had to follow a book and sit down and ask all these lame questions, it prevented me from doing my antics and made me focus on what they were telling me. Some people are really good liars.
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Old 25th September 2013, 12:48 PM   #11
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Well, first good job with all the positive things you've done with your life.

By the time I got to the end of your first paragraph I already concluded your ex is your mother. The lies, the immaturity, the drama. So not sure your therapist is saying the same thing but you didn't just fill up the empty space where your mother used to be and/or should have been; you chose someone very much....maybe just like her.

The textbook reason is to repeat the original trauma of having a bad mother and making it all come out all right this time.

Not sure what your therapist means; about turning your intuition off. I think it would have had to be at its finest to allow you to pick someone(probably unconsciously) just like your mother.

I don't think you are repressing so much as covering up/avoiding(?) the pain involved in acknowledging how crappy your mother was and how much that has wounded/hurt you. Its not enough to intellectually understand it all; you have to let yourself feel and grieve that loss in order to be truly healthy. Try taking your therapy in that direction and I think you will find many of the answers you need.
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Old 25th September 2013, 3:23 PM   #12
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True. I know I can not prevent cheating because I cant cause it, and people do change over time. So I am not going to worry about that. That is the goal, anyway.

The original way I did interviews was to just throw weird questions at them and see how they reacted to being in a situation that was abnormal or unexpected. You go to an interview anticipating that you will be asked about your resume, your work experience, and that it will be somewhat formal. I would get up and walk around and act in an unpredictable manner. I would interrupt them when they were talking, crack jokes and do all kinds of bizarre things. If I could sense them getting uncomfortable or upset with the situation, it was a no. If they rolled with it and were laughing and having fun by the end of the interfview, I hired them. It was a sales job they were applying for, and I figured the most important thing was that they were adaptable and could roll with stuff. I figured if they were going along with me and seemed to be enjoying themselves, they either would genuinely like the crazy job I was offering, or they were faking it and were just desperate for a job. Either way, it seemed to work. Once I had to follow a book and sit down and ask all these lame questions, it prevented me from doing my antics and made me focus on what they were telling me. Some people are really good liars.
Sounds like your boss really missed an opportunity. You were doing a great job and she acknowledged it, then told you to change what you were doing - not because you were doing poorly, but because you were doing well and she was embarrassed by your tactics! Silly.

I feel like when you are picking frontline employees, you have more options what to do with them when it doesn't work out. Hopefully you aren't as emotionally invested either. And you get to have several, so if one isn't working out, it's not as devastating.
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Old 25th September 2013, 3:45 PM   #13
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Well, first good job with all the positive things you've done with your life.

By the time I got to the end of your first paragraph I already concluded your ex is your mother. The lies, the immaturity, the drama. So not sure your therapist is saying the same thing but you didn't just fill up the empty space where your mother used to be and/or should have been; you chose someone very much....maybe just like her.

The textbook reason is to repeat the original trauma of having a bad mother and making it all come out all right this time.

Not sure what your therapist means; about turning your intuition off. I think it would have had to be at its finest to allow you to pick someone(probably unconsciously) just like your mother.
Thats probably true. I turned it off, I put it in reverse, I sabotaged myself, I manipulated my own intuition.... we have called it many things. I understand what he is saying, I just don't much like it, if that is in fact what I did. But I know what he means.
I don't think you are repressing so much as covering up/avoiding(?) the pain involved in acknowledging how crappy your mother was and how much that has wounded/hurt you. Its not enough to intellectually understand it all; you have to let yourself feel and grieve that loss in order to be truly healthy. Try taking your therapy in that direction and I think you will find many of the answers you need.
Extremely Accurate. ^^^

Definitely avoiding. The whole purpose of this thread was to see if there was possibly an alternate explanation for my behavior, which is probably why I didn't out the mom issues, just glossed over them, in the OP.

Aw crap. I thought I did a really good job with the whole grieving thing and feeling and facing and then getting to acceptance and all that....I guess I was wrong. Back to the drawing board.
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