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mochajava666 Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:22 PM
Original message
I have to fire someone tomorrow
due to the company's current economic situation.

I keep thinking of different ways of saying that tomorrow is your last day, but I'm not sure if anything that I say will really matter. Maybe I'm just trying to find something to say so I'll feel better.

It would have helped if it were my decision, but it came from 2 tiers up. I'm just the Turk.

Does it matter how "you're fired" is packaged?

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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:24 PM
Response to Original message
1. Tell them they have to have sex with you so
they can sue you for sexual harassment. That's what my last employer did. It made a real difference.
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mochajava666 Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Is this an "American Beauty" reference?
I'm not sure where you are going with that.

Is it funny when someone gets fired?
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #6
33. No, its what happened to me.
Edited on Fri Apr-08-11 08:56 AM by undeterred
Sorry, its not a helpful answer. I just think most managers are malicious assholes right now.
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mochajava666 Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #33
37. I'm not really a manager, and I hate authority figures
But, point taken. I feel like an asshole.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. Honestly, no. Be honest
Honesty is best

If you really want to help the person, look up their resume and look for a few jobs elsewhere for them. If you do that, they MIGHT have a grain of hope, which is the best thing you can give them at that time.
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mochajava666 Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. My problem tomorrow will be keeping myself from being
too honest.

I don't like how this went down, but I have to do the deed.

Part of me wants to be the guy, because I think I would be the most empathetic, and also part of me wants to show my "superiors" what it takes to have a backbone.

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Brickbat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
3. Keep in mind you're not firing them, if it's not for cause.
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 09:28 PM by Brickbat
You're laying them off. There is a small difference. Firing is for cause; laying off is for other reasons. Often if you're fired you can't collect unemployment.

There's no easy way to do it. Why can't your bosses do the dirty work? It puts you in a terrible position, and makes you look like you didn't stand up for the person, whether you did or not.

Good luck with it. I have fired someone for cause, and that's a lot easier.
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mochajava666 Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Yea, I'm not happy about being the bad guy
It is definitely a lay-off, but realistically this is permanent, so I really don't want to lead him on, either.

I have also fired people for cause, and this is the first time that I've had to do it to someone that has done everything that was asked of him.

This sucks.
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Generic Brad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:49 PM
Response to Original message
7. It matters immensely
If not handled properly, you could scar a person for life. If handled sensitively, you could help this person transition through what will undoubtedly be a difficult and emotional time for them.
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mochajava666 Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. It will be handled very professionally by our HR person
She is really good. I will be with her in the meeting, but she will be handling most of it.

He is in his 50's, so he knows who he is and has a pretty well established sense of self.

On the other hand, he is in his 50's, and just bought a house...
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:50 PM
Response to Original message
8. Let go and being fired feel different. If its problem with the company's money-use Let go, not fired
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mochajava666 Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. You are right
I guess if I were being "let go", I would immediately translate it into "fired", so that's why I was using the term.

I never intended to use the word fired in the meeting (I hate Donald Trump); however I think that euphemisms sometimes sting more that the real deal.

I would use the word fired if it were for justifiable reasons.

Doesn't "laid-off" or "let go" leave a real bad feeling, too?

How can you put a good word to "You are totally screwed, but I still have my job."

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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #13
21. Well it depends on the "victim" but to me being fired connotes employee fault
whereas being let go for a downturn in the biz is something different. But that's just me. If its possible, try to offer some ways in which the person "let go" can be linked with other employers. That's good business too.

Usually people who have to terminate someone's employment try to say stuff like, "I don't know how much longer I'll be around either." Like-please. That's just too dumb.

Start with the positives, speak the truth, prepare to offer some non committal hand holding and offer anything viable in terms of links or recommendations.
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mochajava666 Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. I'm getting the feeling that my best bet is to limit how much I say
I could see myself babbling stupid things for the lack of something better to say.

Kind of like most of my posts on DU...
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Well good luck!
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kimi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:53 PM
Response to Original message
9. I have no advice, actually
Just want to say, I think it's very kind of you to be so conscientious about how it's said, done, and handled on your part to minimize the trauma to the employee. You're the sort of manager who I think is the exception to the rule.

I'm sorry, and best wishes.
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mochajava666 Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Thank you
That was very nice.

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Amerigo Vespucci Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
12. No, "you're fired" is basically "you're fired," no matter how you package it...
...but I respect your honesty in seeing the possibility that "Maybe I'm just trying to find something to say so I'll feel better."

The person losing a job is basically getting kneecapped, so any attempts to sugar-coat it or make them feel better will generally make them feel worse.

The challenge is to be human, and humane, without being too cold or too "warm."

And if things go sideways, don't go sideways with them. Remember driver training? Turn INTO the skid.

Good luck.
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mochajava666 Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Thanks for your good advice
Of course, I never thought about things possibly going sideways, so I'm not so thankful there...One more worry...this guy is a gun nut.

Drama could ensue. That's a good point. I should be prepared to react properly. I would like to throw the company under the bus and join him, but they actually have a point, too. Fiscal reality.

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Amerigo Vespucci Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. If you haven't coordinated this already...
...make sure one (or more) of your colleagues has your back. Keep your cool, do what you know you have to do, but make sure you have someone in the immediate vicinity.

I'm not trying to scare you...I've held several positions in H.R. and I've seen terminations go down like a piece of cake, and I've seen them go down like they were not a piece of cake.

In one of the companies I worked for, we were trained to write out "purpose statements" before going into a situation that had even the slightest possibility of being emotionally charged. It kept us focused and it does help to write it out. One element, especially in a termination situation, is to write out that you "won't buy into the other person's emotions." Easier said than done, I know...and I've seen some emotional terminations. But there aren't a lot of other positive options. "Never let them see you sweat"...advice from the stage that transfers nicely to the exit interview.

His issues aren't your issues, and you aren't the cause of his problems. You're doing your job, so focus on the task at hand, stay cool, and we'll look forward to the "uneventful" details from you once it's behind you.
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mochajava666 Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Thanks.
I scheduled a meeting with the HR person first thing tomorrow, which now looks like a very good decision in hindsight.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:26 PM
Response to Original message
15. Do they have any idea this is coming?
The last time I got laid off, it was out of the blue. :(
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mochajava666 Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. That's what really sucks. This will be out of the blue.
I don't know for sure, but I think the company isn't offering shit for a severance package, either. Just pay through the end of the month, as far as I know.
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petronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:31 PM
Response to Original message
17. Is your name Linda? Because my boss is named Linda. You're not my boss, right?
:scared:


Seriously, I've never been fired, but I think I'd prefer it not to be sugar-coated, no false hopes of coming back, no waffling. Just a straight-forward "we have to let you go" and then a truly honest assessment of why I was chosen. No "You're great and it's not your fault" if that isn't true, and make it a short conversation.

If you can figure a way to let the person leave the office without walking past everyone, it seems like that would be nice as well.

Sorry you have to do it... Good luck.
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mochajava666 Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:42 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. Only if your boss owns a cat from Hell named Mocha Java
Good idea about making it short. Once the message has been delivered, if I were him, I would be in a daze, and not focusing on words directed toward me.

Really, after your world comes crashing down, there isn't much to say.
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necso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:33 PM
Response to Original message
18. In similar circumstances,
my usual approach is to say something like "I'm sorry, but your position is being eliminated (as of tomorrow... whatever)."

Beyond that, I usually don't say much except in response to questions (which there typically are).

You can add in something like "you've done what was expected of you; a good job; etc", but my opinion is that saying anything that might get them hopeful when there's no hope is inappropriate.

Plus, if you say anything that management/hr might not like, this can come back to haunt you.

(A tough thing to do; never liked it.)
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mochajava666 Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #18
23. There is a fine line between saying that he did everything
expected of him and not leading him on. I have a feeling that the HR person might go down that path of giving him a false sense of hope that he may get rehired.

Then I have the decision of agreeing with HR even though I think that is wrong.

I hate duplicity.
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necso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. In my experience,
there's sometimes more to "eliminating a position" than simply eliminating the position.

I wouldn't do any happy talk. But I wouldn't recommend contradicting management/hr either.

Teamwork, imo, calls for real communication. Unfortunately, ime, it's often lacking.
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necso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 01:27 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. Oh, and
on another subject entirely: Thanks, a big help.

...

I should have been evenhanded in (equally) complimenting identical acts of charity; but something related, similar came up... and I got lost in the thickets.
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meegbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 08:26 AM
Response to Original message
28. Fire yourself ...
then you don't have to fire anyone.
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mochajava666 Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. Thanks for the helpful input
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Rambis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
30. Do do budget cuts you have been made redundant

A redundancy is when an employer dismisses an employee on the ground that the employees position is being discontinued for business reasons.
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mochajava666 Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #30
31. I wish i could go that route, but we are keeping someone else
that truly is redundant.

That story won't sell, but thanks for the suggestion.
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Rambis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #31
34. good luck (nm)
x
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mochajava666 Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #34
36. Thanks
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
32. You mean "lay off" and not "fire," right?
As in, "if things pick up we'd love to hire you back?"
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mochajava666 Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #32
35. Laid off will be the reason for leaving, but if business picks up
we will look elsewhere. It's kind of a soap opera / Jerry Springer atmosphere here generated by the employees that have been here the longest.

Professionalism and decorum are rather new goals for this rather dysfunctional company.
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #35
38. Not just due to the company's economic situation, then.
But laid off = unemployment payments, correct? That's something.
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Tuesday Afternoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
39. tell them to go immediately to ESC and start signing up and to get all their
prescriptions refilled before their insurance runs out.
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