Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Hire-Fire Cycle

Sears finally refunded my 900 bucks.  Hoo-freaking-ray.  I've got to hand it to Tony in the National Escalations department.  The refund was processed onto my Visa the day after I spoke with him.  Clearly he is a man who can make things happen.

Right now, my head is engaged in a hiring-firing process.  One of my employees has been a squeaky wheel for a long time now, but she finally crossed the line from "worth the occasional hassle" to "OMG she's got to go".  It's frustrating and sad when I realize that I have to terminate someone.  It's very similar to the process one goes through when deciding to end a romantic relationship.  I go through the stages of denial, anger, depression, etc. The whole shebang.

But.  Once I make up my mind that someone has got to go, I don't waste time.  I made the decision on Monday.  I placed a help-wanted ad on Tuesday.  I screened over 100 resumes on Wednesday.  And on Thursday I called the best candidates and booked interviews for next week.

Honestly, I think my doomed employee may be losing touch with reality.  When I hired her several years ago, she was sensitive.  Now she's shading into "paranoid" and "psychotic".  Once I accepted that view, I decided I'd better act quickly.  You never know when someone with declining mental health is going to reach their breaking point.

For the record, I care about this woman, and still feel a great deal of affection for her.  I've tried all the tricks that I know of to help her cope, and to help the team cope with her.  I've told her directly, as gently as possible, that I felt she was becoming paranoid, and that she needed to use self-talk to counteract that.  However, there is only so much I can do in my role as her employer.  The situation is becoming worse day by day, with only minor quiet spells between the outbreaks of drama.  I no longer have a choice.  I am pretty bummed about that, but hey, c'est la vie, right?

Meanwhile, once I get into the hiring process, I do enjoy it.  It's fun to meet a bunch of new people, and to know that my next team member is among them.  If terminating someone is like a divorce, then interviews are first dates.  There is more than one candidate in my resume pile for whom I have high hopes.  We'll see how they do on the filing test.


Warped Mind of Ron said...

Oh... it's more than just a filing test. I mean I'm OCD so the paper simply must all be lined up perfectly. The staple must be in the upper left corner perpendicular to the top edge. And OMG if you had to remove a staple from the packet you must staple back through the same hole when putting the packet back together!!!!

LL Cool Joe said...

Nothing more attractive than a person that makes thing happen. It's just a case of finding them.

It's never an easy job telling someone they are fired, I'm sure. I hope your new candidate turns out to be a winner, especially as you are hiring them!

DarcKnyt said...

I'm sorry to hear about the employee losing it, Spark. I know it's never easy. Where I work, we actually have to transfer someone from our team to the other division with which we share the building. His job would be eliminated otherwise. Still, he's the last to know, and that's never fun. For anyone.

I hope the new relationship will be fun and exciting for many years to come. :)

Ginny said...

The filing test is half of my job. In a law firm filing is very particular, we have lots of subfiles and we have pleadings indexes and there are quite a few assistants who have had to go for not being able to handle the filing aspect of the job.

Firing someone is tough but you gave her many chances it seems.

Jenny Woolf said...

A very difficult situation, and mental health is hard to deal with at the best of times. I hope your employee does get some help - does she have family support? Oh - this kind of situation is never easy for anyone.

Lynn said...

Good for you that you analyzed the situation and just got going with a solution. Sad for the lady though - hope she gets help.

Somehow I missed your last post, but just read it. So glad you got a refund so quickly!

G. B. Miller said...

Congrats on finally getting the refund.

It's tough to fire someone (almost impossible in the public sector) and even harder, IMO, to hire a qualified somebody for the job.

PhilipH said...

Not an easy nor an enjoyable job to sack an employee, especially a long-standing one. However, you faced up and did what you needed to do.

Not quite the same, but I was once in charge of a department in Customs and Excise in Southend on Sea. There were thirty-six female clerical assistants doing a mundane job and mostly there was little or no problems - until one morning two of these girls tapped on my office door and presented me with a tricky situation.

It seemed that one of the ladies, a more mature woman, was causing some upset in the workroom. I was told that she had an unpleasant body odour. What could I do about it!

Thanks a bunch dearies. Anyway, I later asked the B.O. lady to have a chat with me in private. I didn't know her very well and as far as B.O. was concerned it was fairly 'mild' - but maybe to others in the workroom it was a lot stronger.

I said something to the effect that "the other girls" are not too happy about your personal freshness... whereupon this lady started to cry. Oh dear, the water-works that such a message causes.

She protested that she had a bath every day and I couldn't say anything about that, but sometimes that's maybe not enough, for certain individuals.

She was obviously upset and I could not let her continue working right now. I said she should take the day off, and this would not be classed as absent.

She left to go home. She never returned to work.

I think she just packed it in and couldn't face up to working in the same place again. This was an embarrassing incident for all concerned and I found it difficult. Might have been slightly easier had it been a male colleague, but I'm glad it was a 'one-off' task in my history.

Vanessa T said...

I'm sorry about your co-worker. It's never easy to watch someone you care about decline like that, but you are absolutely right - as her employer, there is only so much you can do, and you cannot allow her behavior to disrupt the work environment of the other employees.

I hope you've found the new teammate by now! It can be a process, sometimes, I know, but you're good at choosing the good ones. :)