4 responses to “Firing by an Engineer”

  1. Fluxor

    That’s why most companies walk their employees out of the office the moment right after the firing. No chance for them to blackmail anything.

  2. Jed Sutherland

    Looks as though you had a wild initiation to the ordeal that firing can be.

    In one instance in my company, the person in question had to be walked out the door by several other employees because he would not recognize that he’d been fired. It almost came to down to having to rip him away from his desk or call the police.

    One other company I worked for had a procedure that worked reasonably well: In conjunction with HR, the person was called in and examples of their poor performance were brought out.
    They were given 6 months to fix the areas of concern. It was explained to them that termination could result.

    The manager had to meet with them at least once a month to go over progress. Frankly, this is as much fun as a tooth extraction.

    If firing was still indicated, the manager (me) and a rep from HR would attend. The manager would deliver the bad news and then leave.

    I strongly emphasize this: When you fire someone, you’re not there to justify the decision. You are telling them that they are leaving. There is no room for discussion or a change of heart. Their contributions and shortcomings have been weighed and the result meant their termination.

    The HR person was there to explain what the severance package would look like. The room in which this took place was close to the building entrance so the ex-employee couldn’t walk through the building, making a scene.

    The 6 month thing was a legal fig leaf that allowed the company to say, “See, we gave them every opportunity to improve and told them the consequences. We followed through.” There were issues sometimes, but that was for the legal people and HR to deal with.

    The problem is that incompetent people don’t know they’re bad at their jobs. You could make the case that a measure of the fired person’s professionalism is their reaction at the time of termination and later.

    Ms. Outlier, you were not well supported by whatever HR reps exist at your place. You, a novice, were thrown into the deep end of the pool attached to an anchor. It’s not surprising that you had a tough time.

  3. Greg G.

    As a student I don’t have much experience with the topic but Mr. Sutherland makes a good point. If the employee has been warned in the past and it comes time to fire them, there’s really no reason to go into detail about all their shortcomings. It gives them a false sense that they can somehow win you over by explaining things. The decision is already made, anything else is just salt in the wound.

  4. kiko

    nice to see you back in action miss outlier. hopefully you’ll have time for plenty of good stories, sucks about this one.