Saturday, January 07, 2006

A Kick to the Curb, a Movement of Cheese

This week I had to be the catalyst toward someone losing their job. A few weeks ago we brought in a new "Golden Boy" (GB) that based on his resume and interviews seemed to be just what we needed.

After a few projects, it became very clear that he was not what he said he was, and was in fact a rather useless employee.

We handed him a moderate project just to see what he could do. All credibility flew out the window at the speed of the winds of hurricane Katrina. I gave him the tools and the code from a more advanced project, from which he should have been able to easily do his project.

Part way through the day, after many calls from him for assistance, I visited the boss, and told him what was going on. He had already pretty much come to the conclusion from his dealings with GB that he was on his way out.

At the end of the day, I hung back after GB left, and sought out the boss. He was on his cell phone, so I pointed to my office, and ran my finger across my throat, signaling that it was time to do the deed.

Yesterday when I arrived at work, GB was there. ARRRRGGGGHHHH!

Around 10:00 the boss called me into a conference room where we discussed the situation. He had me send GB in. I made myself scarce.

Half an hour later, I went back into my office thinking that there should have been plenty of time for GB to clear out his things and be on his way.

Lo and behold, he was sitting there WORKING!

I knew the boss was in the conference room with a client, but I interrupted them and asked if GB was still supposed to be back in the office at his desk.

He said yes.


Apparently the client showed up right as the exit procedure was going to happen, so the boss told GB to go sit in his chair and not to get out of it. (he was a wanderer, slacker and talker)

So a little later GB announced he was going to lunch.

Down the hall I heard the boss ask "Why are you out of your seat?"

A few seconds later the boss and GB entered my office, and I again made myself scarce.

This time the deed was done.

It takes a lot for me to suggest to the boss for someone to lose their job. In this case, however, it really needed to happen. GB had grossly overstated his abilities in his resume, and made it crystal clear that he was not the right person for the job.

In the past as a manager, I would worry over something like this, but this time I didn't.

I think I grew up somewhere along the line. There are times that even though the loss of a job is going to seriously affect a person, that it will be better for the company, and ultimately better for that person.

When I am working for someone else, my work ethic is very high. I work hard, and when there isn't a project to work on, I make a project to work on. I really get bugged at people that piddle around all day, and go talk to others, distracting them from their work.

I may be short sighted here, but it seems to me that if someone is paying you to do a job, that you would feel guilty if you weren't actively doing that job. I wouldn't feel right about sitting around while there was work to be done. Or even if there wasn't work to be done for that matter.

There is always something to do, like improving your skills, learning new skills, etc.

I have been given many projects at this job where I had no idea how I was going to pull it off, but I dove right in, learned the skills I needed to do it, and in most cases came out shining. Sometimes the challenges scared the crap out of me, but eventually I figured it out and created a solid result.

When I was younger, this wasn't the case. I hated change, and was content in my cubby hole. Then I read "Who moved my cheese?" Ahhhhhh, what a wonderful book! If you havent read it, get and read it. It will change your whole thought process, and empower you to move beyond your little box into a whole new wide open wonderful world of courage, strength, and adventure.

Make it a belated resolution to read that book! Do it! Do it! Do it!

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