View Full Version : Rebuildling trust in a work relationship

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05-17-2010, 05:29 PM
Promptly at 8:30am this morning I got a phone call from the HR lady. All she said was she and her manager (the head HR person) would like to "talk to me for a few minutes at noon on Tuesday". That's it. Guesses on what that means .. "talk to me for a few minutes" with my department HR person and the head HR person? My boss won't be there, he is traveling. They are having me go to the head HR person's office, which is one floor below where I work. Its noon time .. I will definitely run into people in the hallways and elevators and parking lot going out to lunch. They couldn't have me come to a lobby conference room or something where I won't have to run into people I know? :-(

I am definitly not going to sign anything right that minute unless I have the time to fully read it and understand it, even if it is just one paragraph long.

What about my stuff? I know that's not really the important thing anymore, but I have 22 years worth of stuff there. Containers and storage units and tray dividers and supplies, things that I bought with my own money that you wouldn't think was "personal items" like pictures and trinkets, and I want every last thing back. I've been trying to make a list and imagine my desk, but I still know I am missing things. Is it okay for me to ask if I can be escorted to my desk AFTER HOURS when no one is there so I can make sure I get everything back? Because I know I won't if someone packs it and sends it to me. I even have stuff stored in cabinets in the hallways (like a radio and some other stuff I can't remember), a locker in the bathroom (don't know the number, I just know which door to open). I know its not important in the grand scheme, but I want every last little thing back. I have personal papers in my desk I want back too. They are scattered everywhere.

What about my personal documents on my computer? I mean like my personnel reviews, my resume, back in the 1990's I typed up both my grandmother's funeral sermons, I have pictures of my cat on there. Will they let me have anything off the computer?

05-17-2010, 05:36 PM
Are you on PST (meaning you've got a few hours)? Find a way to get everything personal off your computer NOW. Your personal effects will be returned to you (hopefully you will get to pack them yourself, but if not, make a list and you'll get it), but personal files on your computer won't be. If you are terminated they will probable lock your computer while you are in the meeting.

Don't spend time worrying about 'what it means'. You know what it means - it's most likely either a disciplinary meeting or a termination meeting. Use this time to get calm and focused. It might help to write out your side of what happened so you can refer to it. Even if they don't ask, you should tell your side of it.

Above all, stay calm. I know that is difficult, but it's critical.

Good luck.

05-17-2010, 05:42 PM
They already took my laptop from me, so I can't even try to get anything off of it. Luckily I think I do have all my cat's pictures, but I don't know about the other things, and I don't want those girls reading my old personel reviews or my resume or stuff like that because they will have to give it to them to get my work documents off of it, and I just know they will read every single thing.

I am on Eastern Time in Ohio.

05-17-2010, 05:46 PM
HR should clean the laptop before giving it out to someone else. It would be completely inappropriate for them to give out a laptop with someone else's reviews on it.

So the meeting has already happened (isn't it 12:45 there)?

05-17-2010, 05:48 PM
So the meeting has already happened (isn't it 12:45 there)?

Noon Tuesday gen.

05-17-2010, 05:50 PM
What about my personal documents on my computer? I mean like my personnel reviews, my resume, back in the 1990's I typed up both my grandmother's funeral sermons, I have pictures of my cat on there. Will they let me have anything off the computer?

I know it is way too late for this now, but I would advise anyone reading this not to use work computers for storing the only copy of personal files- always save a copy on your home computer or on a flash drive, etc.

When we terminate people, we do not allow them access to their computers because we do not want to take chances that they will leave malicious files or tamper with network files, etc. We haven't had anyone ask us to retrieve any documents- but admittedly the people we've let go have only been around for a short time. I know that they had personal photos on their desktops but they must have had other copies of them. I would guess that we would be understanding if someone asked to retrieve some files but we would want to be the ones doing the actual retrieval. (i.e. have the terminated employee stand over one of our shoulders) If your company has a specific policy against using company computers for personal use or if they are a larger company, they may not be very sympathetic.

Like gen said: if you need files from your work computer, try to get them ASAP.

Best of luck with everything- I know that this must be horribly difficult for you but whatever happens, it's not the end of the world. (((BaileyCatts)))

05-17-2010, 05:55 PM
Noon Tuesday gen.

In that case, you've got the time to get your personal stuff, the stuff that's strewn all over the office, out of there. Seriously: take the radio, the stuff from the locker, anything that is yours and not easliy identifiable as your personal property home TONIGHT.

Garden Kitty
05-17-2010, 05:59 PM
Baileycats, I know it's still very stressful and I can understand why all these thoughts are occupying your mind now. But if you do end up leaving the company, I think you'll be surprised at how quickly you stop thinking or caring about the other people at work. I doubt HR would let the other people have access to your documents, but even if that were to happen, who cares what those people do or think - they won't be a part of your life anymore - and it sounds like you'll be happy about that.

When I think back to my old job, I remember people who were considered so important, and what they said or thought made such a difference to me. But now that I'm not there, what they say or think has no impact on me - except to the extent I let them effect me.

Good luck tomorrow.

05-17-2010, 06:04 PM
BaileyCatts, were you already at work when you got the call about tomorrow's meeting?

05-17-2010, 06:09 PM
After 22 years, could they be looking for a reason, especially if you don't get along with your coworkers?
I was listening to a very enlightening interview by Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar. Someone in the audience asked him a question. If they had an extremely talented, intelligent, best-of-the-best programmer but who couldn't get along with others in the team, what would they do?

His answer: Pixar obviously has their quirky characters so they have quite a lot of leeway in that regard ( :lol: ), but if that person could not work well with others in the company, they would let him go.

To them, a company's success has nothing to do with how good each individual employee is, but how well they work with each other. It can be personal, but yet not personal at the same time. You have to be dead honest with each other and not be afraid to rip each other's work to shreds. That's what it takes to get the consistently high-quality output that Pixar produces. And yet, it's done with the knowledge that you're genuinely trying to improve each other's work, and that even if you don't work well with others in the team, that's all it means - that you don't work well with that particular crew. It doesn't mean that if you're let go, that you'll never find work anywhere ever again. It's all about a very specific chemistry in a specific group.

With that in mind BaileyCatts, definitely think of this as an opportunity. So what if you're introverted? Everybody in my lab is pretty introverted. We don't even have lunch together, forget about hanging out after work. :lol: But we go into work with that understanding, so we're not pressured into any social obligations and we're definitely not afraid to be honest with each other. That's the most important thing. If everything that happened at this company stressed you out because it was always a social obligation, it really is best to move forward and find a new work environment, hopefully one that matched you better.

05-17-2010, 06:16 PM
I'm so sorry you're going through this BaileyCatts.

I would assume that you've been terminated, and prepare yourself for that. However, it is critical that you get your side of the story across. Write it out like someone suggested, so that you can refer to it, even if they've already terminated you. If you aren't composed enough to do so, ask the HR person to read it out loud. It may be too late, but it sounds like they were looking for an excuse so even if you'd said it last week, it wouldn't have been good enough.

But you need to say it - you'll regret it if you don't, and it might make some difference.

Also, the most miserable periods in my life have led into the best and happiest ones. This might be a blessing in disguise. Focus on the positive points - that you'll never have to see the people you hate again. It's hard, and you have every right to be miserable, but try not to drown in it.

Are you able to take your sister or a friend to the meeting tomorrow?

05-17-2010, 06:20 PM
Remember to go into the meeting as cool and collective as possible. They are either going to fire you or discipline you. The first case they don't deserve you being anymore emotional since they haven't really given you a chance to defend your actions. And the second you don't want to give them more cause to fire you. If I was you I'd begin to put a resume together and look for a new job either way.

05-17-2010, 06:23 PM
BaileyCatts, were you already at work when you got the call about tomorrow's meeting?

No I was still at home since I don't work until 9am, so it was basically to prevent me from coming to work. I am still on paid administrative leave so I am not even at work so I cannot even get anything or do anything. I am trying to make a list, but I know there are things that I am not even thinking of that I would only remember when I see it. Its 22 years worth of stuff.

05-17-2010, 06:32 PM
Oh, I didn't realize that they were telling you not to come in to work until the meeting, I thought you were at work today. That's very odd...at this point I would assume they are stalling while they hammer out the legal details of a separation agreement. Can you go in before the meeting tomorrow to gather some of the stuff together?

05-17-2010, 06:36 PM
It's completely appropriate, should they ask you to leave, for you to ask them if you can go back to your desk to gather personal items. If they seem hesitant, ask if you can be escorted, and yes, after hours is completely fine.

They can say no, but there is absolutely no reason why you can't at least ask about this type of stuff.

I wish you the courage to face whatever comes next. Deep breaths. One way or the other, it'll be over soon, and you'll be moving on.