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Aceon6
05-18-2010, 01:10 PM
Great ideas here. Seems we have a couple of key "to do" items.
- Be calm and professional
- If you will be staying (probably on probation), thank them, then read your written statement and give it to them for your file. Then clarify the return to work rules and the process for getting off probation.
- If you are being fired, they will give you papers to sign, including your COBRA notices. Make sure you understand the process for signing up for COBRA. DO NOT waive your COBRA rights until you are absolutely sure you will not need to sign up. Then, read your statement of circumstances and hand it to them. Finally, ask these questions. 1) May I have a copy of the termination notification that is going to the State unemployment office?, 2) How will the company handle requests for verification of employment, 3) May I make an appointment to get my personal belongings from my work area?

I can't stress enough to stay calm and professional. Take deep breaths and make sure you FOCUS on what's being said. They're not looking forward to this meeting, either. When it's over, you want them saying "Well, she handled it professionally."

*Jen*
05-18-2010, 01:44 PM
I thought it was a very strange suggestion as well, but then I just figured I at first misunderstood and Jen meant have someone drive her to the meeting and wait in the car, or in a close by coffee shop or something. I couldn't imagine she really meant actually attend the meeting with her, or even enter the building. I wouldn't suggest having someone even wait outside for me, if it was me, but maybe Jen was just thinking of how Baileycatts handled this last week?


I am, and haven't we passed the point of professionalism here? The ship has sailed and Baileycatts has said that she's not feeling very emotionally secure. I rather think that HR have that idea from her being in tears and the nurse coming to care for her.

If it were me, I'd take a lawyer friend in, or even a lawyer, and would have sought legal advice last week. I wouldn't take a friend in, either. But Baileycatts has said she's not coping, not eating, not sleeping, can't stop crying so I don't agree with Angelskates at all in this case. There's professionalism, and there's common sense. Anything that helps her to pull through the meeting is fine, since she (and everyone else here) seems to be expecting that she'll be let go.

Angelskates
05-18-2010, 02:20 PM
I am, and haven't we passed the point of professionalism here?

No. She still hasn't been fired, and even if she is, how that is taken by the employee is important - for references, for word of mouth, and for life. She's had time to regroup, if she needs the nurse, or even a friend waiting outside, then perhaps, she should take some counselling for coping methods. I'm serious - learning to cope with situations such as this is a life skill. The first time, it was a shock, the second, she's had time to prepare. The reality is, the workplace is not a place for friends and relatives to be offering you support.

If BaileyCatts absolute needs someone there for support, I would suggest them parking a block away or something, as Norlite said. There is something to be said about people who are fired and don't handle it well - whether that be by crying their eyes out, or getting violence and defensive, and neither look good. Professionalism doesn't end with the job. It's a life skill. BaileyCatts wants to keep a good impression for a reference, but also because word of mouth and news travels.

If I were BaileyCatts, I would have sought counselling (both for coping skills and possibly career/life) rather than a lawyer last week, and written this initial letter of explanation BaileyCatts first asked about, as well as looking into unemployment benefits and the like. It doesn't sound like that letter has been sent, and to me, this is a problem. I certainly wouldn't take a lawyer or lawyer friend in, I wouldn't suggest taking anyone in. What would be your reaction as a boss?

BaileyCatts knows she hasn't handled this well from the start, but she has a chance to redeem herself in some small way by regrouping and going to the meeting prepared. To me, that means going it alone, composed, as calm as possible, and with a letter of explanation already written, and preferably already sent.

GarrAarghHrumph
05-18-2010, 02:41 PM
I've had to terminate people over the years. My gut reaction to this is that even if they do not fire you, find something else. I agree that they are trying to slow things down and cooler heads are prevailing, but this is a giant ball of shit.

Without question - if they do not fire you, you have to start looking for another job, immediately.

skatesindreams
05-18-2010, 03:10 PM
You are in my thoughts.
Stay strong and calm.
You are not alone.

Bev Johnston
05-18-2010, 03:53 PM
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?

My company terminated someone a couple of Fridays ago, and they offered to let him come in on Saturday to gather his things to save him any embarrassment he might have felt over the situation. Unfortunately, he opted to pack his desk right then and there and be disruptive to the office on his way out. Sigh...

Crying and getting emotional does nothing but fuel the fires and make them think, "Wow, we're glad she's gone!" Whatever happens, hold your head high and walk out of there with some pride.

Ziggy
05-18-2010, 04:14 PM
I have worked there for 22 years!!!! Yes, I admit to having an attitude problem and I don't get along with the other girls, and people think I am 'unapproachable' when I am not. I am just very very introverted so people think I'm a bytch. Frankly I don't talk to people unless they talk to me. Yes, I have a sucky personality, I admit it. But I am a good, hard worker, I show up on time for work every day (unlike the other girls who seem to get away with showing up whenever they want), I do my job, I do it well, I get good performance reviews, I was even rated a 1 (the best) in 2008! Am I really going to get fired over this??????

This has really struck a cord because I have had very similar experiences when I first started working.

At the end of the day you might be the best worker in the world but it doesn't mean a thing if only you know that.

What counts at the end of the day is how you come across to other people.

snoopy
05-18-2010, 06:03 PM
This has really struck a cord because I have had very similar experiences when I first started working.

At the end of the day you might be the best worker in the world but it doesn't mean a thing if only you know that.

What counts at the end of the day is how you come across to other people.

There was a book that came out a few months ago on traits of successful people - and the author's conclusion was that what other people thought of you was the most important factor in acheiving success. Having the *right people* think you are skilled or work hard is crucial to opening doors, moreso than actually being skilled or working hard.

Anita18
05-18-2010, 06:50 PM
There was a book that came out a few months ago on traits of successful people - and the author's conclusion was that what other people thought of you was the most important factor in acheiving success. Having the *right people* think you are skilled or work hard is crucial to opening doors, moreso than actually being skilled or working hard.
At the same time, you have to come across like you're actually competent and not just a good salesperson who only talks about him/herself. Many scientists, unfortunately, are the latter. Which is why it was so refreshing when a speaker came into our workplace and seemed really genuinely interested in our work and at the same time it was clear she was at the top of her field because she was so knowledgeable.

You have to approach it via collaboration, not "I have to remind everybody what a great job I'm doing," because people can see through that. But collaboration definitely means being able to talk with other people, not being closed in. A company is not a one-person show. If you're self-employed, you can do that. :) But if you're working with others, you have to be open.

joeperryfan
05-18-2010, 08:00 PM
This has really struck a cord because I have had very similar experiences when I first started working.

At the end of the day you might be the best worker in the world but it doesn't mean a thing if only you know that.

What counts at the end of the day is how you come across to other people.

Indeed, my first work experience was pretty much like that, I learnt that it's much more important to seem like you are working hard than to actually work hard and be competent, I've never been very good in the pretend department so I didn't play the way I should have i just did my work without bullshits. Lesson learnt, now I work for myself but if that ever changes I'll know in advance what to do.

Aceon6
05-18-2010, 08:27 PM
I think it's more than that. The people who get the best reviews and advance fastest at our company fall into the "competent and helpful" category. They are seen by their peers as people who can be counted on for genuine help in a crunch, for useful information, and for getting work done without disrupting the entire organization. Those that get pushed aside may be very competent, but they don't come across as people who pitch in. Many of our most introverted folks are seen as key contributors, mostly because they make their knowledge available and stay aware of where there skills may be needed. They may not stand on top of the desk and yell, "I can help", but they are noticed!

Jenny
05-18-2010, 08:32 PM
There was a book that came out a few months ago on traits of successful people - and the author's conclusion was that what other people thought of you was the most important factor in acheiving success. Having the *right people* think you are skilled or work hard is crucial to opening doors, moreso than actually being skilled or working hard.


Indeed, my first work experience was pretty much like that, I learnt that it's much more important to seem like you are working hard than to actually work hard and be competent, I've never been very good in the pretend department so I didn't play the way I should have i just did my work without bullshits. Lesson learnt, now I work for myself but if that ever changes I'll know in advance what to do.

Further to what Aceon said above, it's not one or the other - it's both. To get ahead, in most cases, you need to be good at what you do *and* be a team player who contributes positively to the greater good.

In a previous position where I managed a branch office of a larger firm, my staff knew that two key factors were at play in their performance reviews (and thus promotions and raises): how well they did individually, and how well the company did. They were actually measured on how much they helped others do a good job, as much as what they contributed on their own.

BigB08822
05-18-2010, 08:40 PM
Been thinking of you all day. Hope you are doing OK!

Braulio
05-18-2010, 08:54 PM
Same here, had been thinking about your situation today, hope everything´s fine for you!

Gypsy
05-18-2010, 09:21 PM
I am thinking of you as well!!

HUGS!!!