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Smiley0884
07-10-2012, 08:36 PM
2. When at work on work premises, it is a big no-no to use the company's internet for anything except authorized company business. That means no personal email, no web searching, no using Pandora, no bringing in CDs of your favorite music to play through the hard drive etc. I would be very cautious about using my smartphone for anything on the company premises, even during my lunch breaks. The assumption could be made that if you are using it on your breaks, you are probably using at other times that you are on the clock. The general rule, is that the company owns my time, even my breaks while I am working. (think of it as going to lunch and having a drink - a big no-no even if you are on your own time).

Well, that does depend on the company. I have worked for companies where it was stated that employees may use the internet on their allotted breaks or during down time. The problem with this company, is that they never explained their policies to me, or gave me anything in writing. In fact, when I was shadowing another marketing assistant on my first day, she said to me "Oh yeah when it's slow or during breaks most people go on youtube or facebook, just make sure you have head phones if you're watching videos". But I can't check my Gmail account?! Seriously?

The company made a big deal about how "laid back" they are with scheduling, breaks, ect. that's why I was so taken aback when I was fired. I could even understand being written up or getting a warning, but IMHO being fired outright for such a minor infraction, especially when it comes to a "rule" that doesn't seem to be definite, is ridiculous. But ultimately I'm happy to not be working for such a horribly unprofessional company. I actually do have another part time job, where my boss communicates via email, so there's no way I would work for a company so rigid, that I couldn't even check my cell phone on my breaks or down time. That's insane.




3. At time of hire, you are often asked to sign all sorts of forms. It maybe that you signed documents such as - I have received the employee handbook and understand it is my responsibility to abide by the policies outlined within, the IT policy and receiving your network log on, etc. I know that I was assigned to make sure all that paperwork was gathered on the first day of employment. I also know that I felt responsible enough to say "Do you know what you are signing?" but I would guess that many people assigned to gathering that information might just say "sign all these forms"

I actually just signed the usual tax forms, and a health insurance form, a form in regards to harassment/discrimination policy, and nothing else.



4. Typically for your position, the CEO would not have been involved in the hiring or firing of an employee, unless a prized client complained about your level of service. Or said that they were unable to schedule an appointment because there was never anyone at the desk.

It's a small company. The CEO's office is actually across from where my desk was. If a client couldn't get a hold of me, missed calls or voicemails would have showed up in my phone, and I never had any. Clients rarely called us. The CEO came out while I was still on my lunch break writing the email, when he called me into his office. It's very apparent that the email was the "reason".


Smiley, I am not unsympathetic towards your situation, but based upon my experiences of 2 lay-off/job restructures, it is a good idea to see what you might have contributed to the situation. I hope you find something soon. And something that you like more

I hear what you're saying. I am trying to be self aware in regards to my own performance, and in hindsight, I should have checked with a supervisor if internet usage was ok, rather than relying on the word of another co-worker. In all honesty I don't see how anything I did within the 3 weeks warranted such a harsh and unprofessional termination. As stated earlier, I would totally understand if I had been written up, or the CEO said "At this time, I don't think it's going to be a good fit, thank you for your services, and best of luck." It was the way that everything went down that pisses me off. He basically chastised me about the internet usage, sat back while I apologized, and he knew he was going to fire me the entire time. The way everything was handled was just so rude and disrespectful. If I was the CEO of a company and learned my employees were not being properly trained, I would at least try to investigate the situation instead of applying the "shoot first, ask questions later" approach.

Karina1974
07-10-2012, 09:50 PM
2. When at work on work premises, it is a big no-no to use the company's internet for anything except authorized company business. That means no personal email, no web searching, no using Pandora, no bringing in CDs of your favorite music to play through the hard drive etc. I would be very cautious about using my smartphone for anything on the company premises, even during my lunch breaks. The assumption could be made that if you are using it on your breaks, you are probably using at other times that you are on the clock. The general rule, is that the company owns my time, even my breaks while I am working. (think of it as going to lunch and having a drink - a big no-no even if you are on your own time).


This all depends entirely on the company. I work for a retail steel company, and there is occasional downtime during the day - you walk through the sales area of the building and you will see the sales guys online, reading news, or even playing games, when they have cleared their desk. No one says anything about it or has a problem with it. The sales manager is known to send emails with jokes, or interesting videos or photos in them. I do my share of web surfing during my downtime when all of my tasks are done (guess where I'm wiritng this from, for example? ;)).

I call bullshit on the idea that my employer "owns" my breaks, though. Again, it depends on the company. I take a 15-minute at 10:00 AM and, if I want to go down the street and pick something from Rite Aid, or gas up my car at the station on the corner, I can (and have done) that. I'm one of the people who actually leaves the premises entirely during my lunch break. I used to stay and take lunch at my desk, only to have people come up to me and try to discuss something they needed to have done. 1-2:00 PM is my time because I'm off the clock, so I will either go home, or there is a nearby park I go to when the weather is nice.

The only issue that came up with the company involved the use of Longterm Sick Time. I've mentioned this before - it is NOT for minor illness, but for serious illness (cancer, heart conditions, operations, etc.); basically, anything that can be verified by a doctor's note. Well... no one ever explained that to me. YOu recieve Sick Time on your hire date every year starting with your first anniversary, and we also receive 40 hours Personal Time on July 1 of every year. When it was discovered that I had used up all of my first 40 hours of Sick Time, they said :you know, we can take your Personal Time away for that." To which I replied that I *also* had never recieved an employee handbook. When I was hired, I was replacing someone who literally up and walked off the job, and she not only had her own tasks, but also served as back-up for 3 other people, 2 of whom had vacations coming up in July when I was hired on June 3. All focus was on getting me trained for those 2-1/2 weeks in July - everything else could wait, including explaining stuff like Time Off to me, I guess.

Smiley0884
07-10-2012, 11:05 PM
To which I replied that I *also* had never recieved an employee handbook. When I was hired, I was replacing someone who literally up and walked off the job, and she not only had her own tasks, but also served as back-up for 3 other people, 2 of whom had vacations coming up in July when I was hired on June 3. All focus was on getting me trained for those 2-1/2 weeks in July - everything else could wait, including explaining stuff like Time Off to me, I guess.

Maybe my expectations are too high, but I assume giving out employee handbooks are standard procedure, and commonly given to employees on their very first day. Call me crazy, but if an employee doesn't receive a handbook, how will they know the details of company policy? :confused: It's on them for not explaining to you their sick/personal time policy.

BigB08822
07-10-2012, 11:12 PM
That really sucks but I am afraid that most places can fire you for any or no reason during the first 3-6 months on the job. If this happened after that time frame then you might have a case. Hope you can collect unemployment, though, but I don't know if that goes off of amount of time worked or not.

Karina1974
07-11-2012, 12:13 AM
Maybe my expectations are too high, but I assume giving out employee handbooks are standard procedure, and commonly given to employees on their very first day. Call me crazy, but if an employee doesn't receive a handbook, how will they know the details of company policy? :confused: It's on them for not explaining to you their sick/personal time policy.

ITA. It was so crazy, my first month and a half at that place. I was simultaneously learning Receptionist, Billing, and Accounts Payable the entire first month I was there. Once the vacationers all returned, THEN I started learning my own job tasks, and getting things caught up that had fallen behind when the previous woman walked out (no one had any idea why she did that either).

I'm actually doing AP's job this week and last. He's been talking retirement and, if he does I want his job. I'm the only one in the place who can do it (and my own at the same time).

MacMadame
07-11-2012, 03:42 AM
Maybe my expectations are too high, but I assume giving out employee handbooks are standard procedure, and commonly given to employees on their very first day.

Some places haven't even got an Employee Handbook. It depends on how big they are and what industry they are in.

milanessa
07-11-2012, 03:56 AM
Some places haven't even got an Employee Handbook. It depends on how big they are and what industry they are in.

But Smiley said she saw them "floating around the office" so they did exist.

Did you ever try and grab one and read it, Smiley?

Smiley0884
07-11-2012, 04:12 AM
But Smiley said she saw them "floating around the office" so they did exist.

Did you ever try and grab one and read it, Smiley?



I did ask for one, and my supervisor said I would get one "soon" and that she needed to dig some up. I was getting sick of waiting so I was just going to ask someone to borrow theirs, but I got fired before I got the chance! :fragile:


ETA: Thanks again for the advice/support everyone...I'm going to the unemployment office tomorrow. If I don't qualify, I'll just have to see if I can pick up more hours at my part time job until something else comes along.

vesperholly
07-11-2012, 06:49 AM
2. When at work on work premises, it is a big no-no to use the company's internet for anything except authorized company business. That means no personal email, no web searching, no using Pandora, no bringing in CDs of your favorite music to play through the hard drive etc.

Fair assumption to make at first, but not all companies are like this (thank god!). Clearly, as I am typing this message from work. :lol:

The more I read your responses, the more I think that the internet usage was not the real reason for firing you. It might not have even been performance or personality based, but some kind of weird internal mechanism at work.

Japanfan
07-11-2012, 08:37 AM
Okay, japanfan, there is something wrong with these two sentences.

It looks that way, but his supervisor goaded him, overworked him, and was a generally rude, nasty and unpleasant man who paid his staff minimum wage, paid illegals even less whenever he could, and gave no benefits. My friend, who is a very easygoing and personable guy, as well as a good worker, had been there for 10 years. He was exhausted from putting in overtime on the day the incident happened, and I think it was forgivable although regrettable. If his workplace had had a union, he likely would have disciplined, but not fired. And even though it didn't, one or other of the supervisors might have put in a good word for him.

Aussie Willy
07-11-2012, 10:05 AM
I did ask for one, and my supervisor said I would get one "soon" and that she needed to dig some up. I was getting sick of waiting so I was just going to ask someone to borrow theirs, but I got fired before I got the chance! :fragile:


ETA: Thanks again for the advice/support everyone...I'm going to the unemployment office tomorrow. If I don't qualify, I'll just have to see if I can pick up more hours at my part time job until something else comes along.
The issue with inductions is that whilst in some instances they are not serious, when the work is dangerous and there is risk involved, a company can get into serious trouble if a worker is injured as a result of not being inducted properly. So inductions should not be taken lightly.

I hope it works out for you Smiley. Good luck.

Karina1974
07-11-2012, 12:32 PM
The issue with inductions is that whilst in some instances they are not serious, when the work is dangerous and there is risk involved, a company can get into serious trouble if a worker is injured as a result of not being inducted properly.

Yes, and OSHA will be beating down the company's door ASAP. We've had two separate incidents with workers out in the warehouse doing things they should not, and were not told to, do that resulted in injury for one and death for the other. The death happened late last year, on a Friday night shift, and I wasn't at my desk 10 minutes on Monday morning before OSHA was calling in, asking for the warehouse manager and/or the company president. These were not "newbie" workers, BTW.

milanessa
07-11-2012, 12:55 PM
Yes, and OSHA will be beating down the company's door ASAP. We've had two separate incidents with workers out in the warehouse doing things they should not, and were not told to, do that resulted in injury for one and death for the other. The death happened late last year, on a Friday night shift, and I wasn't at my desk 10 minutes on Monday morning before OSHA was calling in, asking for the warehouse manager and/or the company president. These were not "newbie" workers, BTW.

Sounds like OSHA was doing their job.

berthesghost
07-11-2012, 01:26 PM
It always helps to stay friendly with at least one person if you want info. In my personal experience, these situations usually play out something like "I was fired suddenly one day without warning, and the reason given didn't even make sense. Then I found out from Barbara that the boss's nephew started at my old job the next day."

Bostonfan
07-11-2012, 01:28 PM
If his workplace had had a union, he likely would have disciplined, but not fired. And even though it didn't, one or other of the supervisors might have put in a good word for him.

In my 16 years of HR in a union environment, I've had 4 employees terminated for the type of behavior you described (all of which occurred in a high stress situations). All were represented by a different unions. Unions will always go through the grievance process with a termination (as they are obligated to do lest they risk getting a "failure to represent" charge levied at them). But in all 4 cases the unions refused to take the matter to arbitration because they know those are loser cases. Even the most union-friendly arbitrator will not be inclined to overturn a termination due to physical contact such as you describe. There were other avenues that could have been taken to address a hostile work environment, and your friend chose the wrong way.