A Letter to the Person I Fired Yesterday.

rhwork

Dear Ex-coworker,

Three weeks ago, our boss hired you to be a maintenance account representative. I’ve heard stories about the past people he chose to hire without consulting the other higher ups… One came in on her first day with purple hair. He rubbed his eyes and swore it wasn’t that color when he hired her. The next one thought it was OK to run 3 other businesses from her cell phone while on the clock here. After those fails, he asked his sister-in-law, the other maintenance account representative, to interview the next two employees who turned out fine. Those two employees were my predecessor and me.
I know you’re thinking that he was the only one at your interview… And that you told me you like to dye your hair purple sometimes.
I also remember the look on your face when I told you we planted invasive species like pears, burning bush and gooseneck loosetrife… And the lack of interest while I explained one of the many Excel spreadsheets that are used at the company.
I read your resume after the boss told me he had hired you and you were coming aboard in two weeks. Although you did have a degree, it was in botany. Botanist’s and horticulturist butt heads IMO, but that’s off the subject. You really had no landscaping or customer service experience. Your last job was working in the hothouses in an annual nursery. Ironically, that really didn’t set off any alarms, as just because you don’t have experience in something, doesn’t mean that you don’t have the potential to be trained to do it.
The first few days, you were super excited to work for us. Your starting date corresponded with the beginning of our spring color program, which meant going out and planting containers with annuals. Who wouldn’t enjoy that? It would be an awesome job description to have! However, that was only a small portion of your job description. You were only going to be aiding in the color program, not running it like you dreamed-up. Sadly for you, as the incoming employee, you were going to be getting the brunt of the paperwork. No one likes paperwork, however everyone from a McDonald’s manager to Donald Trump has to do paperwork.
After the annuals were completed, you began to spend the next few days in the office with me. I began training you on how work orders flow, horticultural schedules are set and where to find things. Although you took notes, you were constantly checking your personal phone. Then, while explaining the maintenance billing spreadsheet that you were completely not picking up, you huffed and asked why the owner’s wife, who only does the accounting, can’t do this for herself. I explained that she is an accountant, not an account representative that knows what services were performed on the client’s properties. This is part of your job, not hers.
While training you, you didn’t seem to understand that I have a job to do also. I work in construction. Yes, much of the paperwork I was doing was maintenance related. However, by hiring you, it freed me up to quote and process more construction jobs, which are more lucrative than maintenance. I did show you many things that weren’t going to be part of your job because I needed to complete them such as permitting, estimating, designing and how we construct common landscape elements. If you were the ‘go-getter’ my boss had hoped you were, you would have absorbed this free insight and educated yourself in case I ever left, thus opening a promotion to you.
Bits of the information I was sharing did pertain to your job. You were going to need to learn how to read a blueprint, understand how scales work and planting offsets. When I asked you if you had any experience with this, you replied yes. It wasn’t a test to see what you knew, I simply wanted to know if I needed to explain it or not. After two phone checks, a coffee run and to start munching on a banana, you sat back down and asked me if there were more than one scale. Um, yes. You wouldn’t have asked me this if you knew what you said you knew.
At this point, I admit I was frustrated and needed to complete my quote, so I sent you out to water the flowers, which you were more than happy to do. Perfect.
When you came back into the office with your phone blaring music, you continued up to your office and stayed up there for ten minutes with a music volume that could clearly be heard in my downstairs office. As you have no other duties aside from what I was giving you to do, I wondered just what you were doing up there. Your answer of looking into health insurance plans online was not the right answer on company time. I asked that you sum it up and that I don’t mind you having music on, but it can’t be heard downstairs. You said a huffy “fine” and turned it completely off. As I descended the stairs, I heard your office door slam. The accountant-boss’s-wife asked me if that just happened and I said yes.
The next few days were unbearable for all of us. From your attitude, we knew you weren’t happy with the amount of paperwork / days in the office you were required to do. It was not hidden during the interview that this was not a drive-around-in-a-truck 40 hour job. Even on the days that you were out with the other account rep, you showed no motivation to learn any of the things you’d need to know to do your job. We also started to learn that you had no customer service skills whatsoever and you seemed to be missing many basic social manners as well. Such as:

  • How to answer a phone. “Good morning/afternoon, Company Name. Yes, she is here, can I ask who’s calling?” Hold button. You just answered “Hello, just a minute” and didn’t put the client on hold, but put the handset on the desk.
  • Music volume. Be courteous. Client’s or coworkers shouldn’t be hearing it in the background.
  • After showing you a cabinet you can put your food in, you thought it was OK to just take a banana from my cabinet without asking. Your welcome for the yogurt, also.
  • Patchouli perfume has connotations. You also used too much, which only amplified our thoughts as to why you wore it. The oil lingers everywhere you’ve been or touched. Bleeeech!!
  • Sleeping in the truck on the drive back to the shop is unacceptable.
  • No, tank tops and shorts are not acceptable, even if it’s hot out.
  • When asked to go to the counter of a nursery for a pick-up, you asked, “What am I supposed to say? I’m here for roses?”. No try, “Hello, I’m Your Name, from Company Name, here to pick-up our order.” Then after being asked to stay and wait for the order, while your coworker uses the Ladies.. She returns to the meeting spot and you are nowhere to be found. She waits for the order, pays for it and loads it into the truck, all the while wondering where you were. After ten minutes of looking for you, she finds you wandering the isles. You stated you got bored waiting and wanted to wander awhile.
  • Your interest in the crews was not what we felt was acceptable in a managerial position. You asked us too many personal questions, like who was single and also spent too much time chatting with them at jobsites about their personal lives.
  • Yes, there is a broom in the closet for when you track mud all over the office. It amazed me the 6 boot cleaners at the door didn’t tip you off.
  • Even tho we warned you many of our clients have security cameras, you still thought selfie’s were acceptable. We feared you were posting these to Facebook with our company logo on your shirt.

Although you would have thought this was enough for us to part ways, the clincher was when you told me, within listening distance of accountant-boss’s-wife, that you didn’t need to learn how to file, because it wasn’t part of your job, walked away to your office and shut the door.

That afternoon, without the boss, the three of us employees decided that dealing with your ‘tude wasn’t worth the lessening of our workload or stress. You were creating more stress and worse, we thought you would bring shame to our company.

I will remember the morning the accountant-boss’s-wife and I fired you for a long time. We had discussed what we would say. We didn’t want to hurt you, however we had to be prepared with answers when you asked us why we had to let you go. We told you that you didn’t seem happy to be working in the office. You seemed to remember being told you were going to be in a truck all day, working with client’s, crews and flowers. Clearly a delusion. You then said answering the phones, filing and paperwork are not for you, as you have a college degree. That I should be doing it as I wasn’t educated. You seemed pretty surprised when I told you I had a degree also, let alone 3 certificates, an arborist license and countless other endorsements. Since you’re not working for us anymore, I can now tell you I also make twice as much as your educated ass.

It took you almost a half an hour to pack-up all the stuff you managed to move into your office in the three weeks you were here. I had the pleasure (not) of standing in your office to be sure you didn’t pack any proprietary information or delete files on the computer. You mumbled the whole time, I tried not to listen and read work emails on my phone. I also tried not to laugh when you said that we didn’t know how to run a business, that we’d miss you and that I didn’t know how to train people.

I wish you the best. I hope that you can learn from this experience, although I’m shocked that in your 35 years on this planet, you seemed to have picked up little in the common sense/courtesy department.

Signed,

Your gratefully ex-coworker.

 

red head quote

How I felt the day before I fired you.

24 thoughts on “A Letter to the Person I Fired Yesterday.

  1. …Weird. Even in my teens I knew the value of becoming the jack-of-all-trades at a job, although I didn’t enjoy it at that age because most the coworkers I got stuck with acted more like your ex-coworker and I had to pick up the slack to keep the business running since they’d rather sit around and gripe about their spouses and the owner than get out on the floor and WORK.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank goodness I had some say here. We were all unhappy and needed to rip the band-aid off and fire her.
      Had the boss kept her, he would have risked loosing me if I had to pick-up all her slaking.
      I just hope the patchouli smell is gone by Monday!

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      • There are so many studies out there of how only the wearer likes strong perfume and yet folks aren’t quite connecting the dots yet that their odor might be nauseating… Personally, I much rather prefer that sun-kissed outdoorsy smell. Especially if get enough of the smell of various plants attached to you in the process.

        At least you got to get rid of her. I find it easier to be understaffed than stuck with a bad apple. There was one job I had where we had this one awful, lazy whiner. I and the other worker ended up having to work fourteen days straight for a while until we replaced her after getting rid of her, but that workload was a lot easier than dealing with the mess that woman left for us every day.

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        • You nailed that! Yes, being understaffed is much easier to deal with than a coworker with a bad attitude. 😣
          You’re also right about smells. It’s not so much the actual smell, it’s the overpowering-oil-penetrating everything she touched part. The smell didn’t leave when she did! I’m sure I’ll smell her for weeks…

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  2. O.M.G.

    The employee from hell…a Certified Crunchy Granola! With bananas! Actually she sounds quite bananas, and I don’t mean crazy, because I don’t want to sully that august term.

    Your poor blood pressure! Awful. I hope y’all will get lots of larfs out of this one, once you are all rested up and recovered, hopefully with a new and truly meritorious new hire on the job. On. The. Job.

    As for Purple Hair, I hope…naw, I don’t hope nothin’. She just shit in her own mess kit, as my military second former husband used to say.

    You and I dragged our asses up the ladder by dint of hard work and attention to detail. You don’t need a baby, you need a real colleague! Onward and upward!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You said it sister!! Love the crunchy granola term. Right, she’s not respectable enough to be called crazy like us πŸ˜‰
      I’m sure I was spiking 160/100 after a few of her comments. However, after yesterday, a calm 107/78.
      She will be the brunt of jokes for a while. We looked in her date book we confiscated and on the days she worked with me she wrote things like, “Did ppwrk for Ilex” or “In office w/Ilex =-(” and lastly, “Out in truck & not in office with Ilex, fuck yeah!”.
      We’re not going to look for anyone until next winter. We’re still healing.
      My co-worker & I will suck it up this summer and do the work of a third employee, it’s not like we weren’t doing it already.

      Like

  3. I started work as a clerk in an office. Did the same job for two years. Then a young guy out of Uni with a law degree joined. He was different from your ex-worker. He would come i and ask for help with a comment like, “Well they taught us a lot of theory. Now I need to learn some real stuff.” He was earning twice what I was, but he always thanked me.
    PS, I don’t know what patchouli is.

    Like

    • I’m sure I could have worked with someone like your coworker. He sounded respectful to you. All I ever expect from a coworker is respect and do your job, so I don’t have to.
      Patchouli is a strong flower based perfume, made by many manufacturers. Once you smell it, you’ll never forget it. It was made popular in the 1960’s by hippies that were just trying to be different than thier parents who wore “Old Spice” and musk. Unfortunately, wearing the scent also picked up the connotation of being a pot smoker. It was thought that the patchouli covered the pot smell.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ouch! That’s a bunch of poop!
      Obviously, someone in the big ag department must feel some guilt for the stupid amount of money they make compared to farmers, or they would have just laughed at the joke and moved on.
      I love the Hitler cartoon at the end of the article.

      Like

  4. Oh dear I had a good comment but it went away. I say good riddance of bad rubbage. She has a sense of self importance and entitlement. She will never hold a job. Don’t know how you all tolerated her for three weeks. Must have been a nightmare from hell. And she had the gall to think that you were under educated. I would have been tempted to spit in her face.

    Like

  5. A lot of people nowadays feel entitled – to a job and salary, without actually doing anything to earn it – or making the slightest attempt to fit in.
    She really did have to go – but why was it you who had to fire her? Why not your boss who messed up in the first place?
    I understand the BP thing too. Breathe! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we made him feel pretty bad about hiring her without consulting us. Enough so that he was embarrassed. πŸ™ He also never spoke/worked with her, so he didn’t get to experience the sassy comments, lack of respect and laziness.
      Call me a sadist, but after the tude she gave us, I really felt the need to be the one to fire her or at least be involved in it. I wanted to hear her thoughts as to why she thought it was ok to sleep in the truck and not do what I asked her to do.
      Firing someone is not a pleasant thing to do. It’s someone’s life. However, I don’t feel bad when they made my work life worse than it was.

      Liked by 1 person

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