IT Employment

Fear of liability is putting a stranglehold on common sense

We've probably all known a boss or co-worker who is both mean and incompetent. Why are some of these people allowed to retain their jobs?

One of the most common questions I get from TechRepublic members is: "How do you deal with a mean co-worker or boss?" And if the reaction I get for the blogs I write about workplace bullying is an example, there are a disproportionate number of a-holes out there pulling down a check.

There is no excuse for bullying or obnoxiously mean behavior in the workplace (or anyplace else). I don't care if the attitude comes out of arrogance or low self-esteem.

Why do people get away with this kind of behavior? Sometimes it's because the offending employee offers the company some unique gain and the bosses just consciously ignore the behavior. I think that most of the time, however, people are just too afraid to deal with the issue.

At one company I worked for there was a manager who had a near mutiny on his hands with a staff that found it almost impossible to deal with him. One by one, his staff members went to this man's boss to complain about him but nothing happened. The reason given? There was no high turnover in the department. In other words, if these employees hated the situation so badly why wasn't everyone leaving in droves?

At another time and another company, there was a woman who headed up a centralized department. Pretty much every other department had to depend on her department in one way or another. But she was a double-whammy. Not only was she rude and condescending but she had the added bonus of utter incompetence. It was like she knocked back a fifth of Jack every morning before her breakfast of coffee and nails. So when she screwed up, which was pretty much constantly, and you tried to get things straight, you had to deal with the attitude. It was a serious drain on productivity.

And everyone, from the receptionist to the top office, knew this. When you complained about her, you'd hear a chuckle and then "Yeah, she's a tough one to deal with." It was like the Twilight Zone. And this went on for years. So, why was this allowed to happen?

Because I've seen one too many Lifetime movies, my first theory was that somewhere in a safety deposit box in a bank in Switzerland she had a cache of pictures of the CEO cross-dressing. But then after I got my hysterical, bad-movie suspicions under control, I gave some serious thought to other possibilities.

I will concede that employees in another department don't always see the real picture. Maybe this woman was so good at one part of her job that her bosses chose to ignore the parts she sucked at.

Maybe her bosses were genuinely afraid of her. If an employee is hell on wheels when you point out an error, you can imagine what she'd be like if you fired her. (That's no excuse, though.)

Then I have to wonder whether this woman was allowed to carry on as she did because, well, she was a woman. The people she reported to were men. And I think that those guys were so afraid of doing anything remotely discriminatory, that they didn't do anything at all. That's unfortunate, but it's understandable.

Sometimes the abundance of cautionary information can make you mistrust your own common sense. There has been such an abundance of information for business leaders about why you can't fire someone; I just wish there were the same on why you can fire someone.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

57 comments
slool
slool

Nepotism.. A lot of these types of people either know someone or is related to someone in HR or management. I left my company last yr after being there for almost 6 years. The person I was working with was able to do anything he wanted, sneak around to make changes on systems, and speak to anyone how he wanted. He hung up the phone on coworkers and basically told people they were stupid. He got a pat on the back if something broke and 1/2 the staff complained about his attitude. Why? Because he was buddies for the CIO. The CIO is buddies with the President. The CIO and director had no clue how to run an IT department. It seems like everywhere I go, these types of managers are running the department along with having those types of employees. I guess dating the HR sister helps too.

duckboxxer
duckboxxer

I could have been considered the was the bad employee in one particular situation. I was on a project where the manager and I did NOT get along. This manager honestly did not get along with many of the people she managed on this project. Upper management loved this person though. (No one could figure it out.) I honestly quit trying; it didn't matter, it wouldn't be right. I would get novella emails about how wrong I was and how bad a job I did. My functional manager was brought into the picture. I was this close to being let go. I'm now on a new project no where near this person and am excelling amazingly - to the client, functional and project management. What about someone that simply needs to be trained? Sometimes people get pushed into positions they are not trained to do. I've been there - I can't really help it if my work isn't high quality if I was shoved into the job role unexpectedly.

DFO_REXX
DFO_REXX

This is kind of a "Duh!", but then again "Duh!" statements are exactly what you're talking about: common sense. I think it should be called "uncommon sense" because so few people have it....

mike
mike like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

Should there not be an Overriding Law of Common Sense (OLoCS?) The OLoCS transcends any contract or law. In any court after the presentations are made the OLoCS is applied and then the matter is decided upon. In the workplace no one can be fired or reprimanded for invoking OLoCS regardless of orders or directives from management or government. If your manager is clearly an idiot OLoCS comes into play and he/she can be ignored. Each worker could carry a red OLoCS card which can be held up - anyone getting a sufficient number of cards against them will be suspended pending retraining or firing. If the idea catches on, I would humbly ask that this law is named after me, so that Barlow's Overiding Law of Common Sense would stand in the statute books for many years and in factories and workplaces all over the country people would invoke BOLoCS.

Tigger_Two
Tigger_Two like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

B*llocks. You win. Yours is one of the best posts I have run across. It clearly speaks to the problem, offers a solution, and provides a hearty laugh to anyone reading carefully. Brilliant!

NickNielsen
NickNielsen like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

The people who use the cards most often would be those who most lack common sense. After all, they [u]think[/u] they have it...

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas like.author.displayName 1 Like

We just need to clone a couple billion copies of a certain person in the metal reconfiguration business... install them as hypervisers in every workplace : They can make the BOLoCS calls ;)

Ole88
Ole88 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Another bad combination here: being incompetent and backstabbing employees. I have had carrots dangled in front of my face for a potential promotion and had something else said to the other manager indicating that I was not interested. I have been stuffed in a back pocket as a "secret weapon" to ensure they keep their job. You could also look at it like the ace up the sleeve. At any rate, with the way the economy has been and that I am almost to the point of being fully vested in the retirement plan (for all benefits of the plan) I have been hanging on. I recently broke out and started putting myself in the spotlight and now it feels a bit tense in my work area - there is a threat that the ace is going to drop out of the sleeve in the middle of a hand. If something doesn't change here, I will run to one of the current "hot beds" for IT jobs - like Phoenix.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

is another's rude. Often I find it depends on perspective. How many times do we try to see it from the other's view? When I was young I tried to be accomodating to everyone. That doesn't work. So when I finally tell someone no, I am considered rude. That bothered me way back. Nowadays, not so much. Bullying will never go away. Why? Because there is no bully who considers himself such. Ask them. They see themselves as being assertive, trying to do the best for their boss or people. Others aren't their responsibility. It's the other guys fault. So they push. The only way I know to deal with this is to "draw a line in the sand". Let them know they crossed the line and if they do it again you will take action. They will do it again. YOU have to decide what the proper action is in each case. Sometimes it will be simply ignoring them, others you may have to complain to someone higher up the food chain.

Tigger_Two
Tigger_Two like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

In all honesty, I think that the reason that we tolerate people who bully and are stupendous *ssw*pes is that they actively DO something that we- who are more considerate in our actions- cannot. How many times have you wanted to chew into someone... and yet resisted because your moral compass told you that it would be wrong? How many times have you wanted to call a co-worker on their sh*t but didn't out of fear? How many times have you mentally and emotionally shut down in a meeting because speaking your mind was way more "expensive" than you were willing to deal with? And how many times were you secretly jealous that they were able to get away with outrageous behavior and felt certain that you COULDN'T? I'll admit it. I can't count the times that I wished that I could be half the *ss someone else was and not get fired. I mean this honestly and sincerely. As I look to going back to the work world (long story), I worry about this. My ability to STFU needs some work. Simon gets the big bucks BECAUSE he is a sh*t. And we ALL wish sometimes that we COULD be. We get a vicarious thrill when we see someone doing the things that our good sense, moral compass, or plain humanity tell us we shouldn't. Why? Because we run into people and situations daily where we WISH we could. For those of us with more good sense, a well developed moral compass, and a sense of humanity, I pray daily that those who can get rid of the bullies and *ssw*pes choose to do so- based hopefully on the positive results that decent people are able to get from their teams. Do I think it will happen? Let's just say I'm not holding my breath.

JCitizen
JCitizen

My wishes to be a bad boy to someone disappear after a few minutes, and upon reflection I realized how relieved I am that I didn't pee on their post toasties. And the amazing thing is, it pays off later when I realize that person has hero traits I didn't account for. I really like the fact that I've become what some would call a wuss. I spent the early years of my career violating that principal, and I've never got over the guilt of what an @-hole I was. I like your compass, and I think mine is set the same way.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

that in dealing with bullies, the most important thing is not to be blindsided. Know what they are, and deal with them with all the professionalism of a highly-trained dog-poo-scraper. They are - ultimately - cowards. If they sense that they have nothing on you, they'll make themselves believe that they don't have to bother you.

johnaisaka
johnaisaka

I did some research and reitterate some research on Simon and he used to get ~ $35 million a year for shattering people's dreams on American Idol and despite all his mean criticisms and bullying they offered him ~ $100 million to return this year. Exactly!

matt.birchall
matt.birchall like.author.displayName 1 Like

a) You should be under no illusion about what might happen to you. b) You might be a terrible singer and your nearest and dearest didn't have the guts to tell you so

Shankarl
Shankarl

One man's poison is other man's honey. I feel the workers when they complain most of the time, show their frustration about the company on the manager. They feel manager is responsible for whatever the conditions they are facing. But when same is seen from the top management, they understand the realities so they are tolerant. I feel the middle manager is a person who work based on the orders/instructions from top not from the bottom.

wogboy222
wogboy222

At my previous job i had the CEO hit me for not doing 41mb's worth of updates!!!! After consulting my brother (studing law at the time), advised me that it wouldn't be a good idea to press charges. The CEO \ MD were hard people. Their views of IT department didn't help my job. My job expctations was unrealisitic and unprofessional, though they expected perfection and frequently bullied me becuase I couldent mesure up. I spoke to my boss about the situation and he could not do anything either as he was being targeted also. These men were hard men and only cared about the componey and the dollar mark, which is sad. After being hit by the CEO, I decided to leve the componey and now I am very happy at my new job, outperforming becuase of a postitve working enviroment. Good Riddance!!!!

famvet
famvet

I am not one to usually condone adding new laws to this nation but I am forced to believe this is one we should adopt from our cousins. I have been subjected to the worst of these situations: I had a boss that was bi-polar. Diagnosed and being treated but never controlled. She was the worst because she would "feel better" and stop her meds... the spiral would then begin. Some times this would culminate in physical threats. Was anything ever done.. NO. She had been there for 15 yrs, I was on year two when I complained to HR. It finally took me reminding her that I was the one that taught HER husband karate to get her to back off. The psychological bullying continued for the next four years. I've also worked for the totally incompetent. I worked for a woman that was given her position because of WHO she knew, not WHAT. In our very first conversation she told me she was there to teach me how to be a good leader... didn't go over well, to say the least. I pointed out that I was the only one in the building that had any real management experience at all. From being in the Army, supervising 700 volunteers, and running a crew of 75 employees in another industry... I won't say I couldn't have improved, there is ALWAYS room for improvement - but from her? I gave it six months, I talked to HR until I was blue, including providing documentation and an extemporaneous journal of incidents. The BIG boss wouldn't do anything (of course not, he gave her the job). It never improved - I'm now self-employed and infinitely happier (and better paid too!). And lest anyone think it is the women that are bad - - I have twice as many male bosses in my past that were just as reprehensible.

tech_ed
tech_ed like.author.displayName 1 Like

When it comes to managers, women are the worst...especially to other women! It's like they're there to prove a point..like they can be just at tough as one of the guys! And they are doubly hard on the women who are their subordinates!

techrepublic
techrepublic

I've worked in IT for nearly 40 years. In my experience, women in positions of power tend to be petty and vindictive. Not always, but mostly. Perhaps my experience is rare, but there it is.

Keighlar
Keighlar like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

That's painting with a pretty broad brush, isn't it? Staggeringly narrow-sighted. Women's personalities are just as varied as men's. I've had good and bad in both. My worst was a man. Second worse - a woman.

Shankarl
Shankarl like.author.displayName 1 Like

I fully agree. But my worst manager was a woman. I sometimes feel how she could behave so badly. My conclusion is it is because of fear psyche and incompetency. Which are possible traits in both man and woman.

peterrbell
peterrbell like.author.displayName 1 Like

You're all a bunch of frickin' idiots, with the exception of the guy who said go into your own business ... First of all, whether someone is "mean" or not is largely in the eye of the beholder ... I'm originally from New York, Manhattan in fact, and back there we don't pussyfoot around ... we just give direction when we're in a managerial or other position of authority ... we don't worry about your "too sensitive" sensibilities or about how people act in your hometown in Podunk, Midwest or West .... We're real and we're genuine and we're not phonies who dance around the issues of not liking someone ... if we don't like 'em, we either tell them or we ignore them. We don't pretend to like them or even go through the effort of being overly civil ... Second, if you've never been in a position of managerial authority, you have no idea of how big a pain in the a** it is to deal with people and their individual problems ... a lot of people in the workplace are babies ... they somehow think that the employer or their manager should give a rat's a** about what's happening in their individual families or in their personal lives. Personal lives are personal ... leave them at home when you come to work ... you're employer doesn't really give a s**t, nor, philosophically, should he or she ... grow up people, grow up. Sincerely, Peter Bell

NickNielsen
NickNielsen like.author.displayName 1 Like

[i]We're real and we're genuine and we're not phonies who dance around the issues of not liking someone.[/i] I too grew up in New York, but not in Manhattan. Where I was, the [polite] question asked about the real and genuine people from NYC was "Where's the front end of that animal?"

cab3
cab3 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 9 Like

I honestly hope that this is one of those cases where you just want to play devil's advocate. It's absolutely ludicrious to expect that your way is the only way and that everyone else needs to bend to your style, or face your wrath. What arrogance! A good manager will understand the nuances of region, sensibilities, and beliefs and not shun or ignore people because of them, but embrace those, understand how to leverage them, and make everyone feel appreciated and respected. You also need to know how to approach people and get them to do what you'd like them to. As for your comments about not worrying about people's personal lives or issues, I can't believe any of that is an honest portrayal. The reality is that people DO bring their home lives to work and their work lives home. They're meshed together, and need to be respected. It's only civil (which it's apparent you don't care about) and decent to respect that other people have lives and activities that don't revolve around their job or their managers timezone. It's rude and inconsiderate for an employer or manager to think ONLY of themselves when requesting time or meetings. You have to respect your employees and reports, lest they take their skills, knowledge, and value to another company where it will be respected. Happy, well-rounded, and respected employees give more to their company than if they're degraded, belittled, or told to just put up or get out...

NickNielsen
NickNielsen like.author.displayName 1 Like

peterbell describes a manager, and a poor one at that.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

a mismanager... A leader points to the horizon, says "go yonder" - and we go. A manager has to figure out how to get the job done with the tools at hand, i.e. us. A manager must look to keeping their tools in working order, too. That's one difference between now and a hundred years ago, we've learned that people respond well to good working conditions, produce better product, have less sick days, cause less trouble for other workers. Just doing nothing, expecting people to squeeze the prime stuff out of themselves forever, giving them sour looks all the while... that's simply mismanagement. If it were just about the work getting done, there would be no need for managers, only for administrators.

Tink!
Tink!

I've never had to deal with a mean or incompetent boss so I don't really have much of a say on that part, other than incompetence, no matter what race or gender, is a perfect excuse for firing. Not being able to deal with employees is also a good reason. Why else do so many businesses ask for a "People Person" when advertising a managerial job? Employers who want employees to leave their personal lives at home are expecting too much. Personal lives do have their impact upon the work life because events and situations in the personal life affect how much the employee can be effective at work (brain & emotions) as well as be at work (employees with children need to have leeway for unexpected emergencies). If an employer cannot or will not understand this, then the employee will indeed have to seek employment elsewhere. Only people who put work first, family second will ever fit that employer's standard, and these days...that type of employee is harder to find.

tlpnightwatcher
tlpnightwatcher like.author.displayName 1 Like

I'm a supervisor for a call center - a low rung, foot-in-the-door opportunity for a variety of people wanting to get a foothold in an IT company. We have strict (but not unreasonable) productivity standards, and high standards for quality of work and customer service. I routinely have to deal with "high conflict personalities" and they really run the gamut from playing-the-victim to passive-aggressive to overtly aggressive behaviors. As a supervisor, it is challenging to remain rational when confronted with a verbal interaction with one of these individuals while coaching, or reprimanding them. I found that the most effective way to address the issue is to remain calm and fact based. - Our standards are clearly documented and easily referenced. - If an employee does not meet expectations, supporting documentation is posted. - If an employee demonstrates a recurring behavior which is creating conflict, the team of leaders and supervisors put the individual on the radar - "Take a screenshot if Employee X takes extended short breaks." - I am well-versed in the "Performance Improvement Plan" strategy. When evidence is collected over the span of a month, the employee gets one more month to correct the behavior, and will receive remedial training if needed. Being accountable, calm, and factual about your complaints keeps you in charge, and the subordinate in line. Consequences are swift, and you create an opportunity for a new employee who wants to work within your expectations. There's no reason to escalate the drama, and no reason to be afraid. If the employee is not "receptive to coaching," then you escort that individual to your HR rep with a PIP in your hand.

inouyde
inouyde

Yes, TLPNIGHTWATCHER, methodical, step-by-step documetation and escalation helps keep things drama free. Takes more time and effort by conscientious management, but makes your life easier if things come to a head.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas like.author.displayName 1 Like

to people bearing bad news... But some of these people may also be borderline (or not so borderline) sociopaths. As such they can state their case with impressive truthfulness, even if it's a steaming pile of complete fabrication. It is very difficult dealing with sociopaths...

pgit
pgit

Yep. Seen it all. In my "why haven't people left in droves?" experience there was one agitator who did drive people out (incl me) so that he would become more 'valuable' and 'indispensable' to the company. He wasn't in for the money, he wanted to get a more secure retirement. (eventually did) In the 'dangerous, volatile person' scenario I observed it was discovered long after the fact that she'd lost every previous job for the same reason this place finally tossed her. She pitted worker against worker, universally. Any opportunity, apparently unaware that while she's "on your side" with A today against B, yesterday she was "on C's side" against A. No loyalty, except to stirring up trouble. She'd also rip people down at every turn, magnifying their mistakes and harping on them to the boss. (of course denying/ignoring her own) All of this was apparently her way of making herself more valuable, to elevate her image above the others. She had no clue she was as transparent as the air. And no matter how many times you tried to show her you know what she's doing and please stop, it's not helping her, she would look like a deer in the headlights. It seemed she really couldn't fathom anyone knowing what's going on in her head. Fortunately, you can fire anyone anytime without cause or reason in New York. The hard decision in her case was damage she'd do after the fact. (she did slander the boss, actually called clients to do so) The real problem, and this is all about liability, too, is that no one will tell you the truth when checking with them as a reference. All they will say is "yes, she worked here from aaa to bbb..." That's the limit. No observations on performance etc, unless it's exceedingly good. Just about the time the thing came to a head, I bumped into two of her previous bosses, on different occasions. Talking privately they painted this woman's behavior to a T and opined woe unto any who hire her in future. One of them said he delayed in firing her because he thought she was violently unstable. She badmouthed that boss to the customers, too, in the last few days of her employment there. Absent a sixth sense and a one-on-one with a prospective employee, whadda ya gonna do?

mhoezee
mhoezee like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

In my case, I've found the reason these people persist for years in the work-place is that they do in fact have areas of perceived value. They look good to the managers above them. They often get results, but it's at the expense of those below and at the same level. Complaining about their methods can get you labeled as a whiner which is a death sentence to upware career mobility. So people say nothing and just put up with it. This stuff doesn't even come up in exit interviews as people fear burning bridges and hurting their reference chances. Having a job is too highly value'd to screw it up by resisting these people. This fear is the bad boss leverage AND THEY KNOW IT. Ever wonder why an abused woman stays in a bad marriage? Talk to your HR department and encourage co-workers to do the same.

widd11e
widd11e like.author.displayName 1 Like

I do know a few are related to one of the bosses. As for getting rid of these type people, someone has to bring the subject up to the big boss. If that person is just a a...h... if a few people complain the boss does take notice. Instead of just saying they are a a..h... make sure enough people in the office are telling the boss the bad mistakes (whole story) etc this person is making. Plus how it is harming other personnel. It also helps if you inform the boss that if morale was up, so would production.

jacobus57
jacobus57 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 10 Like

Either you have lived a charmed life; you have no idea how brutalizing and demoralizing (and sometimes downright dangerous, depending on the job) it is to work for/with someone who is an a**h***, incompetent, and/or mean; or you are the a**h*** (often those people are so clueless and lacking empathy, they think all is well and everyone loves them). These people literally destroy lives. For example, I was lied to by a manager into whose territory I transferred. My former manager pulled me aside after the transition meeting and told me to watch my back. Well, a year later, due to his being a lying you-know-what and incompentent to boot, I was 18 THOUSAND dollars in the hole on OT against the previous year in spite of working my butt off during my regular 40 hours, while my colleagues sat in the office listening to baseball games, eating pizza, and deferring their calls out to nights and weekends because they were "busy" so they could get MASSIVE OT. O yeah, I was the ONLY woman, the best server tech, and I lost my house because of this. I went to HIS manager, and was basically told to pound sand. Anyone who thinks incompetence does not have serious real-world consequences is an idiot, and probably a manager.

DFO_REXX
DFO_REXX like.author.displayName 1 Like

employed, even if it compromises your self-picture, or find a job which is more fulfilling (very hard to do in this climate). Here's a recent experience After being lauded in a team meeting for creativity and winning awards, later in the afternoon my name was on the list of people to be laid off. The reason given was seniority; the actual reason (discovered later) was "If he has enough energy to devote to those other projects he's not giving us everything he has... and he's a chronic complainer." That last came from comments I made about how we could generate reports more efficiently. The quality of my work didn't matter; I dared to be different. I dared to speak out about how my department was hurting itself, and got fired for it. In my case it was my integrity at stake, and I chose to be me.

jacobus57
jacobus57

Integrity comes first. At IBM we had to sign a document that stated time reporting fraud was grounds for summary dismissal. Yet, in team meeting after team meeting we were told to skew our time to match some new and arbitrary benchmark that required us to fudge either travel or on-site time. I would always raise my hand and say, "But company policy requires that abide by a standard of ACCURATE reporting, and there are no protections for us is we manipulate the data." The managers--of course far from the best and brightest--always responded with a blank stare. I think the fates did my a huge favor; I was severely injured on the job so was not able to go back into the field, and IBM failed to offer me other employment commensurate with my skills. So now they have to answer to my lawyer...

johnaisaka
johnaisaka

It's a shame you say your the best server tech and yet dont know how to reply to my post, I almost missed you there but anyhoo if you think anyones lived a charmed life in this world you must be either mentally ill or the incompetent one yourself. If you believe that there are no a-holes in this world and let people like Simon Cowell for instance get you down then maybe you shouldn't have bothered to get out of bed. Go read my second post on Simon Cowell and see why not everyone despises him and if you cant figure that out then just quit and go find yourself something else to do. PS I dont even own a house but it's been my dream for a very long time.

jacobus57
jacobus57

I DO know how to reply, I DID do it correctly, and have NO idea why it appeared in the hierarchy as it did (not that being an excellent server tech--or for that matter a decent human being--has ANYTHING to do with how one posts on a forum). You really are quite the piece of work.

pgit
pgit like.author.displayName 1 Like

Amazing anything gets done in this world, with all the BS like you suffered being the rule. I hope you are independent now, your own boss. The benefits far outweigh the challenges, that is if sanity is important to you. :/

tyler.andrew.m
tyler.andrew.m like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

"People rise to their highest level of incompetence". read the book- it will answer all your questions!

bboyd
bboyd like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 5 Like

Stated wrong you don't rise to your highest level of incompetence. You rise until you prove unable to do the new job thus stopping your rise. This paradigm even has several natural solutions to avoid the problem. This all assumes that the offender rose through the ranks anyways. I think that unmitigated a-clowns are a feature of breeding programs in bureaucratic companies. If you have no family or social life (other that drinking and golfing with bosses) then you're the best possible worker. Then that person, no social life, promotes the next tier. Rinse and repeat.

matt.birchall
matt.birchall like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

Your closing comment about trusting your common sense reminded me of Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink! This discusses the ways that sometimes people override their instincts with sometimes catastrophic (or at least unproductive) results. The first impression you have of something can actually be more accurate than a cold analytical review of a situation. If the person in question rubs everyone up the wrong way then maybe (but not necessarily!) they should be shown the door

johnaisaka
johnaisaka like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

The reason they are mean and do not get bounced so easily is a managerial tactic that stems far back to far back to remember but anyhoo it's more fair to say it's not easy being in charge than to call somebody evil. You should try it out and see how well you would cope before demanding somebody's head on a platter. But just in case I'm wrong and the guy is just a big stick in the mud I'll say to you without any hesitation to please get over it and move on with your life dont let them bring you down, it's just a job not a relationship and remember why you put up with it for you're real job as a family man. Thats my view on work relationships TYVM.

ByteBin-20472379147970077837000261110898
ByteBin-20472379147970077837000261110898 like.author.displayName 1 Like

With all the news reports going on about workplace crime, maybe some are afraid that if they fired someone, their other employees might get hurt. I think anyone showing any overly aggressive behavior should be dismissed and taken immediately to a hospital for help before something really goes wrong.

johnaisaka
johnaisaka like.author.displayName 1 Like

I like your reasoning it seems to make sense except for the dismissal part since if he were truly in need of hospitalisation it would not make any sense to fire him for that- would it?

JoeyO506
JoeyO506 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

My company owns some places in Canada. At one of them, an employee got drunk and assaulted a customer. We fired him but he sued and WON! Apparently his drinking is an illness and any behavior can be excused.

johnaisaka
johnaisaka

This guys name wouldn't be by chance Simon Cowell would it because that would raise another good point from this article in asking why doesn't somebody fire him aiye? mmm... mmm.... mmm... or perhaps you should go tell the appellate division and see if they will take you serious m8y :-)

Con_123456
Con_123456 like.author.displayName 1 Like

You are joking, aren't you? :)

IT/HR Guy
IT/HR Guy like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 13 Like

I work in HR, and i can tell you this, if management wants to fire these people, they will do so with a heartbeat, especially that under current labor laws, and uless you have a special contract that specifically states when either party can terminate the contract, the rule of thumb is, a work contract is consensual, and each party is entitled to terminate, without giving justification. The reason these people are really allowed to stay, however, at least in my experience, is mgt. attitude. A manager where i work, for example, is a very nice person, he is so nice, it is impossible for him to be assertive. this quality makes him a terrible boss, because sometimes, you have to 'pull rank' on your coworkers, especially if you're the boss. So how did he stay a boss, simple, he brought in 'hired muscle' a nasty assistant manager who was so aggressive, even managers in other departments avoided her. But she was real nice with the boss, and his bosses as well, who thought that a person like her is an asset who would 'keep the fear alive' and make sure that employees behave themselves and deliver results. I personally believe that it is both reprehensible, and irresponsible to follow this policy at work. but top mgt. think it works, and thus far, nobody has filed a civil suite against the company or the assistant manager. Btw, in Europe and in Canada as well there are laws against bullying and passive aggressive behaviors. They call it "psychological harassment" and under these laws, an employee who is subjected to psychological harassment can sue the company and win.

johnaisaka
johnaisaka like.author.displayName 1 Like

I believe I saw this movie when Governor Arnie goes back in time to terminate the black affirmative action worker (positive discrimination in UK) working for cyberdyne corp. for no reason at all leaving the black African American holding a bomb that would terminate him from employment which I personally thought was an unfair dismissal and I sincerely hope nobody has invented any time machines in the future for all our sakes.