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Ever been fired from a job?

By DMambo ·
I was thinking the other day about the 4 jobs I've had in my "professional" career; that is the jobs that I've held since striking out on my own 22 years ago. In three of these, I was evaluated highly and felt that I was doing excellent work.

However, in one placement, I lasted less that a year and left because I was fired. A quick background: in the job I left, the position I was in was required to rotate work shifts periodically, and I did not like the location. When my oldest kid was getting ready to hit school, I wanted to move to a better situation. I was in manufacturing management and took a job in as a Plant Manager in what was really a sweatshop.

Coming from a background of a dozen years working in a factory that made a high value consumer product with well-paid line workers to a sh!thole with a minimum-wage crew and a broken down infrastructure, I really wasn't prepared. I basically took the job because it was located in an area that I thought would be nice and it was the first offer I got. I think I also mis-read the owner's desires in a manager, and I'm not really a kick-*** type of guy.

Well, in the end, about 10-months into it, I was canned. It was a bad fit right from the start. Looking back, I realize that it was for the best. I was NOT happy there and the next job that I took, for my present employer, was what lead me to IT. Eight years later, I think it was the best move I could have made, but I will admit that good fortune and good timing played a large part in the whole story.

Anybody else out there been sacked for poor performance? How did it turn out in the long run? Did your situation help or hurt your career, financial or living situation?

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Never Forget: What doesn't kill me makes me stronger.

by Too Old For IT In reply to Re #2

And never forgeting the "you are too old at 35" bigotry of the dot-com era helps me seperate the wheat from the chaff as a contractor or consultant.

Times may change, but any company that doesn't understand competative pay and benefits .. and that perhaps New Mexico is more competative than Ohio this month ... is a company I really don't want to associate with.

"That's all we can afford" "we have so many qualified candidates" "it's the job market" are the last words I want to hear from a recruiter. All they mean are that you are packageing a hundred or so resumes for some staff-aug positions your comapny got because you bid the lowest rate.

I really rather talk to true recruiters who are looking for the one guy with the skills and experience to fill a position, and that guy is me.

Tho, to be fair, I am fed to the teeth with hearing "that ship has sailed" "times change" global economy" as if these were all reason I should sacrifice more and have less.

After all, "It only stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master." - Ayn Rand

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Always someone else's fault.

by The Old Man In reply to OTOH

I have no issues yelling and screaming about the national policies set by both governments, Personally, I don?t agree with a lot of them. But using it as an excuse is not acceptable in my book. In this example, both the American and the Mexican are doing their best to play the system to better their lives.

Management (overall) is just trying to get the best ROI they can. If they are wrong, they will learn the hard way and the workers get screwed in the process.

There is always more to the story that meets the eye. The personal "perception" or even the truth of someone being let go is tarnished by a direct conflict of interest. I?ve been through a dozen acquisitions, both large and small, and I?m still amazed and why people are let go.

I'm just providing a realists point of view. You can fight the global economy and lose or you can try to understand it, play the game, and attempt to position yourself and your family to win.

Those that continue to blame it on (in this example) the Mexican are misguided at best. If they were in his / her position, they would do the same thing.

Those that are blaming it on management are a little closer to the truth, but in most cases, it's outside their sphere of influence.

Those that concentrate on what they can do to survive will ultimately be the winners.

In this case, it seems as if the Mexican played the game well. Does that make him a SOB? Does that make him a low-life? In my book, he / she is a winner.

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fired then opportunity

by stefanog65 In reply to Ever been fired from a jo ...

I joined a brokerage firm in 1992 with 60 people as admin/phone/computer person. I was able to bring this company into the networking world with windows 3.11 and eventually Windows NT. I install a Nortel Norstar (which is my passion) and buy 1998 the projects were nill and my job was stagnant. The company didnt want to roll out any etrading web portals. And eventually got acquired and laid off. But an agency found Cox Communications in so calif looking for a project manager and phone admin to take over building out and moving into their 200,000 sf new facility. Included choosing a phone system, vendor installation and cutover of 2000 phones and sonet networks. Great jump in challenged and experience. Not to say my salary in 92 was 27k but in 98 in was 39k. With new company in went to 70k now at 110k.

my motto is keep your mind open for constant change...things are obsolete in a matter of months these days. dont get your feelings involved on projects you want to happen and they dont go your way. And the best advice is; Familarity breeds contempt. Keep you relationships at work even during your break and water cooler talk times very professional. Its best to be mysterious after 2 years rather than give colleagues material about yourself to gossip etc.

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Never fired but

by MavMin2 In reply to Ever been fired from a jo ...

I was once hired for a slot that I knew I was not ready to handle but I had signed on to a training program so I had no choice but to take it. I had spent an hour on the phone with the supervisor and felt like I was in a totally different career field. I told my mentor that he did not have to worry about me being hired for that job. Imagine my shock when he told me the next day that I was hired. I asked if my competition was a dead dog because I could not believe that they hired me.

So, they dragged me across country and for 14 months I struggled to get it together coming in at times at 4 AM and leaving at 10 PM plus doing weekends. Though I was in the same corporation everything I was trained to do they did almost exactly opposite at the new station. I was trying to relearn my career field while trying to supervise 8 employees in a section that I had recieved only 8 days of training in during the 14 month training period. On top of that, the 8 employees hated me, each other and themsselves.

My immediate supervisor and her boss differed on my managerial style. I was not strict enough for her and I was too strict for him. Made me think I was right on target but didn't help my piece of mind. I finally requested a transfer to the janitorial service. I said that I was going to have to file bankruptcy but at least I would have some sort of income to start back on a road to sanity.

Fortunately, there was an IT Coordinator position open. I had learned a lot of IT stuff OJT when I worked for the Dept of the Army. Also, at the training site corporate had bought a lot of software for the section and IT installed it but no one provided training. I taught myself the softeware and then trained the section. I had to do a repeat at the new site and actually had people call me from other sites across the country.

I felt I was qualified for the job but the last two jobs that I was hired for I told them I knew nothing and was hired. Jobs that I knew I could do I couldn't get hired if I had paid for my first year's salary. I was desperate for this job so I asked the interviewer how he wanted me to answer. Should I plead ignorance or tell what I knew? He wanted my knowledge so I was hired and four years later moved into the IT Service.

I suspect that they would have never fired me at the other position so I fired myself and it was the best thing I had done for awhile in the job arena. I am now looking to retire in two years and go full time in my part time career.

I have already done the preliminaries. I have two doctoral degrees and have published two books and have a web site related to that career in full swing. I wanted to retire early but I would lose too much so all I am doing is waiting for the calendar.

Someone once said no one ever truly succeeds until they have have been fired at least once. Well, unless you count my self-fire I need to get fired so I can excel. ;-)

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by ObiWayneKenobi In reply to Ever been fired from a jo ...

And it's sad because those were the only two jobs I had (one I have now not counting, of course). Once because I reported a manager for harrassment (co. believed him over myself and the victim) and once because I was basically being used as the errand/moving/go-fer boy instead of a real IT person and I said something about it. First job lasted about 11 months.. the second barely more than a month before the truth came out and they started treating me like a dog rather than a professional. I think I'm better off out of those places, though, although I was out of work for nearly six months with the last gig and forced to take the first thing I was offered for less money just to pay my bills.

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You could have sued for them retaliating against harrasment complaint

by Why Me Worry? In reply to Twice..

Many companies have a non-retaliation policy for complaints of harrasment and workplace abuse and I am sure you had a valid case if you were to sue them for wrongfull termination because they retaliated against you, which in itself is a clear violation of labor laws. Irregardless of your state's labor laws (right to work or at will), them firing you for filing a complaint is grounds for a serious lawsuit that you would have surely won in court and gotten a nice settlement from. Only problem is that you couldn't use them as a reference (not that you would want to), and if another company every did a background check on you, they would find that you sued a former employer and get all nervous, which would require some explaining on your part to a hiring manager or HR. If the prospective employer of a new company is legit and plays by the book, they would understand your case and not hold it against you. If they decline to make you an offer and dwell upon this past lawsuit, then I would be weary of them, as they themselves have probably been sued for harrasment. Find out as much about their culture and policies as you can before accepting an offer.

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How about this

by jhenderson In reply to Ever been fired from a jo ...

I was a contract worker for a large oil and gas company and was busting my butt working roatating schedules of at least 12 hour shifts and had little time at home with my family. I had asked for a different shift many times and was turned down only to see positions open and filled during those other shifts on a regular basis. I dealt with this for a while as the money was great and wanted to stay long enough to get hired as an employee as opposed to contract.
Finally enough just became enough with the situation. Contract workers were treated awful compared to employees and I was starting to suffer marital problems because of it. I told them I could no longer work this swinging shift and I would be more than happy to take another shift of a guy who had just given notice. This was literally my fourth plea for better hours for me and my family. My manager agreed to this and gave me my new start data and time under the new shift. I was excited and happy. The day before I was to start I recieved a call saying that I was terminated. I was terminated after we had an agreement. They just decided to change thier minds. In the past this company has been good about letting people go with no notice at all. It seems it is something they like to do. People with children. And it is not like we did anything to breach security or anything. Certain things just weren't working out.
I spotted an ad on Monster for what sounded like a good position and sent my resume. I interviewed, liked the company and accepted the offer. It went very well. It was definitely for the better as I hated where I was and needed a change. I make quite a bit less, but I worka very normal schedule with a ton of flexibility and everybody is great. Getting fired was the Best thing that happened to me in my career.

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Working Contract sucks

by DantheBestMan In reply to How about this

Anything that works is credited to great management. Anything that fails is the contract employee's fault.
I was terminated from a contract with no notice and no explanation. I did get severance from the contractor (2 weeks pay!) and dumped out literally in the middle of nowhere. It took me months to find a job in a much larger city and I had to pay all relocation costs.
I did get some satisfaction though. The last person hired on the original contract left 3 months after me. I get calls from the recruiters every time a replacement gets fed up and leaves too. I tell them where they can stick it!

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"We are a family run firm" ...

by Too Old For IT In reply to Ever been fired from a jo ...


But that wasn't all of it.

The first time I was fired because the owner:

Didn't want anyone besides him to delegate work.

Thought taking burned out PC's to the trash was stealing from the company.

Thought SCO Open Server 3 was the be-all and end-all, and thought input to the contrary was insubordination. Even if it came from SCO.

Thought if you did anything in the way of a hobby, you were taking time away from the company business.

Didn't want to hire a cleaning staff, but didn't like the way we cleaned the office when it was our week to "volunteer".

When I took a day off to have a heart cath, he was personally insulted. More so when the doctor's report said it was "workplace stress". (Did I mention he was in charge of reviewing the medical claims too?)

(I just didn't learn.)

Second time.

The new owner took a perfectly profitable retail venture, and ran it into the ground trying to be the king of video conferencing long after WebEx cornered the market.

I came in one Monday to be escorted to the bosses office where the old owner was. He had come in to take back the firm, and first thing he did was fire one-half the staff.

His famous words: "I don't know anything about IT, and I don't know anything about project management, but I know I need to cut expenses." Wanted me to wrap up the details of a project with a potential savings of over $8000 a month. For free. AFTER he fired me.

Ruined me forever on small or family run businesses. After working for these two I never again questioned the need for unions, or leg-breaking shop stewards.

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Who hasn't been sacked

by BlueKnight In reply to Ever been fired from a jo ...

Over the nearly 40 years I've been in IT, I've been fired once and had one position eliminated.

Back in 1977 I was working for a large, well known, retail clothing chain in the SF Bay Area. I enjoyed my work and my coworkers... then one Friday afternoon, the VP of IT came and asked me to come to his office.

He told me that "things just aren't working out" and that I was being terminated. It was quite strange and I wondered for the longest time why my Project Manager didn't have the "brass" to do the dirty deed. It was all political and I know who it was (Project Leader) that stabbed me in the back.

They underestimated their actions... just because one guy apparently didn't agree with my programming style, thay gave me the axe. The following Monday, I received a phone call from another Project Manager there who said he and another P.M. would very much have liked to have me on their teams, and to feel free to use him as a reference. Two of my coworkers quit because of my firing, or so they told me. Probably true since we were all close friends and none had been looking before. The Project Lead had better hope he never works for me in the future -- I owe him one (evil grin). Getting sacked hurt me financially for a few months, but it all worked out eventually for the better.

In 1996, the position I had prior to the one I have now was eliminated as part of a cost-cutting attempt even though I showed the Asst. Superintendent how to save $110,000 more **without** layoffs. It wasn't his idea, so they proceeded with their plan. Everything I told them that would go wrong, did within 9 months of my leaving... AND they ended up going to the voters for a special tax to get funds to refurbish several neglected school buildings and grounds.

Hunting for a job at 47 years of age was no fun, but it eventually worked out for the better. I miss the variety I had on the last job (I did literally everything there) but I have a good job that pays better... not to mention a bunch of great people to work with.

Nobody has ever questioned my performance. If you find yourself getting "canned," "sacked," "being made redundant," or whatever you (or they) want to call it, and you know your performance is not an issue, hold your head high and keep on going. There is something better for you out there. Sometimes it take a while to become apparent, but a better job is out there for you -- don't get discouraged.

(edited for a typo)

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