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Reeling from being FIRED. What just happened here?

By marysonthego ·
I've been out of the computer business for about 5 years. I thought I was on the hot career track, but life happened. Nuf said, that's not why I'm typing away here for the first time, anyway. After a long, hard search, I managed to snag a little IT job with a small local company. Help Desk for about 130 users. IT department consisted of 4 people total, myself included. We had a server admin - female, a database guy, a manager guy, and then me.

I was excited but nervous about my new job. Having been out of things so long I felt kind of intimidated and worried that my knowledge was way out of date. I figured logic and research would save me - it always had in the past. In that distant past I'd had a stellar career spending 8 years at a huge company where I worked and studied my way to the "buck-stops-here" level of tech support before moving up to development. This was followed by 3 years at another big place where I reveled in doing original Java development. R & D was such fun! But after 5 years doing nothing much more than setting up a wireless network in my house, I was worried about being able to handle support for the XP boxes and Windows servers.
Best I can figure, the people at the new shop were a bit intimidated by my heavy resume. What they didn't realize was that I was just as intimidated by them! Things got off to a rocky start when I discovered the sad state of their SOPs for building new user machines. They used a lot of apps I'd never heard of and between my lack of knowledge and their lack of documentation I spent a lot of time taking notes and asking questions. It took me. I tackled the task of rewriting some of the worst SOPs, until I was told that wasn't my job. I wasn't trying to step on anybody's toes, it just seemed logical to me that the person using the documentation was in the best position to update it. Right from the start the other female in the department seemed to be on the attack. I've worked with lots of different people in my time, but never with anyone so nasty! I didn't believe she meant all the mean things she said at first, and just smiled or shrugged it off. But, you know, it started to get worse. She would tell me to do something, which I'd do, then when the boss came along later and yelled at me that I'd done it all wrong, she denied ever telling me to do it that way. I may be naive, but this was a first. A co-worker who tells you to do things the wrong way then lies about it?

About 3 weeks in to my new job, I finally decided I had to tell the boss what was going on. I'd never had to approach a boss with this kind of thing before and I didn't know how to go about it. In the end, I sent him an email detailing a couple of very specific incidents where I was blamed for nothing more than doing exactly what she told me. Can you guess what his response was? Nothing! I might as well have sent my email to the bit bucket! He never mentioned it at all. It was as though I had used the wrong fork at a formal banquet and everybody knew about it but no one was going to say anything. This went on for a few days until it was time for a review. He seemed very angry with me, and I thought for sure he was going to fire me right then. But no. He actually couldn't come up with anything bad to say about my work other than those specific things I'd put in my email. These he didn't mention at all, and in fact told me I was really keeping that ticket queue down very well. He looked like it killed him to say it. I kept my head up and finally realized that I was in big trouble. I started sending (polite) confirming emails to the other female everytime she gave me an order. I wanted things documented for my own protection. But after a couple of days of that he called me into his office and told me in no uncertain terms that I was to stop sending emails. If I had anything to say to him I should come to his office and say it.

I was fired six weeks into my new job. I was on my way to work Monday morning when my cell went off. It was the HR manager calling from the company to tell me that I was fired. When I asked her why, she said I made too many mistakes.

One other bit of info I should tell you is that the last person to have my job (a guy) was also fired.

I want to know what kind of experiences you others have had in the workplace. I'm sure this is not the worst thing that's ever happened to anybody on the job, just the worst that's ever happened to me!

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Work as a team?

by go_browns_01 In reply to Women don't know how to w ...

Maybe.

But on the other hand you hardly ever hear of a woman taking an M-16 to work and blowing away a handful of her coworkers.

I'm just sayin'.

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Personality types span both genders

by zaferus In reply to Women don't know how to w ...

I've worked with both men and women both as superiors, co-workers and underlings. From my experience scheming, powermongering, uncooperative, unfriendly people span all genders and races.

The best manager I ever worked for (and respected the most) was a woman. But the gender never matters to me as much as a persons' attitude and work ethic.

-Z

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You are not alone

by stress junkie In reply to Reeling from being FIRED. ...

It appears that you were treated unfairly from the first day. Sadly this sort of thing is not all that unusual. When you start a new job you don't know what kind of situation awaits you. Very often there are political intriques and long standing personnel issues that will affect your experience and success. You may never even know why people act the way that they do. Maybe the HR department wanted an additional position in the IT department but the IT manager and current staff didn't want another person on the team. You'll never know what happened or why it happened. It's clear to me that there are a lot of people who are happy to create a hardship for others to achieve their own goals. In other words when you just cannot understand why someone has done something bad you can always fall back on the general rule that people are a$$holes. I have relied on that rule to achieve some level of understanding for a lot of things that I've seen done in the workplace. That's all I've got for you. I hope it helps.

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been there, done that

by coldbrew In reply to You are not alone

I was terminated due to "outsourcing" after 4 1/2 years wtih a company. They wrote me up before the termination just to have a paper trail. I didn't see eye to eye with my boss nor management and didn't mind telling anyone who'd listen how I felt. That included HR. Anyway, it worked out for the better. At least my boss had to face me and let me go in person. I shook his hand and thanked him. That freaked him out. Anyway, life goes on and I'm better off. Good luck to you and don't waste time wondering what you did wrong. Like everyone says, it probably wasn't a good job fit.

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Too much to soon

by bman In reply to Reeling from being FIRED. ...

It sounds like you entered an environment where the pecking order was well established and your actions (especially so soon into your employment)were considered as "threatening" to your co-workers and the status-quo.
I fully understand your want to prove yourself and correct problems you saw but you may have acted too quickly. Trust in a department is everything and you have to earn it. Unfortunately I think you may have stirred things up too soon and didn't build any kind of relationship with your co-workers or "boss" yet.
Sorry but it is a fact of life, too many egos and little kingdoms to deal with BUT I know for a fact that it is the same in almost every industry.

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You did nothing wrong

by steve-nyeoka In reply to Too much to soon

No point limiting yourself just because of a pecking order.

I sort of ran into the some of the same problems at my present enployer. I was their first hire with a 4-year degree.... an it intiminated some of them. But over time (2 or 3 years) I won them over and some are my closest allies. Fortunately it was because they were decent, professional co-workers at heart that gave me a chance to find my niche (and I did my best to help them as well).

From you account your former co-workers lacked professionalism (we could make a long list..) so even though the lack of a paycheck sucks, you'r better off without those deadbeats.

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Dysfunctional Team

by MuddyWaters In reply to Too much to soon

I disagree with bman's assessment of the situation. It sounds like a dysfunctional work place with little or no room for competence. I wouldn't want to work there.
Don't let it dampen your spirits.

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Over Achiever

by Uberman In reply to Too much to soon

You fell into the over achiever syndrome. You just re-entered the work force and wanted to prove to yourself that you could an outstanding job. As bman said this threatened the status-quo of the little group you were now a part of. You weren't suppose to out shine all the others, especially the ALPHA female of the group. Instead you were suppose to be the submissive subordinate in the group. Of course, being out of the office for so long combined with the change in the IT environment since the dot com crash and **1, you were caught unaware of how political and competitive the IT business environment has become. Welcome to reality! Well you have two choices; fight by legal means or shake the unworth dust of this place of your shoes and move on. Don't let their petty little pecking order group keep you down! They were wrong by firing you and they will suffer for it by additional work with fewer personnel until they get their heads out of their a$$es.
PS I've been there. It took a few months to get over the depression until I extracted my own head out of my a$$ and moved on. My advise; learn from it and move on!

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Entrenched idiocy

by gralfus In reply to Reeling from being FIRED. ...

From your side of the story, it sounds like you were hired into a department with an incompetent manager (or one who has a side deal going on with an employee), and entrenched techs who like things the way they are, and aim to keep them that way despite the chaos. (There are a lot of families like this also. One lives down the street from me, complete with plastic flamingos and old cars on the lawn.)

Some places can't be fixed without getting rid of the whole staff. So consider yourself blessed to be out of the loony bin, and keep looking for a better place to land.

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Consider yourself lucky

by buschman_007 In reply to Entrenched idiocy

With the except of the plastic flamingos, I think Gralfus hit it on the head. It sucks being fried, I've been there, I know. But sometimes it's for the best.

Some jobs are challenging exciting, encouraging, and rewarding. The job you described sounded about as stressful as can be. Firing someone after 6 weeks has absolutely no reflection on you. It is a reflection on the manager. If his higher ups don't see that then they are as bad off as he is. And who would want to work for an organization with so much poor management.

I mean we are only hearing your side. There's the possibility that the Manager's mistake was hiring someone not qualified for the job. But from the sounds of your post, that is not the case here. Either way it's the manager's fault. Either he hired poorly, he gave poor direction to a new employee, or he lacks control over his department and allowed personal differences to creep in and reduce productivity.

I think your whole story is a total reflection on his lackings and nothing to do with yours. Consider yourself lucky and move on to bigger and better things.

Good luck,
Mike

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