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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 Having been out of things so long I felt kind of intimidated and worried that my knowledge was way out of date.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!

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

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Non-Compete Agreements??

by CNE/MCSA2003 In reply to U.S. "Right to Work" Law

From past experience in Georgia and South Carolina, non-compete agreements aren't worth the paper they are printed on. The laws here go more towards the "Right to Work". In one case, we had hired a sales manager from a competitor, and the competitor sued in court about it. The end result was that we kept the sales manager and the competitor ended up paying our court costs and lawyer costs as well.

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Can you say "Employment at will."

by LibraryIT In reply to Labor practice

Some states do not protect employees from unfair firing. The law allows for "employment at will". It means in the absence of a contract, an employee can be fired without cause.
In this case, I wouldn't be surprise if the the server administrator or the boss have a friend or relative that they would like to have the job, but someone is preventing their hiring.
One poster suggested that the need to understand the power structure, pecking order, personal dynamics when starting a new job. Even in the best environments, influence is not always dictated by the organization chart and/or there arepeople with axes to grind. I envy those who write to say that you should pack up as soon as the situation looks bad. For many, personal and family circumstances don't always permit that course of action, especially in small markets.

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Be Confident! Dont' Loose hopes!

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

Hey marysonthego,

Dont loose hopes. Neither think that you are in-comparable nor under-estimate yourself. Thats good that you have posted the messages and lighted your heart.

Just think that they were not suitable for you neither in terms professionaly, nor as a good human being.

I must say, thats good that you came out from "BAD MANAGING GUYS IN BAD MANAGEMENT COMPANY"

Think Positive and keep going!

Jags Chichriya

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Sue them

by christine.duplessis In reply to Reeling from being FIRED. ...

There's lots of advertisements in the paper about unfair dismissal - make an appointment and go and see one of them. No-one will ever believe that you were unfairly targeted unless you do something about it.

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BAD advise......

by angelohl In reply to Sue them

you shouldn't consider sueing them, considering every company in america has whats called "employment agreement" (name may change) that all I.T. persons sign when coming aboard. Forget the legal verbiage, in laymens terms, it states that you CAN be fired (terminated) for little or no reason at all - in the I.T. realm, it basically is the clause that says "we can fire you for not knowing your sh*t"... not putting you down, but thats how I.T. is all all planes of positions. So, if you remember that thing you signed, don't even try to sue, you'll burn your bridges badly, and this will only come back to haunt you years later when you're trying to get on a Federal contract or so....best of luck.

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To What Benefit?

by Wayne M. In reply to Sue them

One should carefully consider the desired outcome before persuing the legal route.

Would anyone want to be returned to work in the environment described above? Even, if one is just looking for a monetary reward, how much would be need to pay for legal costs, an additional 6 - 12 months of putting one's life on hold, and having to relive the situation before lawyers and in a trial. Even if the case is brought to trial, it will be a largely a "He said, She said" presentation with the company in control of the few documented "facts" of the case.

In the end, there is little to gain beyond vengence. One needs to carefully consider the personal value of winning versus the cost of the effort and versus the uncertainty of the outcome.

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Turn this over to the Dept. of Labor

by Mr_Fancy_Pants In reply to Sue them

Well we can all agree this was a bad job from the start.

However being fired without proof of documentation from your manager that you were making mistakes and you had been given a chance to correct that action id cause for legal discourse.

I doubt it's your desire to go back to work for these folks. By taking legal action you can however bring the labor dept to bear on this company as well let the senior management of the company know what type of people they have running the IT and HR dept.

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They won't touch it/Do not give up!

by christineeve In reply to Turn this over to the Dep ...

Labor Dept. has a few strict rules about IT consultants/employees/contractors. I know because I actually won a case with a former employer who took six weeks of pay from me, when I left. Ten other people recovered pay too, because of the shady dealings. I narrowly fit into their critera because I was hourly and made under 20 dollars an hour. It was a good thing because the others got their pay, when this firm was investigated and they found the theft.

In addition, as stated, most states are "At Will" employers. You have the job with them as long as they're willing to have you. If you chose to quit, you can, and they can fire you.

In addition, if there was a probationary period, which is stated up front, you can be fired for any reason or no reason. They do not have to give you any kind of documentation, they only have to show you the door.

I'd use this time to retool, update your skills, and forget them. Don't even bother putting them on your resume, they're a complete waste of time.

Chances are they'll be downsized and you'll bump into them on the way to your next awesome job, and they're on their way to the unemployment line :)(Hopefully, in your cool new car, too!).

Good luck, and honest to goodness, I was in the exact same situation not too long ago, and it really WAS them and not you!

Do not give up!

Christine

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I've been fired 3 times and still enjoy my IT career

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

Although I've been fired 3 times, in two cases it was due to bad management resulting in financial crises and getting rid of people was the "only solution" in the managers' eyes. In the other case it was the UK depression of 90/**. After the first firing (I was 1 of about 60), I got another job within 2 days. The 2nd time I was out of work for 13 months and the 3rd time I was out for 6 months (at age 49) when I received 2 phone calls within an hour, one from my former boss asking me to come back and one from a small company wanting some custom software writing as a one-off. I accepted both offers and ended up working 2 days a week for one and 3 days a week for the other as the 'one-off' turned out to be an ever-expanding piece of software! I'm still with the 'one-off' company, now a full-time employee. The 'one-off' company heard about me through the grapevine and 2 previous jobs have been the result of the grapevine; my policy is to keep in touch with ex-colleagues and let friends and colleagues know when I'm looking for work. A single bad experience shouldn't weigh heavily against you if all other references are good. Your attitude when applying for a job is a significant factor; even if you feel intimidated, act confident - you've succeeded at job interviews before and you will do again. An option to maintain an income is to have a backup job so that when you lose one job, your income doesn't drop to zero. Obviously a backup job has to be very flexible time-wise, usually self-employed.

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Er... fired?

by brandon.aiken In reply to I've been fired 3 times a ...

You weren't fired three times. You were laid off three times. The position you were in was eliminated. That's entirely different from being eliminated from a position.

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