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 Having been out of things so long I felt kind of intimidated and worried that my knowledge was way out of date.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

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

I can releate to how you feel, I have been in a similar situation within the past year. But the silver lining in your cloud has to be the fact that you were able to get away from such IDIOTS!!!! It seems apparent that no one there has any clue of what Network Administration consists of or how to run a IT department. I feel that you were headed down the wrong path by accepting the position, but you live and learn. Just remember, before your next interview make a long list of quetions for your potential manager regarding SOP's and overall company polcy.

Best of luck to you in the future, keep your head up and stay positive!!!!!!!!!

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by johnm23357 In reply to Reeling from being FIRED. ...

It sounds like your boss had a favorite son. Or in Mary's case a favorite daughter. Someone who could do no wrong. That happened to me a couple of times until I got street wise to it. I found that the hiring manager would tip his hat by lauding a certain employee at the interview saying stuff like "I don't expect you to be as good as Joe right away". He was right in one respect, I would never be as good as Joe because I was already better but there was no convincing the boss of that and the best thing to do for all involved was to turn down the job offer.

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by andrew.moore In reply to

My guess that there was a relationship between the boss and the other female employee- The boss seemed to ready to over-react when the other female felt threatened. I wonder; Did she cut him off...

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Been there, done that ...

by Too Old For IT In reply to Or...

... when I worked for a wholesale pharmacy where the VP of whatever (made no difference, she ran the show) was the owner's mistress. Owners wife ran a string of nursing homes (he'd buy her off with a new one now and again).

It was a paycheck, and I left them. Only qyestion is, which book on work does this fit into? Traditional employment or employment in the global economy?

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Been there, done that

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

I worked for a local engineering firm in town and right from the start, the 'head' administrator was on my case. He would jump on me for things that my predecessor had done. Long story short, he would document any mistakes I made on the job. On the other hand, if I found mistakes he made, I would correct them and move on, just like you would expect in a true 'team environment'. Well, he built a case against me and took it to our boss, the CIO and had me fired. I had nothing to stand on, and the CIO thought this guy walked on water. This guy had so many mental issues, a phychiatrist would have had a hayday. Anyway, in retrospect, it was the best thing that ever happened. I now have a job where I am allowed to make a mistake every now and then, and my boss is level-headed and not easily manipulated and snowed over.
From the sound of things, the company you worked for will be like a revolving door for the person that was in your shoes until they get a clue of what is really going on.

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It happens sometimes

by francois.racine In reply to Reeling from being FIRED. ...

Many years ago, I began a job as a programmer. It was a thursday. I met the computer tech there and we had, was I was thinking, an interesting duscussion. I said him, I would be interest in a future to have the possibility of managing the company's computers. He was saying me my curriculum vitea was impressive...

Monday morning, my boss call me in his office and said me it will not be possible to being part of the team and I was fired. No more explanation, no examples, no help to correct the behavior.

I always thinked the computer tech was jealous and was the one who comvince my boss to fire me.

True of false, I will never know.

Today, I have a better job and I have fun to do my job but at that moment I was very...

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hang in there.

by longbow1 In reply to Reeling from being FIRED. ...

I am going throught the same. Just know that u were right and keep ur chin up. And ofcourse there are better things coming..

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

As a manager who has fired people, let me first say, it's one of the hardest things for most managers to do -- if they enjoy the task, they are wrong for management. From a manager's perspective, I would have been more concerned that you couldn't think on your own than that you were doing things wrong. The other thing that would have concerned me is that you couldn't face me to talk about the situation -- email is not the best way to approach this sort of thing. For future reference, be your own person; think for yourself and ask the manager if you're unsure of how things are done. If you have a concern take it to the manager face-to-face; explain the concern, but don't place blame especially when you haven't been there long enough to know the politics of the situation. Remember that politics plays a HUGE part in this business world -- maybe that woman was related to the boss, had had an affair with the boss, or even had something on the boss, you never know.

Now from an employee perspective, I was fired by a manager who was jealous of the fact that people listened to me, came to me with problems instead of him, and like me better than him. He even said so at our final meeting. I had to turn to contract consulting for several years because he would trash me every time someone asked for a reference -- I finally sued him to make that stop. I realized contracting is less stressful because there's more money and less politics.
Don't know if this has made a difference, but it's my two cents.

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Blind leading the stupid

by Techie31 In reply to Hiring/firing

I was in a simular position only mine happened because of a merge at a job where I worked for 7 yrs and did it well. My new boss came with his "guys" and we were made to be useless. After a year in **** that ended in litigation with me winning I was fired and moved on to better things. My mistake was knowing more and doing it better. Keep the faith you don't need a year of no sleep and high stress. You came into a closed shop and know more than the people you worked with. You will get a better job.

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Almost the same happened to me

by Sumjay In reply to Hiring/firing

I have not let too many people go but the parallels in your life are amazing. Your thinking is almost like mine.

My philospohy: Be perceptive when you are a newcomer to an organization. Observe, observe, observe! See who is doing what and their interaction with others in the organization. Soon you will find out who is in 'power'.
You have to be political to a certain extent. It is unavoidable. You ignore it at your peril.

Like you, I had the same issue as being popular enough, that people would refer to me if they needed any problem or issues resolved, usually that meant the boss was bypassed (politically incorrect).

Anyway, I am glad you are on your own and does set a good example for marysonthego.

Good luck and keep up the positive attitudes and do not stoop low like those mental midgets who cannot see the bigger picture on the future of their departments/companies. Remember the corporation does well, then you will do well too. (Well, most of the time anyway!)

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