Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rocky Starts and Better Finishes...

I've had better weekends.

While I managed to relax a little, this was not the best weekend I ever had. It started with my having to fire someone...that's never good.

I've done it before...fired someone, I mean. Sometimes, it's easy because it makes sense. Then there are the times, like this one, where it makes no sense at all and it simply feels wrong.

In this case, it was my candidate who I'd got to know so well, I knew the contents of his freezer. He's a very nice man. His references were stellar. I was excited that he was going to be working for us. He started work on this past Monday. He reported back to me that he loved his job. We tried to reach out to his boss to find out if they loved him as much as he loved them and...nothing. Repeatedly, my account manager reached out to her to see how things were going and...nothing....

Well, nothing until Friday at 3 p.m. at least. At this time, his boss called us to tell us that we needed to inform him that he no longer had a job and that it was effective immediately.

I was, naturally, devastated. It's one thing when you get a warning that the consultant isn't performing well. Normally, we get a warning and we get chance to reach out to our employee, give them the feedback and give them time to fix their errors.

Not this time. They were done with our guy. Never mind that he'd had five days to get up to speed. Never mind that he'd moved his whole life to take the job. Never mind that he'd taken out a huge loan to cover the expenses of moving his life...he was done.

Without trying to sound dramatic, it was one of the worst calls I've ever had to make. It's a different thing when you know it's deserved. In this case, it was only five days worth of work. He never had any warnings. Neither did we, no matter how much we dried to reach out and find out how things were going. They wanted him gone. I pleaded with my account manager to try to work something out so we offered our client a week's worth of 'free' services. This means we would simply pay our consultant his wages and our client would not have to pay a pennny.

This offer was refused. Sadly, this was the point at which I realized that no matter how good my candidate was, they had an agenda and he didn't fit. Otherwise, why on earth would you refuse a week's worth of free labour with the addendum that if the employee didn't improve, that was it?

My guess is that they either found someone cheaper to fill the position or, more likely, someone who'd left wanted to return.

Either way, it left my candidate stranded and jobless, 2000 miles from home and left me feeling like the worst human in the world.

Telling someone they're now unemployed is NOT the best way to start the weekend. This is a new fact I've learned. I don't recommend it so don't try it if you don't have to do so.

No matter what I did for the rest of the weekend, I couldn't quite shake the dark cloud that had fallen over me on Friday night after I'd fired our candidate. It's a human thing, I think. I am human...thus I felt horrible for treating another human the way that I did. Sure, it was my job. Certainly, it was better coming from me than someone he didn't know but...well, either was not fun.

I did manage to get some fun in...I went back to Farmer's Market. I really need to stop that. My desire for farm-fresh, organic vegetables is far outweighing the actuality in which I can use said vegetables. Yet still I buy them anyway.

I managed to see "Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows Part 2" again. It was just as good the second time because it wasn't so 'momentous' this was NOT the last time I'd see the last move for the first time. This was the last time I'd see it for the second time...not such a big deal. I enjoyed it.

I also got to have dinner with a friend which is always a good tonic for a sad soul. When I returned home on Saturday, I felt infinitely better than I had a mere 24 hours prior.

My Sunday has been great. I worked outside, cleaned inside and managed to conceptualize almost my entire next novel. I'd had an inkling of the plot for a while but only after letting "Emmy" go to fly free into the world of the e-book was I really ready to move on. I'm ready now and I think my new characters are ready for me too. Only time will tell.

In short, it's been an odd weekend that began worse than it ended. I suppose it's better than it ending worse than it began because it means that the week ahead is hopeful. I'm trying to be hopeful too...I just hope that I don't have to fire anyone else. As much as I love my's not always easy.

Then again, I suppose that's true of life in general.

Happy Monday!

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