punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

On being fired

I was out today, taking care of some personal business. It ended early, so I decided to drop in on a friend at work... and I ended up doing tech help. Not that I minded at all, but they got hit with some big Operserv worm because some yutz at work downloaded a ton of porn, and the worm was attached to something. I had heard about this guy before. His machine was constantly being infected with trojans, malware, and all kinds of stuff. I worked for two hours trying to get this machine fixed. I was then asked to provide proof of him browsing porn, and gave them said proof, with dates, thanks to Knoppix-STD and some bash scripting.

The yutz was then fired.

I mean, this guy really had it coming (he had had a long list of issues), but firing people sucks all the same. Thank goodness this didn't happen in front of me, I just sat on a machine in a back office, sniffing the network to determine infected machines. Apparently he denied any wrongdoing, and they used my evidence as proof. He still denied any wrongdoing, but left anyway.

I have only fired two people in my life. The first one was this guy who was in his late 40s and a real loser. He lied, stole, cheated, stole some more, and lied to try and cover it up. So I fired him in mid-lie. He had really dark skin, so when he turned pale, he turned a sickly green color. As he handed me back the store key, he was shaking, and I didn't know whether he was going to hit me or burst into tears. Luckily, he did neither. But he did have the amazing gall to use me as a reference, in which he claimed all kinds of lies (how long he worked, position held, pay... yeesh). The second was a guy I didn't want to fire, but my district manager hated him because, at the time, he was a racist redneck (he has since mellowed out). Trouble was, he was a good salesman, and I couldn't get anyone else to work a mandatory 48 hour/6 day a week job for so little. So my boss had me write him up for picking his nose while he was in the store (he did have diplomatic nasal declogging issues sometimes), which he refused to sign, and thus, I had to fire him. Gees, I felt like a heel. I essentially fired a guy for picking his nose. I quit that job shortly after that.

I also half-fired two other people. I was about to fire this one flaky girl because she didn't show up for work on time (and we're talking hours, or maybe the whole day), and she blamed everything on her ADHD. At the time, she was trying to get Social Security disability for her ADHD, and not getting very far. But the day I was to fire her (for not opening the store all day, on a Sunday, thus getting our store fined $24,000 and killing any chances of getting a profit bonus that year), she sensed she did a major screw up, and quit over the phone. She said it was to make my job easier, and that this way, she could claim to the Social Security Office that her ADHD makes her ineligible to work. They never called me, so I never found out if she succeeded. Another guy I fired, but his best friend was the other store manager, so he kept getting rehired. He was a ska-moshing skinhead who had terrible BO, and he played his music really loud in the book store. He also asked customers uncomfortable questions for their shock value alone, like "When you poop, do you turn around to see what it looks like? Don't lie, I know you do!" He finally got fired for, and I kid you not, catching one of the company owners in a porno theater. Of course he told everyone about it. And the young girl he was with. He even spoke to the owner, shook his hand, and said he worked at one of his stores... geees! I thought he was making it up until the corporate head of security got involved in the big hush-up. I even got "de-briefed" on the incident.

Still, telling someone to their face, "You're fired!" is not easy. If I ever get back into management, that will be the one thing I dread most. When I was assistant manager at the knife store, I had to tell a bunch of people they got laid off. One guy I had to say, "Yeaaah... I know you opened today, but you aren't getting paid for today because the paperwork says yesterday was your last day, and they didn't tell me until I got in at noon." That totally sucked. I didn't blame him for going off in front of me.

Also, my first Slashdot article was posted! It was a dumb blurb about something I found called "Pizza Party" (Ordering Pizza from the Command Line) Not only that, but my article was covered on Madpenguin, and even Linux.com! w00t! My 15 minutes of net.fame!

This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000486.html
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