Employing The Unemployable
An acquaintance of mine on Twitter, a friend of a friend actually who I speak to on occasion, lost her job recently. She had always tweeted about various job frustrations, as we all do, but it seemed clear that she wasn’t appreciated or acknowledged for the work she did. On January 20th, after 4 years of employment, she was told how awesome she was and was let go from the company. A few days after being fired, she sent a letter to her former employer expressing her true feelings about being let go. Since then, she’s been scrambling to get her resume out there and to work with the unemployment office so she isn’t in trouble financially while looking for work. Her time line has unfortunately been filled with frustrated comments on dealing with the unemployment office while waiting for the phone to ring and an interview to be offered.
Simply put, there are too many people who are currently in this situation. At the health clinic I was employed at before coming to the National Guard, people were fired at the drop of a hat. Our office manager was let go because they had to make cut backs and she was the most disposable and unnecessary employee there, even though she was also a loyal person who had been there for nearly five years. The entire office went day to day with a fear in the back of their mind that our time was up and we would be greeted by the COO and told to gather our belongings. Some of the newly unemployed deserved to be removed from their positions, but sadly many are let go because it makes financial sense to the company to do so. Other times it’s petty personal issues; higher management just doesn’t like one of their subordinates and searches for any reason in existence to get them fired. I was let go from a cashier position because the head cashier didn’t appreciate the fact that I did my job better than she did. Shit happens to good people for bad reasons.
Meanwhile, as good people go without work, great jobs are filled with people who are, to put it nicely, less than deserving of them. I work with a woman, I’ll call her Sandra, who has been passed around the office from job to job as her supervisor struggles to find work that she can actually manage not to be horrible at. Every time she is set to be reprimanded for something, she magically comes up with a doctor’s note demanding three days of bed rest and manages to side step the conversation entirely. She is the queen of excuses when it comes to doing any actual work while she is in the office and I honestly don’t see why she hasn’t been fired at least three dozen times already. My husband works with a man, Coffee Guy, who spends the majority of his work day doing errands over the phone for his wife, taking care of personal issues on the phone, and socializing with people who probably don’t want to speak to him. 90% of the time I see him, he is doing something completely unrelated to his job. These are the people who should be unemployed, not those who are willing to bust their ass and get their job done in the most efficient and accurate possible way.
I would love the ability to get rid of the dead weight in my office and throughout this country, replacing those unwilling to do their job with those people out there who can and will do it, but haven’t been offered the opportunity. If we could strip away the red tape, outdated or unrealistic job requirements, personal vendettas, and popularity contests, this problem would probably sort itself out. I had an employer who hired people as a temporary employee on a strictly trial basis to allow them 6 months to prove themselves as worthy of the position and to protect the company in the event that the employee turned out to be a waste of space. I’ve worked for a couple of places that understand people can’t claim extensive experience in an area if no one gives them the chance, and I’m grateful for the chances I’ve been given. Having had to hire and fire people in the past, I understand how hard both processes can be but I also know that if both are done properly from the beginning, you cut down on the frequency you need to do them.
I’m wishing my Twitter friend the best of luck and I hope she is close to finding employment and escaping the rut her former employer put her in. I’m curious to know, have you been unjustly let go from a job before? Was it difficult to find new work? I’ve been rather blessed and have never gone for longer than two weeks without a job, but I’m also the type of person to jump on waiting tables during those interim periods between jobs with 9-5 hours. I’ve expressed my views on collecting unemployment in a previous blog, but I’m also curious to hear your thoughts. And finally, do you work with (or have you) someone who doesn’t deserve to be employed? Share horror stories!