I probably shouldn’t, but what the hell. Only about three people read this blog anyway. 🙂
[You may wish to read the background information below, otherwise you might get lost.]
Yesterday was a first for me. I fired an employee. Unfortunately, working for the federal government, actual firing is an extremely long and tedious process. But, I pulled the person from her current job and moved her to sit next to my boss and me. The sad thing is, many or our folks are so unprofessional, they probably won’t even look at this as a negative.
I just don’t get some people’s behavior. How can you write you a snotty email to your supervisor, send it to the supervisor’s bosses (our division head and me) and not expect consequences? When the boss (who’s nicknamed “Kung fu panda” because he’s so adorable!) read her email he was furious. He called her (she works about 10 miles from where we work — yes, shitty working conditions!) and yelled at her. He told her she had to stop her passive aggressive behavior towards her supervisor, that he was ready to fire the lot of the group, that she’d actually disobeyed him. If you’d been redressed by your superior in that manner (especially one who is normally super easy-going), wouldn’t you think you need to shape up? Yet, the very next day she had the audacity to tell her co-workers she had information her supervisor wanted but wasn’t going to give it to her.
That was the last straw! I called her over to headquarters, told her she was off the team, and the reason was her unprofessional behavior and insubordination. She didn’t see where she’d been insubordinate. I gave her a couple of examples (including the one mentioned above), to which she told me she’d never said that. Here’s the thing: she said this in front of about a dozen people. How in the hell can she think she can get away with the lies?
Fortunately, we have documented counseling on her, and statements in writing about all the shit she’s pulled. We’re pursuing a couple of avenues for dealing with her, and I think we’re doing everything the right way. It just can’t come soon enough.
[Some background to help you understand better: It may not make a lot of sense unless you have a military background, but here goes. I am a deputy division chief, middle management. My boss is an Air Force colonel. We report to a two-star general. So while we’re not executives, we’re not lost in the weeds, either. Because the building we work in isn’t big enough, most of our employees are in a facility about 10 miles away. We try to make it over there regularly, but the boss is so busy (his calendar depresses me some days) and I’ve been working on projects that don’t allow me to get away. Consequently, some of our employees have been running amok. Some of it is the result of working for an extremely poor manager–whom we have fired from that position (and are trying to do so from his current one), and some of it is personality driven. Ok, so hopefully this is enough background.]