When Buzz asked me to be the first post to mark the 6 month anniversary of this blog, I was thrilled and honored! Then nervous, then excited, then nervous again. I mean, this is definitely one of those “you better not screw this up moments!”
Reading about newbie Nadia in one of the posts, I was reminded of a story from my first year in the HR/Recruiting world …
“He did WHAT?!?!?! Lucy, I’ll be there in 30 minutes.” This was not the call I necessarily expected to get as I first walked into the office, but unfortunately, things like this sometimes come with the territory in the staffing world.
It seems that one of my contractors, a computer technician working on a contract for me at a large Washington DC hospital, had managed to get himself terminated. Not terminated like Keifer Sutherland in Flatliners, terminated like Donald Trump does in the Apprentice. For the rest of this article, I will refer to him as Triple X.
And as Triple X’s recruiter, I got the honor and privilege of completely rearranging my day, losing traction on another requirement I was working to fill, AND driving BACK down the Beltway in the middle of AM drivetime to walk him off site.
I’ve heard people talk of their blood boiling, and at this point, I could definitely relate. Getting fired because your performance isn’t up to par? Understandable. Getting let go for being late to work too frequently? Sometimes legit, and sometimes not, but still, in DC/MD/VA a bit understandable. Even getting fired for totally trashing a piece of equipment that he was attempting to fix probably wouldn’t have sent me off like a rocket ship.
But this fool got fired for printing out PORN. But not JUST for printing out porn. Triple X wins first prize in the “I got fired for doing something reeeaallly stooopid” award. He got caught because he printed his porn pics to the PRESIDENT OF THE HOSPITAL’S PRINTER that he was working on!!!
By the time I got down there, after another spin through DC traffic gave me time to really think about what had just happened, and what was ABOUT to happen, I was on Level 10. I got it together enough to speak with my client, reassure her that we would have a replacement for her within a few days, and connect with my still employed contractors to let them know I would be back down in a few days to take them to lunch. Then, it was time for me and Triple X to take the walk of shame.
There were a million things I wanted to say, most of them sarcastic and hateful and angry and illogical and completely uncalled for. But when I looked at the miserable expression on his face, I could tell that he was very aware of the situation he had created.
Triple X knew he had completely shot himself in the foot as far as me being able to put him back to work. He knew the hospital would NEVER be an option for him again, and that he had let a pretty simple contract where they loved him slip through his fingers. So instead of beating him up about the obvious game changing fumble he’d just made, I asked him the only question that seemed to make sense at the time:
“What exactly are you going to tell your wife about this when you get home?”
What in the world did I say that for?!?! Now –in addition to all the other crazy mess I had to deal with that day– I now had a 40 something year old man blubbering in the passenger seat of my car. I wanted to feel bad for him, I really did. BUT, YOU did this to YOU.
He wasn’t the victim of corporate politics, random layoffs, office power struggles or anything of the sort. Triple X was done in by his own stupidity.
I wish that I could tell you that this was the strangest day I ever had as a staffing recruiter. I wish I could, but I’d be lying through my teeth. I wish I could tell you that Triple X was the only contractor I ever had to fire, but I’d be lying about that, too.
But he was the first. And you always remember the first one.
Jamie Gaymon has been my dear friend for almost 20 years. Without his encouragement and tech savvy, this blog never would have launched — literally! He stayed up until 2am with me on launch day to make sure the site worked.
Jamie, future owner of the Washington Redskins and an all-around good guy, is a home based business professional and blogger. You can find his rantings and ravings at http://JamieGaymon.com
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