Absensce makes the heart grow fonder, and gets you fired

Editor’s Note: In a world ruled by bad bosses, what happens when your boss puts you in charge of training someone new to do something she never trained you to do in the first place – because she’s never there? Here’s a reader submitted story that provides the unfortunate answer…

After working for about a year for the company, I moved into a newly created position to handle a program designed by and fought for by my boss. This was “her baby”.

I was used to her rarely being in the office or available to answer questions since that’s how it had been for most of my first year, but I was really surprised that this behavior continued when the new program was launched.

It started with me having to train the person taking my old job, while trying to learn my new one. The boss hadn’t done any of the new employee stuff at all. The new girl had no computerand had do use mine until IT was able to get her one (about a week after she started).  I’d have to come in early and kick her off mine for a couple hours every day to get some of my own work done.

Part of the new job involved things that I had no training for at all. It was things my boss had done before and needed to teach me. But weeks would go by where she was either not in the office at all, or in but unavailable. The stack of work I couldn’t do without some training just kept growing. She promised, when I took the position, that we would meet every Friday morning to go over the stuff I didn’t know how to do. We met 3 time in 90 days (and most of the time she spent on her iphone). Showing up for our meetings was not a priority.

At 90 days, I received my 60 day evaluation (she wasn’t around enough to do it at 60 days). She had gotten her butt chewed because this wonderful program she pushed for was going off the rails (since she never bothered to train me). Instead of taking responsibility, she threw me under the bus to save her own job.

I was put on 30 probation and given 2 areas I had to reach certain standards for, or face termination. I developed my own resources for information and ended up exceeding the levels in the areas mentioned.

So at 45 days ( she ‘d been on vacation and couldn’t do the re-evaluation at 30 days), I was fired for something else altogether. It was actually not even a firing offense and certainly wasn’t either of the goals outlined in my probation paper. But I was out.

She got a promotion.

When I got permission from the reader to post this, I found out she’s in her mid 50′s. Now unemployed, no chance of getting unemployment insurance. Another victim of a really bad boss. Here’s hoping she finds something soon, working for competent people who appreciate the work she does. Better yet, maybe she’ll strike out on her own.

Submit your real-really bad boss stories to denised (@) reallybadboss (dot) com.

Have you Hurd? Oracle hires HP’s former CEO

Mark HurdThe majority of folks who’d recently been forced to resign their high paying CEO position in the midst of a sexual harassment controversy would probably still be looking for work a month later. Not Mark Hurd.

Hurd, who last month was forced to resign from his CEO position with Hewlett-Packard, will be joining Oracle Corp., the world’s second largest software company, as president and board member. In August, Hurd was forced out by HP’s board after he settled charges of sexual harassment brought by a marketing consultant. Although both Hurd and the consultant, Jodie Fisher, denied having a sexual relationship, and the HP investigation didn’t find any evidence of sexual wrongdoing, Hurd was forced to resign anyway. HP maintains that the resignation was a result of Hurd falsifying expense reports in what they saw as an attempt to cover up the relationship.

Oracle’s CEO, Larry Ellison believes HP made a huge mistake letting Hurd go. Writing to the New York Times, Ellison said “The HP board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago.”

I suppose there are always two sides to every argument. Since HP never found any evidence of sexual misconduct then his dismissal surrounding those charges could be called into question. On the other hand, if a lowly sales person had been caught doctoring expense reports, she/he would probably have been given the boot too. But that’s where the similarities end. It would probably take our sales person a little longer than a month to find another job. And something tells me it wouldn’t be anything along the lines of president.

Read more about Oracle’s new hire at Businessweek.

You’ve got mail: You’re fired

Bad bosses use email to fire employeesWhat could be worse than getting fired? Try getting fired by email. Never you say? Guess again. Now more than ever employers are using email as a less confrontational, better documented way to give employees the heave-ho. Kaitlin Madden of Careerbuilder.com likens it to tactless breakups from exes and says employers use this method to avoid confrontation and to leave a paper trail.

So, what do you do if you’re unceremoniously dumped via email? Madden shares the story of an entertainment publicist who, in the midst of preparing for her client’s album launch, received an email from him saying he could no longer afford her services. Although the curt dismissal came as a complete shock, the publicist took the high road, contacting her former client –by phone- and expressed her appreciation for having worked with him. Classy.

Although most of us would be tempted to do the exact opposite, Madden suggests that even in situations as insensitive as email-firings employees take the high road. Regardless of how true it may be, telling the employer who fired you via email that  she/he’s a coward is never a good idea. It won’t get you unfired. For a list of additional ways to handle an unceremonious firing, read more of Madden’s post here.

What’s the worst way you’ve ever been fired? Share your story in the comment section, or email it to denised@reallybadboss.com.

Tweet this – Tweets and status updates that got people fired

I hate my boss Facebook status updateThere’s a reason why I don’t name names on this site and why all submissions are posted anonymously. Few people like getting fired. And even fewer like getting fired as publicly as the ones below. But with the advent of social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, people find themselves being pink-slipped because they got a little too “lippy” with their updates. Here a few tweets and Facebook updates that got some poor (and arguably dumb) souls fired.

  • When @theconnor tweeted that he’d just been offered a job at Cisco Systems and that he’d hate the job, but love the “fatty” paycheck, someone at Cisco was paying attention. Needless to say, @theconnor never got to see a “fatty” paycheck.
  • Who knows what radio host and Mavericks fan Mike Bacsik was thinking when following a Mavericks-Spurs game in which the Mavs lost he tweeted “Congrats to all the dirty mexicans in San Antonio.” Apparently he wasn’t thinking at all.
  • When Virgin Airlines employees created a Facebook page criticizing the company and questioning the cleanliness and safety of Virgin’s planes, they were canned. Status updates included things like planes were full of cockroaches and claimed the airline’s jet engines were replaced four times in one year.
  • “OMG – I hate my boss!” – Don’t post that on Facebook when your boss is a Facebook friend. I’m not a fan of friending bosses on Facebook or Twitter in the first place, but if you do, do not give them a front row seat into how much you hate them. Read this unfortunate status update and her boss’ reply here.

Read more tweets that got them fired here.

Please don’t fire us…

Did you know there was a blog called Cake Wrecks?!? Neither did I! Their tag is “When professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong.” And as you can imagine, it is hilarious. So what, you might ask, does that have to do with Really Bad Boss?  Take a look at this…

please dont fire us cake

No word on whether or not it worked, but it was a brilliant strategy. Sugar shock has probably thwarted more that its fair share of bad boss meltdowns. If you know the origins of this cake, please drop us a line and let us know if this tactic works. If it does, we’ll add it to our arsenal of surprising, but effective bad boss weapons. If it doesn’t, we’ll shove it in Mary’s HR’s face on our way out. Not really. Really.