Fired Because Of A Jealous Wife/Co-owner

Question:

I have looked everywhere and can’t find anything that remotely compares to what I have gone through, so thank you in advance. I worked in a small office (9 people) – the two owners (husband and wife, early 50’s), two men in their early 60’s, three women in their late 50’s/early 60’s, a woman of 38 and myself, 40. For the past month, I have been told by the owner (husband), that I was being groomed to be the office manager. This was repeated time and time again in the presence of one of the other men in the office (and the current office manager). I was also being given additional responsibilities that used to belong to the second owner (the wife). She was clearly upset by this, so much that husband and wife had a HUGE argument regarding me (I was told this by the husband.) The day after the argument, I was let go – the reason being that I wasn’t a team player. (?) I should also mention that in the week prior, one employee had their hours reduced (40 hours to 20 hours) and the other had given her two week notice (commencing on the day of my firing, and now she is still there). When the one employee had their hours reduced, mine were increased. They had also just spent approx. $50 to have me renew my notary. Prior to my being let go, I had NO negative feedback – EVER! And I was shocked that she used the reason of not being a team player when that is far from the truth.

Is there anything I can do? I will say this, had they come to and said ‘this is affecting our relationship’ and offered me a letter of recommendation or SOMETHING, I would have understood. But to tarnish my name because of being jealous? Please help!

Signed,

Confused


Answer:

Dear Confused:

You have good reason to be upset and angry. You were expecting to be promoted to office manager and then were abruptly fired! That was a shock because you never had had any negative feedback and in fact had been given more responsibility. Yet you should not be confused. If you can step back from your disappointment and anger, you know what happened. The owner-husband boss had not conferred adequately, if at all, with his co-owner wife. This was more than enough to make her jealous. Possibly she had had that feeling before. Her husband could have conveyed admiration for you as an employee. Obviously he thought you were strong enough to be office manager.

What can you do? You can hold your head high, get up each day, dress for success and hunt for another job; one where you will not have to deal with husband and wife co-owners. The fact that you were told that you were fired because you were not a team player was not the real reason to fire you and you sense that. But nevertheless you might reflect on any of your actions or inactions that might have caused this wife owner to use such an excuse for firing you. However rather than to spend much time of such introspection, it would a better use of your time to prepare a resume listing your skills and accomplishments. Adapt them to potential employment opportunities. You can also make copies of any positive evaluations or indicators of your work and can request letters of recommendation from anyone who will agree to do so, either one of or both co-owners and also of former co-workers.

Don’t gossip about or badmouth your former employer even though it is tempting. Doing so will both hurt your job prospects and will sour in your what should beam forth as a bright professional attitude. Being fired is very disappointing but not the end of the world. People with the know-how you have are needed even in this time of high unemployment. Think of your firing as a learning experience. Find a good place in which to work, one where working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. All workplaces have problems that require much and have the potential for being employee friendly and profitable.

William Gorden