Fired For A Mistake

Question:

I worked for three weeks as major gift officer. My supervisor never trained me in our email or phone protocol. Apparently, I emailed one of his contacts. This morning, he called me into his office to tell me what happened. I told him I felt this would happen, seeing as how he did not train me nor did he tell me whom to contact. He then told me, in front of my co-worker, “You’re fucking fired.” Can an employer speak to an employee this way, especially in front of the office? He then asked to go through my personal things to see if I had anything that belonged to the company. Even though it’s only been three weeks, they didn’t have to pay me anything except what they owe. Finally, how do I put it out there that this employer, is unethical and awful to work for? I was there 3 weeks, never trained, and fired for something that had I been trained would not have happened.

Signed,

Out


Answer:

DearĀ Out:

You are fortunate that unhappy time was only three weeks. You have learned a lot, or at least you owe this supervisor a lot because he taught your how not to supervise–he failed to train and he abusively fired you. Can an employer speak to an employee this way? Yes, one can. Why? Because there are no laws against that unless the verbal abuse is linked to discrimination of a protected class of employees; race, national origin, sex, religion, age, disabilities, and possibly other less well identified groups. Can you publicize that this employer is unethical and a poor boss? Yes, you can by word of mouth and if you want you can report him to your state’s Department of Labor. But more importantly, now it is time for you to job hunt. Right? Because of this three-week job, your job search will be more informed. You will seek an employer that has a reputation for training and good management. You will study the employer. What will they tell you about training and career advancement? How well are you qualified for this workplace? What does its policy book say about treatment of employees? How clear is the job description? Are you invited to talk to its employees?

Of course you will be wise not to badmouth the supervisor or the place from which you were fired. If you are asked why you left, you can briefly say that you were not trained and that you want to find a workplace that is more than just a job; one where you can make a contribution. That probably will be enough. If you are asked if you were fired, you can candidly say why; that you made a mistake. Hopefully that matter will not be raised. The important thing now is to start fresh. If you lack needed job skills, get that training on your own. My best to you. Being fired is for the best if we learn from it. Working together with hands, head, and heart is the way work should be. Working that way takes and makes big WEGOS; in short we us must do all we can to learn what is required for a job and then commit ourselves to those with whom we work and for whom we work.

William Gorden