Fired for Staring

Dear Not Looking:

Reaching out for guidance is a sign that you are trying to understand more fully why you were fired and are willing to correct causes for it. That’s good.  However, you haven’t provided us with much information–the kind of work you were supposed to be doing, how long you had been employed in this particular job or other jobs. Nor did you say who was the “them” — who might have reported you were “looking at them.” What about yourself (age, skills, education, and personality) helped you get  that job? And incidentally, I worked in one office for years without a window, yet you said, “I may have been staring out the window.” What kind of workplace was it and a job that would allow staring out the windows? Therefore, with so little information my comments will be general and focused only on the one communication behavior you were given for firing–e.g. Staring.

  1. Employees are fired for many reasons and employers usually aren’t as helpful as they can be when they say “goodbye”. Sometimes they simply want to cut their payroll.  If you want to prevent trouble at your next job, you had best recall the other reasons you were given and the possible circumstances, such as how well you performed what you were assigned, How focused were you on the job or distracted you might have been by coworkers, or bored. What signs did give of disinterest or low commitment, such as coming to work on time or being absent?
  2. Are there any former coworkers you can now contact who could tell you the real reasons you were fired? Also might you talk with a former teacher about how you communicated or might appear to stare?
  3. Staring is interpreted as either having a blank mind or as inappropriate when it is focused on others sexually. Were you attracted to or one or other employees and wished they might like you? Did you notice anything about them that especially attracted you–hair, face, eyes, upper or lower body? Did you comment to one or more people about their appearance? The direction of our eyes signals what is on our mind. You now are faced with reviewing what caused you to be seen as staring.         
  4. Now is not the time to obsess about staring. Rather, it’s time to search for jobs that are available for your skills. It’s time to prepare a resume or at least to list the kinds of things you have done and can do. Also it’s time you should look in the mirror and ask do I look like someone anyone would like to hire? Am I neat and am I seen as friendly? My suggested questions may not apply to you whatsoever, because they are made without knowing the windows you might have stared out of and so little about you.

So for now, I wish you the best in a job search. Don’t allow days and weeks to go by feeling sorry for yourself. Read about grit and guts of those who have been fired and learned from them. Listed to TED talks on resilience such as TED 3 secrets of resilient people Lucy Home 1.4M views or overcoming an injury such as    or not being blessed with good looks 

I’ll close suggesting that you read several other Q&As posted on our site. They can forewarn you of some of the unexpected problems people encounter in the workplace and provide advice on how to cope–how to forearm you. One of my former students delivered a winning Toastmasters’ speech. See my LinkedIn post and his You-tube. It should inspire you. Foiling Fear Facing an Audience Part II Published on May 15, 2017
Rich 2001 The Other Side of Fear

My signature sentence is to wish the best for you these next few days and weeks and to find a job that you want to come to work in: Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. –William Gorden