Verbal Warning I Can Be Fired

Question:

What does a verbal warning mean that says, “One more time you make a mistake and then they can terminate you?” How is the best way to do deal with this? Do you apologize?

Signed,

Been Warned


Answer:

DearĀ Been Warned:

Yes, you apologize if you have intentionally, carelessly, or mistakenly done something that harmed your company or caused trouble for your boss or coworkers. Add to that, a pledge to not do that again and a promise to be more responsible. From the little you say in the few lines you sent us, it is clear that whoever said, “One more time . . .” was warning you that what you did was serious enough to get you fired. Soooo isn’t it time for you to speak with your boss to learn exactly what should be done or not done that hurts your performance. You are hired to add value to your workplace. Keeping communication open is a must to perform effectively.

Verbal warnings sometimes are made in haste and anger, but whether said in haste or with cool deliberation, they should be taken seriously. In many workplaces, one warning that endangers safety or theft will get you fired, but when the infraction is less, such as tardiness, you will be first warned verbally, and then for a second infraction, will be warned in writing, and for a third will be fired. You need to learn what is the policy at your workplace. A job is not something to take lightly, especially in hard times, and I’m sure you know that. Do meet with your superior to make things right. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and that is what you want; for all with whom your work to feel good about coming to work and proud of what they do.

William Gorden