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Have you ever been fired?

Have you ever been fired or left a company disgruntled?
What happened? What did you do afterwards? How did you make yourself go over it?

Spike Jonze
Thursday, April 08, 2004

I did get fired the once. I've forgiven him. Basically he didn't have a lot of choice: the company was going bust anyway and the entire rest of the staff were laid off six months later. I was a bit peeved he did it by LETTER considering we've been friends from university days and he says that on recollection it wasn't the brightest thing to do. But he did have roughly 3/4 million other things to worry about.

I actually got fired for job hunting on company time so it wasn't like I didn't have one foot out of the door already...

Anyhow, seems to be all sorted out these days. Most of the staff have got other jobs, he's taken up being a rock star and the other director seems to have semi-retired to cornwall.

Katie Lucas
Thursday, April 08, 2004

I was laid off from my first job. Didn't really bother me because there were a lot of layoffs and I was a recent hire.

I left my 2nd job "disgruntled", I guess. I hated the place and wasn't shy about the problems I saw with the company in my exit interview.

   
Thursday, April 08, 2004

I was fired from a job about 15 years ago. What had happened is someone had quit their job to work for a startup company. This left an opening which I was hired to fill. I worked there for 3 months, everything seemed to be going fine, and then out of the blue, my boss said he was dissatisfied with my performance and I was fired.

A month later, I found out that the person who I had replaced was rehired. It turns on that he didn't like working for the startup. My boss wanted him back, and I was in the way, so.....

I was a real kick in the balls for me at the time, but it helped me to focus attention on the fact that there is no security in life. You can do everything right, make no mistakes, and still get hosed.

I went back to school, got a degree in Comp Sci, and went to work in the IT field. I am happy with my career now, but I am always mindful of the painful lesson of 15 years ago and try to keep prepared for any sudden misfortune in my job.

Harlequin
Thursday, April 08, 2004

Surely if you've not been fired and are not disgruntled with the job you would still be working there?

Stephen Jones
Thursday, April 08, 2004

Not really, there's a difference between being fired and being laid off.

To me being laid off is a financial decision, being fired is a performance related decision. There's no shame in being laid off - it happens to nearly everyone in this industry at some stage or another I think - but I'd be worried about hiring someone who had been fired more than once (I can understand one personality conflict or something, but I wouldn't want someone who made it a habit).

There are also numerous reasons to leave a company if you're not disgruntled. Maybe you need to move interstate or overseas. Maybe you need to take time out of the workforce. Maybe you decide to change careers. Maybe you like your job, but something better comes along. No reason why you have to get to the stage of being disgruntled before leaving.

Sum Dum Gai
Thursday, April 08, 2004

I wasn't 'explicitly' fired, but during a lay off period, I was one of a number of people that got "weeded" out.  It is true what they say, "Managers hire on competancy, but fire on attitude".  In the end it was the better thing to do as my attitude did indicate my lost passion for enjoying any type of work there.  Fate has a strange way of directing your life.  But I've made some really good friends there, and the bitterness is slightly still with me to be pulled away from them.  We keep in touch, but it's not the same.  It is the social aspect I miss more, that no job after that has yet come to match.  Nevertheless, it was at that moment that sparked a fire under my ass to decide to build my own company and raise my level in the food chain so I might never have to deal with crap like that again and be left on the street like some poor loser begging for a job.  It has now been two years since that depressing Monday in January 2002 and while my company is still too small support me, it is an encouraging endeavour.  Additionally, it has forced me to realize the short shelf life software developers have and how fragile and unpredicatable such a career is (read: no security whatsoever).  Through this I have become more extroverted in networking and attaining experiences that might otherwise never have happened.  Once you lose your ignorance, you can never get it back.  So it is best to continue shedding all other forms of naiveness.  Most notably, is the fact of how fear drives us to survive and persist in our lives.  (But I digress).

Everything happens for a reason.

sedwo
Thursday, April 08, 2004

I was fired when coming back from holidays. Nice feeling.

WTF, I found a much better job afterwards :-)

Now I am on my own, much better !!!

Phil
Thursday, April 08, 2004

Not been fired but laid off, not once but two times. But it changed my whole life in ways I could not imagine.

Was doing system support and minor hardware repairs, training users to use worr, excell at both of these places.

Was feeling really down for a year or so but then made up my mind to give my own business a short. Bought a VB6 book and hooked up to the Internet and worked my butt of for a few months.

After that managed to get some small clients and slowly I have a simple software company. don't give up and think out your goals clearly and stay determined and you will make it and maybe getting fired will be the best thing o happen to you.

suhu
Thursday, April 08, 2004

I left as a disgruntled employee. I was hired as a (already experienced) developer out of college by a startup, and was promised that in return for taking a chance on a startup, I'd get to stay near the top of the company as it expanded, be given a competetive salary after a 6 month probationary period and be guaranteed two weeks of expert training per year.

So, after a fully satisfactory 6 months, I was made a full-time employee, given a pay rise that, because of an income tax boundary, actually decreased my take-home pay. Then I was then sent to another site to do fancy data entry -- a position I was massively overqualified for --  the other people I was working with didn't even have college degrees. Then my manager employed a bunch of his friends and immediately promoted them above me on better salaries (contrary to the agreement about me staying near the top of the company). Oh, and the 'expert training'? A few minutes a day with my manager, a copy of a manual and being told to "train while developing an application for us".

So, in order to stay employable in the sector, I had to leave -- the company effectively forced me out by making bad management decisions. They then had the cheek to tell me that I had been a waste of their valuable startup capital.

But like many here, I'm glad I left. I'm now working on cutting-edge stuff, with some of the brightest people working in our field. Lesson learned: out of the employee and employer, it's most likely the employer who'll lie in an interview.

Nearly went postal...
Thursday, April 08, 2004

Phil:

any chance you are a John's Hopkins graduate?  Was the company that fired you in texas?

Matt H.
Thursday, April 08, 2004

I was fired once -- it was actually kind of cool, looking back (though was devastating at the time). I was in the boardroom giving a quarterly project status presentation to our execs, when I saw an HR person peek in, then there was some commotion at the door, then two uniformed police officers and a plainclothes detective entered, asked if I was Mr Z, then announced they had a warrant for my arrest. In front of my "stunned audience" the two officers frisked me, placed me in cuffs and led me out.

I called my boss later that day when they were done with me, but his secretary was the one who told me they 'had to let me go' and 'don't show up here, we'll send your stuff'. HR sent me a packet later with paperwork, but I never heard from anyone there again.

(I was going through a messy divorce at the time, her lawyer was buddy-buddies with the detective, and no charges were in fact filed. It had to do with my transferring money as we agreed to my personal account, but she backed out of and lied to her lawyer, etc etc).

My next job never asked if I had been fired, and in the application they asked if they could "contact this employer" and I just checked "No" and that was that. It's been almost ten years since then so it's no longer an issue.

Looking back I just wish I could have thought of something witty as I was being led away from my presentation in handcuffs. Maybe "...and that concludes my presentation", or "...I anticipate some manpower issues in the future," but at the time I and everyone else was kind of speechless. Oh well, I'll have something ready for next time...

Mr. Z
Thursday, April 08, 2004

[the other people I was working with didn't even have college degrees]


Neanderthals! How dare they put you with these low lifes of society!

trollbooth
Thursday, April 08, 2004

Once I was fired for not putting out. (She didn't do anything for me. I mean, I do have some standards. Now if one of the ladies from the HR or marketing dept. expressed interest....:-P)

Erehwon
Thursday, April 08, 2004

I left a job disgrunted once because they wouldn't let me take time off for an important family holiday; one person in our department of four already had the time off, and the PHB said 50% (two people) would be just too many.  (Curiously, before I was hired there were only two people in the department; I guess they _never_ took vacation.  They sure must have been happy when I was hired.)

Of course, it was a crappy job in other ways, so this was merely the straw that broke the camel's back.

After a couple months, I started a CompSci degree, then got a job at the school where I was studying.  (And just recently got laid off from there.  *sigh*)

Kyralessa
Thursday, April 08, 2004

I once got fired from four jobs in  a week.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, April 08, 2004

"So, after a fully satisfactory 6 months, I was made a full-time employee, given a pay rise that, because of an income tax boundary, actually decreased my take-home pay."

How is this possible?  In the US at least, the progressive tax means that you only get taxed at a higher rate for income over the rate boundary.  So if you're in the 15% tax bracket (< $30000, roughly)  then get bumped to $30001, only the $1 difference is taxed at the higher 20% rate.

john haren
Thursday, April 08, 2004

Stephen Jones, do share that story with us, please.

RP
Thursday, April 08, 2004

Not true, John, you'd better check your 1040 tax tables.

IRS Agent Lou
Thursday, April 08, 2004

"Not really, there's a difference between being fired and being laid off."

That's not really true. People and companies leave each other for all sorts of messy reasons. Being explicitly fired is very much the exception. More often, things simply fall apart for no clear reason anyone articulates and the next reasonable excuse for cutting the connection is used, whether layoff or forced resignation.

Most times if it's them giving you the boot, you'll never really know for sure what happened. That's probably as well. All the statistics show that a bad relationship between boss and employee is the real cause of most job terminations and either side of the equation could be the "real" culprit.

anon
Friday, April 09, 2004

There are lots of examples where a pay raise costs you money:

- For someone on welfare, getting a job may mean losing their welfare benefits.  The income from the job can be less than the value of the welfare benefit.

- In the US, the IRA deductions can be very valuable, espeically for a worker in their 20s.  If a pay raise means that you lose the right to make your IRA contribution, then the raise cost you money.

Anonymous
Saturday, April 10, 2004

I was fired once as a 7-11 clerk.  I wrote a money order, and did not properly handle the paperwork for it.  Truth be told, being fired was the happiest day of my career there.

I was also fired as a Programmer/Analyst at a major insurance company.  Since I'm anonymous here, there is no reason to lie.  The department was so dysfunctional, and my manager was just divorced and going through some really bizzarre behavioral swings.  Bottom line, I had nothing to do and lots of time to kill, and no direction on that job.  Plus I hated the stuffed shirt atmosphere of the place.  But it was my fault I got fired.  I surfed the net all day and even traded on Etrade from there.  They called me to HR and confronted me.  I was actually nonplussed and said "yea, I did it, you have the records, why do I have to confess, just fire me, I don't care!"  Then I went into a diatribe about how much I hated the place.  My boss turned beet red and white splotches appeared over the red on her face.  Then she cried when she led me to the front door with my box of office supplies.  Again, I was stunned, but relieved.

Really, I'm a crappy employee.  I don't conform to bullshit dysfuntional groups very well, and I'm just not mentally wired for excessive ass kissing.  Plus I tend to call people on it when they are being obnoxious or overbearing.  These traits don't help me get along in a workplace at all.

Luckily, I'm a business owner now, because I'm the only one who will hire me!

John Doe
Saturday, April 10, 2004

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