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I Just Fired My First Employee

Lawman

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Just five minutes ago. And I feel like shit. After 17 years of the big firm thing, I am living the dream of having my own law firm with two good friends as partners, who also happen to be exceptional lawyers.

It just wasn't working out with this paralegal. Today is one of the few bad days.

Just thought I'd share.
 

grimslade

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Sorry about that, but better to lance the boil. To switch metaphors, the swift sword cuts clean. And better to remove the Band-Aid quickly.
 

Joffrey

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I guess the paralegal refused to put out? I would be bummed too
 

Thomas

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It always sucks when someone's just not working out. But to be fair, you're probably doing them a favor by setting them free to find a better fit. At least that's what I tell myself.
 

Bhowie

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Originally Posted by Thomas
It always sucks when someone's just not working out. But to be fair, you're probably doing them a favor by setting them free to find a better fit. At least that's what I tell myself.

You really believe that? Jobs are not falling off trees. I'm not saying firing her is a bad thing, but don't lie to yourself.
 

Douglas

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I usually feel more like shit going into it than coming out of it.
 

Thomas

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Originally Posted by Bhowie
You really believe that? Jobs are not falling off trees. I'm not saying firing her is a bad thing, but don't lie to yourself.

Yes - to a point: I don't hire capriciously, and I certainly don't fire capriciously.

When the other employees have lost faith in an associate or manager-type to do their job properly, then it's time to cut an ordinarily competent but wayward person loose for a fresh start. I hate that the economy is the way it is, but either I cut that person loose or watch the rest of the staff deteriorate. The latter is unacceptable if I want to turn a profit and keep the doors open.

Trust me, it's never an easy decision, and carrying it out is no fun chore, either - regardless of the economy.

That said, I've known a few firings who went on to better things.
 

Douglas

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Originally Posted by Thomas
That said, I've known a few firings who went on to better things.

Two finance-to-retail stories for you - one happy, one sad.

We once fired someone who went on to start his own retail store - industry witheld to protect the innocent. Today he is a successful entrepreneur doing what he loves and the world (and our company) is a better place for it. He was a younger guy who now has a family.

On the other hand, when I was growing up, my Dad had a senior accountant whom he had to let go. A few years ago, I saw him at the local dept. store and he had to help me get fitted for some pants I was purchasing. He recognized me and told me he still remembers the day my father fired him. It was the most awkward pants cuffing of my life.
 

Dakota rube

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Feel for you Thomas. I still remember the first time I fired someone, now more than 20 years ago. Sucks.

For both of you.
 

Spatlese

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I had to do several this year, the first time in my career. All were just shitty experiences for me (and obviously, the impacted employees), notwithstanding the circumstances around each.
 

why

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Hire slowly, fire quickly.

I've never had to do it. I don't tend to dwell on things like this though. Some people may take it personal, but as long as you're keeping track of their professional record even the most irrational person would have a hard time thinking it's personal.
 

FLMountainMan

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My first professional job was defunding charities, so I got over the feelings you describe very quickly. Sometimes, people actually benefit from being fired. It focuses them.

As other posters have said, be sure to remain calm, professional, and, if possible, have plenty of documentation. Make it so that it almost seems as if you are doing them a favor and you have no choice.
 

JLibourel

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I had to fire a subordinate employee once. I had had quite a cordial, fun working relationship with him and had only recently been promoted over him. However, he was a bad dude. He had been found one Saturday rifling people's personnel files in the boss' office and photocopying them. Thus, I didn't feel bad at all about giving him the sack. The fact that it meant he would probably lose his newly acquired home only added relish to it. Something wasn't adding up. I knew what his salary was, less than mine, yet within a year he had bought a new car and a home. I suspect he was into something illegal, perhaps drugs.

He was a reservist in the U.S. Army Special Forces. He didn't do much to enhance my respect for the gallant men who wear the Green Beret.
 

Connemara

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Originally Posted by JLibourel
I knew what his salary was, less than mine, yet within a year he had bought a new car and a home. I suspect he was into something illegal, perhaps drugs.
Mr. Lib, I'm sure you could've afforded a new car and home on your salary. After all, you have a Ph.D, those things add about $100K to any job offer...
 

JLibourel

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Making my way through life, I have found that a Ph.D., unless it is immediately germane to the employment offered, will, along with $4.50, get you a latte at Starbucks!
 

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