Friday, June 20, 2008

A friend of mine thinks he's going to get fired

My friends have all the luck. One friend of mine found himself on the business end of the firing stick now another is looking at getting canned pretty soon.
I have sympathy for this friend. He's a nice guy with a kind heart. He isn't the hardest worker and he isn't the most professional person, but he gets the job done and he makes his office a more enjoyable place.
His company is crazy though. I worked there for a year and got the hell out as quickly as I could once I realized that most of the people are crazy. The company is a dysfunctional mess of drama, treachery, and incompetence.
My friend is a system admin there. He keeps all the windows boxes running, administers the mail server, and keeps all the smart phones in shape. He was always worried that his manager and the HR director wanted to get rid of him while I was there, but now it appears that his fears are justified.
I can attest that the manager and the HR director there are treacherous and deceitful people. Working with them was one of the reasons why I left that company.
My friend's manager let slip that they are hiring someone for his position. Being a small office with people who aren't careful about what they say, my friend was able to learn that they are hiring someone to fill his position. He knows that his days there are limited.
I really feel for the guy, he's given that company 10 or so years of service. During all of that time he's been paid well below the industry averages. My friend made many sacrifices for that company and now he's looking at getting thrown to the street for what appears to be a personality conflict.
I actually don't feel bad that my friend will not be working there much longer. It's a toxic company. He hated the place years ago when we worked together. His hatred for the job has only grown since.
My friend is worried though. The stress is clearly affecting his health. He's developing stomach pains. I think in a weird co-dependent way he's stressing himself over leaving the company that he hates so much. I really hope that he is able to find another position soon and his worries subside.
The people who are looking to replace my friend are detestable for how they are trying to replace him. I have no problem with their decision to terminate him over personality conflicts, but I do take issue in their secretive approach. They know as well as anybody that a secret can't be kept in the place.
My friend's role is critical in the office's operations. They literally could not last a week without someone filling his role. I can understand my friend's conspirators' position, they want to make sure that someone can fill my friend's role when he leaves. I don't agree with how they are approaching the situation though. They're trying to hire a full time replacement before they cut my friend loose. What's wrong with hiring someone on a short term contract to fill the gap? It will cost more money than a FTE, however by terminating my friend and replacing him with an interim contractor they would avoid subjecting my friend to the stress of the situation.
Treating people badly is never a good idea. I do not think that they are doing themselves a service dealing with an employee like this. People notice these things. Other employees may assume that they may be dealt with similarly, or they may just get disgusted by it. They may make decisions to leave on their own based on the incident.
Aside from stressing over the situation my friend is taking a pragmatic approach to the situation. He's looking for other work. Regardless of whether this conspiracy is just a figment of my friends' imaginations I think moving on is the smartest move for my friend. He has a chance to find another position away from the treachery and stress of his current situation.

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