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#1 of 76 Old 12-17-2007, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ugh, I feel all gwiggly.

Ok, so here is the lowdown...

8 months ago started working at the newspaper.

3 months ago new ad manager comes on.

I had been putting the recycling papers in the large trash can instead of the itty bitty cardboard box they use for recycling. i was told to put them in the box "over there" five months earlier. For five months I have been depositing papers in this particular bin and not one person noticed or said a thing.

One day my boss comes to the front as he was leaving and shouts into the ad office, "someone put newspapers in the garbage and they need to go in the recycling box (not marked as such, just a little cardboard box)."

He leaves and I ask my co-worker, "so where are they supposed to go?" She tells me and I am perplexed and kind of astonished that I have not been corrected before then. I verbalize this as the new ad manager comes out of her office and blasts a reprimand at me.

I say (in the same tone she used) I'm sorry but I don't just do things because I feel like it, I do them because I was told and I was told to put them there."

She didn't like that and for 4 days ignored me (while I was my cheery self).

A few months ago I email the publisher and let him know my schedule for next semester. I'll only be available to work Mon, Wed, and Fri. he says we'll talk later in the year (this was late August or early Sept). A month ago I email him and ask if he has thought more about my situation. He says he is still thinking on it.

Last week the ad manager calls me into her office and says, "so I hear you will be leaving us."

I say, I hope not.

She says yes. I need someone who can work 5 days a week (4 hours a day). I've been there 8 months and have bent over backwards and go above and beyond. I am never late, I work extra to make sure ads are run properly. If you ask me to do you a favor I HAPPILY do it.

But she apparently wants me gone (even though there have not been anymore issues and she basically ignores me, even though I say good morning every day).

So anyway, since I have gotten this news, she has also said that if they find the "perfect" person that she will let me go.

This afternoon at about 4 my co-worker calls and asks if she has called me, I say no and ask why. She said that the manager asked for my phone number.

I have this uneasy feeling that she is going to call me tomorrow morning and tell me not to come in.

If she does this, well first off I won't answer the phone, and second I'm going in. If she wants to fire me she can do it in person.

What do you all think?

Nc is a "work at will" state and you can be fired for anything or nothing.

I am eligible for EIB though. I'll get $105 a week for 26 weeks.

Plus I have made sure I have been on time and have been very helpful and cheery.

My stomache is churning.
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#2 of 76 Old 12-17-2007, 11:12 PM
 
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nak, but that really sucks.
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#3 of 76 Old 12-18-2007, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a feeling the ad manager is going to call this morning and tell me not to come in.

But, I am not going to answer the phone.

If she wants to fire me she can do it in person.

Is that fair?

Plus I have pictures and things that are on my desk.

I am just so sad. When I started I changed my schedule for this job. It was supposed to be full time, then the publisher called and said 4 hours per day, 8-12. I said sure. Then he changed it to 10-2, I said sure again.

I have done my job and then some.

Then little miss insecure and power hungry comes in and bam! it's all gone. And all I did was defend myself.
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#4 of 76 Old 12-18-2007, 12:04 PM
 
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I LOVE the idea of making her fire you in person. I had a Research Director, big guy running lab who left it to the OTHER lab assistant (we were both 22 and it was the first job out of college) to tell me. He comes down at 10:00 and basically says to me "so I guess you heard the news" WTF?

You sound really OK about this. Are you really?

Will your co-workers be able to provide good references? How about the publisher?

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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#5 of 76 Old 12-18-2007, 12:13 PM
 
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I'm sorry you're going through this. I once had a temp assignment ended by getting a message on my answering machine when I got home after working there all day (I'd worked there 4 months and it was one of those infinite temp jobs). Gee, thanks. It was Christmas time, too. Anyway, did you hear anything? I hope she does end up having to fire you in person if that is what is going to happen. If not, I hope your issues at work can be resolved and they accommodate your new school schedule. Good luck!

Tracey, mama of 5 beloved children here with me on Earth and one precious son I will meet again in Heaven 6/17/09 - 9/6/09.

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#6 of 76 Old 12-18-2007, 12:57 PM
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No advice, just

PhDin' mama to dd (Oct. 2005)
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#7 of 76 Old 12-18-2007, 01:54 PM
 
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I'm so sorry. She sounds very unprofessional. : I agree with going in, if you're okay with that.
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#8 of 76 Old 12-18-2007, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is becoming pretty comical.

I didn't get a phone call this morning, but it turns out she had tried to call me last night. We were busy and thankfully couldn't get to the phone. She still has her Florida cell phone so when I checked the caller ID I didn't recognize the number and deleted it along with a few others.

This morning I go to work as usual and as usual she doesn't say a word to me.

She leaves at 11 and CALLS ME!!!!

She asks if I can work a few extra hours next week and I say yes. She wants me to train the new girl- WTF?! Yeah, she has already hired someone. The snake. And the woman she hired is an absolute snob. She is really hateful when she comes to our office- how the hell am I going to train her.

So the ad manager says, yeah if you could work those extra hours it would be appreciated and then after a few days when the new girl knows how to take ads then we'll start cutting your hours.

I'm not really ok.I cried after she called me.

I'm so pissed.

I don't know how to train anyone.
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#9 of 76 Old 12-18-2007, 11:46 PM
 
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That's piss-poor management. You know, as hard as it sounds, maybe you should keep on being cheerful and reliable until the job is done. I have a feeling these two might be gone in a few months.
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#10 of 76 Old 12-19-2007, 12:03 AM
 
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She just sounds so very unprofessional.

I think you should keep your dignity and perhaps resign before the new woman is trained. They are not treating you with respect. Let them have a new problem--who will train the new worker? Just let them know, very courteously that you need to start another job immediately that suits your schedule better.

 
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#11 of 76 Old 12-19-2007, 05:46 AM
 
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What Lauren said. This is ridiculous. Don't get dicked around like that.

This is exactly what happened to me when I was 22. The new lab tech told me they had hired someone else and I had to train her before I was fired. At the time, I guess I was happy for the work, but SCREW that. Like you have time to work extra hours next week. Quit now and preserve your dignity. You can go out professionally without burning bridges. Holidays, school, family obligations, say whatever you want, but say it to their face and walk out! Do it today or Friday and treat yourself to a F#($& THIS cocktail or starbucks drink or whatever.

Hugs to you. Anyone would be crying in this situation, but I have a feeling you are going to be OK and this will be a big turning point for you.

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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#12 of 76 Old 12-19-2007, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh I won't quit. I'm filing for unemployment and I can't do that in NC if I quit and we NEED the money.

BUT, I have no clue how to train another person How can I be relied upon to train anyone?

I'll be cheerful to the end, no doubt, but it won't be to their benefit.

I also don't want to give them any reason to appeal my claim.
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#13 of 76 Old 12-19-2007, 09:16 AM
 
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I'm so sorry, PD. Sometimes I think that if only there were no people around, the world would be a pretty great place to live!

Is there anyone above her that you can appeal to? You've had no marks on your record, nothing disciplinary at all. I live in an at-will state too, but you still have the right to appeal.

It makes me so angry that she didn't even bother to fire you. I guess if it were me, I'd send an email to her and cc the publisher or something to get it in writing. You never know, she is the type that might say you quit voluntarily because you couldn't work around the new hours, and then deny your unemployment claim.
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#14 of 76 Old 12-19-2007, 10:24 AM
 
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I'm so sorry. I think you've been treated very poorly! Publishing is a volatile industry but that's just ridiculous. My concern is how you can protect yourself, so here is my advice (take it or leave it).

Definitely train the new person, but see if you can make it contingent on your boss providing you with a good written reference letter. Just say that you're happy to help, but you would like that in return, and highlight the points you want her to put into the reference letter - that you are reliable, and so on.

When you train the new person, put as much as possible in writing - make a training agenda, or something similar, and tick off what you have covered. Just go down the responsibilities in your day. The up side of this is that in the future, you can say you have provided some training.

I hope you find something similar with a better work environment soon!

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#15 of 76 Old 12-19-2007, 05:28 PM
 
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I'm sorry about your work situation. It's the worst feeling training someone who's going to take over your job.
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#16 of 76 Old 12-19-2007, 06:24 PM
 
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Man that boss really sucks. I'm sorry for what's happening to you.

She sounds like the kind of person who, when confronted, wouldn't even tell you the *real* reason she's firing you (i.e. she's an insecure you-know-what).

Even though it really sucks, be super wonderful until the end, make sure your coworkers are aware of your efforts, and yes, do bargain for a wonderful letter of recommendation from your boss. If she can't be straight with you, then let her suffer and carry through with her own lie.

Re: training someone for your position, I'd recommend going through your day in your head, and writing down everything that you do, from the simplest to the more complex task. Then you simplify the document by categorizing tasks by area of responsibility, as well as by level of importance. Make it visually appealing, print it out, and hand it to New Girl. Tell her to look it over, while watching you go about your day for a day or two. After a few days, tell her she's going to be doing the job, and you're just going to be there in case she needs any help. Also, introduce her to all the various people you deal with as "your replacement", so a) people are aware that you're being replaced b) they get to know New Girl, and c) they can see how nice you are as opposed to her.

good luck!
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#17 of 76 Old 12-19-2007, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the awesome replies.

The publisher (who is behind this woman 100%) asked me what was wrong today (I was just being quiet- but still my lovely self) and I say, "you're firing me." He said, no we aren't. I said, "yes, you are." And he said, "No, things just aren't working out."

Uh...like I said.

Half- I did exactly what you posted about today.

I made a list of my daily responsibilities, then stapled examples of paperwork to the back with notes in each section to "see attachment a,b,c, etc."

I'm working on a price list for each special ad that I work on and will also make a list of the people in the ad room and news room with a brief explanation of their responsibilities so she will know who to forward phone calls to if the customer doesn't know the name of the staff person responsible. Example" Tom-traffic and law enforcement news, Stacy- general Editor and special interest stories, etc.

I have printed out a list of our line ad classifications and laminated them to my desk near the computer keyboard.

I've cleared off any unimportant information (or stuff that will be learned later) from my desk so as not to confuse her.

Everyone in the office thinks I'm nuts for going out of my way, but I couldn't not do this and I really can't blame my replacement. Well, she is a meany, so maybe she knows about me being fired too.

Ok, off to buy stocking stuffers for the DH.

Thanks again mamas. This next week should be LOADS of fun!
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#18 of 76 Old 12-20-2007, 06:43 PM
 
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Ugh

Unfortunately, I have to agree with seaturtle. They are setting this up as a "things didn't work out, she trained her replacement and moved on" sort of deal instead of a "we had to let her go" situation where unemployment benefits have to be paid. I worry that they are taking advantage of your kind, professional nature to get out of paying unemployment.
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#19 of 76 Old 12-20-2007, 11:37 PM
 
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When I started I changed my schedule for this job. It was supposed to be full time, then the publisher called and said 4 hours per day, 8-12. I said sure. Then he changed it to 10-2, I said sure again.
Maybe you were too nice? It sounds like they were pulling you around from the beginning.

I say good riddance.
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#20 of 76 Old 12-20-2007, 11:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post

Definitely train the new person, but see if you can make it contingent on your boss providing you with a good written reference letter. Just say that you're happy to help, but you would like that in return, and highlight the points you want her to put into the reference letter - that you are reliable, and so on.
Great idea! Definitely do this. It will be proof that your boss thought well of your work.

Places that act like this and try to prevent you from getting unemployment stink.
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#21 of 76 Old 12-21-2007, 01:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is the letter that I just sent to the ad manager and copied to the publisher. I am shaking!

Have you decided when my last day will be? I need a detailed exaplanation of why things are not working out and why I have not been considered for other positions within the company. I recently applied for the truck driver position for which I have experience. I worked on a horse farm where I drove the tracker trailer (carrying up to 10 horses at any given time) for 3 years and when I worked in the child care field (10 years) drove a large van carrying up to 13 children. Yet, I was not considered for the position.

I'm very uncomfortable training another employee and have no experience doing so. Perhaps there is a more appropriate person who could do this.

You mentioned over the phone that you were planning on cutting my hours? Why and when will this take place?

Please know that I am not leaving this company voluntarily, you are choosing to end my employment. When I was hired I made changes to my schedule to accommodate this position. I have worked hard and followed the rules of the company. I have not been reprimanded or disciplined in any way since being hired. You have said I have not done anything to be fire for, yet you are terminating my employment.

For 8 months I have dedicated a portion of my day to the Journal. I've stayed late to make sure ads were published and worked extra days when asked. When other employees ask for help, I happily comply. I'm a team player, and I am a positive representative to this company.

I do not understand why, when I need a little flexibility, like I have shown the Journal, it cannot be returned. There has not even been an effort to see if accommodations can be made.

I would ask that you please let me know in more definite terms the reasons for my dismissal.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this request,

Teresa T
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#22 of 76 Old 12-21-2007, 02:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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oh please someone respond. I am feeling physically ill.
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#23 of 76 Old 12-21-2007, 02:42 AM
 
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I think that's a great letter and covers all the bases you need to cover. I hope you get a response!
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#24 of 76 Old 12-21-2007, 02:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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ah, thanks mama.

I don't go in until 10 so they will have 2 hours to mull it over.
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#25 of 76 Old 12-21-2007, 03:11 AM
 
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Oh Teresa, I am so sorry they are putting you through this! I think what you wrote was excellent and very professional and will go a long way toward ensuring you get your unemployment benefits. I don't see how they can talk around it. Do you have hard copies of any performance reviews that you could use as further evidence of your positive work history with this employer? That would probably help a lot too.

I'm so sorry. I know it feels so awful right now. But I am convinced you are going to get through this and find a situation that is actually worthy of you.
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#26 of 76 Old 12-21-2007, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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rosi- I have not had a performance review. Nor have I been given any verbal feedback regarding my performance (other than by co-workers).

seaturtle- thanks again. I will be taking notes most definitely. I have a feeling they will not respond at all to the email.

BTW, I Cc the letter to our publisher- if I had not mentioned it before.
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#27 of 76 Old 12-21-2007, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I checked my messages and received a response from Rick, our publisher. He makes me cry, I am so emotional around him. I will try to emotionally distance myself from it though.

I should make a list of my responsibilities along with the new responsibilities, oh and notes about our first meeting (the one where Gail said, Oh I heard you are leaving us. I'm going to do that now.
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#28 of 76 Old 12-21-2007, 11:41 AM
 
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Potty Diva, you are handling an awful situation beautifully. You're covering your bases, making sure you leave in a good way and properly training your replacement, but at the same time, making sure you're not being victimized.

I thought the letter you wrote was clear and to the point. You couldn't have done more. Make sure you document EVERYTHING, from emails to phone calls to face to face conversations, and stick it in a timeline: write when and what was said, make sure you have people's complete names and contact information if possible. That way you have a "master file" ready to protect you in case they try to deny you unemployment. It sucks for things to go this way, but in a way, it's teaching you how to be more aggressive and how to protect yourself so you don't let this happen to you in the future.

Keep your spirits up despite all this crap. You're doing great.
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#29 of 76 Old 12-21-2007, 01:19 PM
 
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I don't think MDC lets one post emails that another person wrote... but can you tell us the jist of what Rick said?

You are doing really good with all this. And I agree with halfasian, about the timeline. Those really help keep things straight in your head, and will help things not sound like "he said, she said".
I ditto this (I want to know too! but don't share if you don't want to), and I think you are doing a good job settling what happened. At the same time I do worry you're still focusing on staying there - and I'm not sure it's a healthy workplace you want to stay at, you know? But it takes time.

ETA: Oops sorry, I saw it has to do with employment benefits - that's really good then!

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#30 of 76 Old 12-21-2007, 01:40 PM
 
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Great idea to send a letter to make sure they know that they have terminated you and that you did not leave on your own free will--they do that so that they don't have to pay you unemployment benefits--as some other posters have said.

I think once you train the new person that you make sure to tell them that the papers go in the TRASH and NOT the small unmarked box. LOL!

Shameful.

In a way (I'm sure it's hard to see this now) that this is a blessing--that new boss sounds really awful and someday down the line it would seem that a confrontation with this person would be unavoidable.
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