Aside: Thanks everyone for your comments yesterday. I just want to make something clear. I will never censor your comments unless you are rude to another commenter or an interloper such as the Jedi twat that I deleted straight away. And I value the difference of opinion. This is a friendly place. Feel free to say what you want as long as it doesn't hurt others.
Unlike the second boardroom at work today. I hurt someone.
I had a call from a client early this morning who had received mail for someone else. Not for the first but for the third time. This is an issue, we are financial planners, our business is based on confidentiality and trust - required no more so than in the current financial environment.
The upshot? I had to sack a perfectly nice little girl for no more than being incapable of the position. I refrained from the "This is as hard for me as it is for you" line because it's not. It was surprisingly easy. Yep, the receptionist/admin assistant got the chop and whilst it definitely didn't feel as bad for me as it probably did for her it was a difficult thing to do.
I hired her in July after having only two suitable applications. Prior to the current economic crisis, it was a buyer's market. Let's face it we were paying award wages and more mature candidates weren't interested despite a plethora of highly qualified people for the job because the wage was low - entry level as we call it here. So we put her on knowing she was green, I had reservations about her 'diction' when using the phone or her 'absorption' regarding sorting mail, she had no nouse re board meetings but I felt most of what she needed to know could be learned and she had good mentors for 12 weeks.
There was a high degree of pressure from people who really liked her predecessor who we have promoted from within but she'd had the advantage of being three years in the position and they'd forgotten that she didn't even know how to make a cup of tea when she first started. I even enrolled the n00b in a Traineeship so that she could benefit from some professional mentoring but when 4 clients over a period of 16 weeks receive confidential financial information that belongs to someone else, it goes beyond human error and frankly becomes a dangerous precedent.
She took it well but I felt so sorry for her. She's tiny, fragile, sweet, tried very hard, stepped up to the plate when I told her she wasn't quite cutting the mustard but frankly, the job was too much for her.
What becomes of a 21 year old who can't hold down a basic Admin position. I wanted to hug her but that would be unprofessional, so offered a verbal reference should she take a less demanding position. Her character was exemplary . . her ability sadly lacking. I feel shitty, I've only done this three times and the other two were easy because the kids lied and were caught red-handed but this one really didn't do anything 'wrong' - she just wasn't up to the job. I thought she'd cry . .protest . . have something to say . . and she was given the opportunity - other than telling me that both her parents had lost their jobs and she was now the breadwinner (Jesus didn't that hit home!). But business is business and basically, she took it on the chin with a vacant look and didn't even take her termination letter or reference with her. I think her last word was 'cool'.
I've been retrenched for 'personal' reasons and I know that gut-wrenching feeling when someone says "I have to let you go . ." I just hope she prevails. I'm sorry Kel but I tried hard to bring you into the fold. And I wish you luck in whatever you decide to do.
Managing people really sucks.
No pic because it's not funny being the 'go to' girl.