Montana Jones

Montana n: A state of the northwest United States bordering on Canada. Admitted as the 41st state in 1889. The fourth largest state in the union, it includes vast prairies and numerous majestic mountain ranges.
Syn: Treasure State, Big Sky Country, Last Best Place.

Jones n: slang. An addiction or very deep craving.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Judge, jury, and executioner

_B:
You ask, I'll tell.
Me:
What's up with &G?
_B:
He has been awful to everyone on the staff. Positively abusive to _D. No respect at all. He does his job like XXX. The girls keep doing part of his work because they are tired of things not getting done right.
Me:
Can you give me a specific example?
_B:
Yes, lots. For starters...

Later,

_D:
I'm sorry for calling you the other night, but I was just fed up with that damn kid.
Me:
Don't worry about it. I'm here for you at any hour for any reason.
_D:
I have tried to be patient and talk things over and work them out, but I can't stand the way he treats everyone here. He had ^K in tears the other night. His attitude just gives everyone headaches. I'm glad you're here. But you probably won't see his behavior though, whenever you or _L comes in it's like he switches to best behavior mode but the moment you leave it's all temper tantrums again.
Me:
Can you give me any examples of things he is doing wrong?
_D:
Well, there was the S* incident…

Later,

Me:
So, &G, thanks for taking the time to chat with me.
&G:
No problem, I was just going to shower, I've got time.
Me:
I'm troubled because I have been hearing poor things about your job performance and your attitude.
&G:
How so?
Me:
Well, the rest of the staff is having a lot of trouble working with you and relating to you.
&G:
They are not exactly easy to get along with either. I didn't think it was part of the job description that everyone has to like each other.
Me:
No, it's not, and this is the part of the summer when interpersonal problems tend to come to a head. I am just trying to hear all sides of the story. So tell me, what's the problem?
&G:
Well I don't really like all these people trying to tell me what to do all the time. I thought I was only supposed to have one boss up here, but all these girls are always getting in my business and telling me what to do and how to do it and stuff. I mean, I know my job, I don't need everyone getting in my face about it all the time.
Me:
When _D gives you instructions do you follow them?
&G:
Yes.
Me:
Fair enough. What is this I hear about making ^K cry?
&G:
That? Oh geeze, I can't even remember what the argument was about. I'm stuck here with all these emotional women and there are really no guys to relate to and they can't take a little pressure. I can't help it that girls get emotional over every little thing.

Later,

_D:
Did he make an excuse for everything like I told you he would?
Me:
Yes.

Later,

Me:
What's up?
_B:
We are all waiting to hear?
Me:
Hear what?
_B:
You know the outcome, the only thing everyone has been talking about here.
Me:
Okay, I guess you deserve to know. I am not convinced that &G has been told his job well enough or understands what is expected of him that he even knows he is screwing up. Before I can take action I need a very clear cut example of rule violations where he knew what to do and did differently. He is feeling a little ganged up on by the rest of the staff, he doesn't like having everyone telling him what to do. If there are problems, take them to _D and she can take them to &G.
%R:
But we do that already. And he has been like this so long I can't believe there are no examples of him screwing up. Like the one time where he...
*S:
I had a problem with him when he...
^K:
There was the time where he...
+J:
And his personality changes when you are here. He literally has not talked to us in three days and then you show up and he is like everybody's best friend all of a sudden.
%R:
My biggest problem is the way he treats _D. He is so rude to her. I have never seen such a lack of respect for an authority figure.
*S:
Is the problem that there is no documentation of him screwing up?
Me:
Essentially yes. We are dealing with employment law now and there can be repercussions if there is not a clear cut and well defined reason for firing someone.
%R:
That just seams silly, he has been getting ultimatums all along and now this is just one more ultimatum. Like if you screw up THIS time we really really will get mad.
Me:
If I had seen any of this behavior while here I am prepared to fire him on the spot. But if, like you say, he changes his personality around me I probably won't see any of that. And there is a little too much 'he said, she said' going on right now for me to feel this is clear. We will have to deal with this in a different way, and I'm afraid that may put a little more burden on you to put up with him.

Later,

D_:
So I have read through the handbook and the part on conditions for termination and I compiled a list of examples of rule violations. I would feel a lot better if he could just leave here with you instead of staying and waiting to do something wrong again. I'm afraid there may be some sort of emotional retribution for all this once you leave.
Me:
Well, go over your list with me. We will probably have to sit down with him and have a three way conversation. I need to cut through the 'he said, she said'.

Later,

Me:
&G, Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Revisiting what we discussed last night. Ordinarily I would not be this concerned with interpersonal problems and let you guys sort them out yourselves, but the reports I am getting on your job performance are including words like 'abusive' and 'personal attacks' and 'bullying' and that makes this very serious to me. Can you tell me why I am hearing about abusive behavior?
&G:
Abusive? This is the first time I have heard anything about abusive.
Me:
Is it true that you used the words "fucking bitch" to refer to your manager?
&G:
Yes, I guess that is true.
Me:
Are you aware that you did this in front of staff and guests?
&G:
Well, I guess I knew staff was there, but I didn't think any guests were there.
Me:
I have been hearing that you change your behavior when I am around. That leads me to believe that you know you are doing wrong and are making an effort for me not to see it.
&G:
No, I'm pretty much always the same person.
Me:
_D?
D_:
No. That's not true.
Me:
We have been reviewing the employee handbook, particularly the code of conduct and the conditions for termination, there are several clauses this I think apply. Particularly "…" and "…" and "…". Have you done any of these things that could be grounds for dismissal?
&G:
Well, yeah. I guess I have.
Me:
&G, I no longer require your services here. Effective immediately. How long will it take you to pack your things and be ready to leave?
&G:
A couple hours I guess.
Me:
Okay, I will transport you back to where you left your vehicle. Do you have anything you want to say?
&G:
No.
Comments:
How professional, a good shove over a steep cliff would have been just as effective.
 
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