In a recent post on social news site Reddit, employers have been sharing their unbelievable stories of staff members who did not take the news very well.
Not so thick-skinned
“I was a security officer at a large aerospace company – one that makes fighter jets and the decks they fly off,” wrote one user, franksymptoms.
“One guy got wind of his termination and got a large power drill and drilled holes in several aircraft skins,” he continued. “Now considering that these skins never cost less than $50,000 each, he did a lot of damage. They could not be salvaged, either.”
Cell phone to cell block
“I was managing a small cell phone store in a strip mall … [and] this one guy would come in late all the time, generally put no effort in, etc and I basically laid down the law with him after a couple weeks and told him to shape up or get fired,” reveals fadetoblack1004.
After a brief improvement, the unpunctual employee soon slipped back into his old ways and after an unpleasant outburst in-store, employer fadetoblack1004 fired the worker.
“I told him to get himself out of my store. He walks out of the store, goes out to his car, gets a baseball bat [out of] the trunk, walks over to my car, and proceeds to basically smash the ever living s**t [out of] my car,” he continues.
Luckily – for the employer at least – the mall is directly opposite a police station and officers arrive within minutes. Unfortunately, they weren’t fast enough to save the car.
“The car was basically totalled,” says the user. “I couldn't believe how much havoc he wreaked on that car in 90 seconds. Smashed every window, both headlights, f****d up the hood/fenders, broke my spoiler in half. It was astonishing.”
In the end, the angry employee was eventually charged and served jail time – in addition to having to pay reparations.
“I've only ever had to fire two people in my time as HR for my company, and thank god for that because both went so badly,” admits one user, nukunukudash.
“For some background, we have major policies and procedures in place to do everything right when it comes to letting people go. Poor work performance counselling, mediation, the whole shebang. Laws around that sort of thing here are very strict, and very much on the employee's side, so as an employer you have to tread very carefully when gearing up to fire someone,” she continues.
“The first guy we let go was a developer. Something that should have taken him three or four days was taking him a month, even though he had the paper behind his name to prove his skillset. He was also hella lazy, falling asleep in meetings, coming in late, leaving early etc. So after two PWP counselling sessions with no improvement, we terminated his contract. He turned around and tried to sue us by taking us to the CCMA, but with the mountains of evidence we had against him, even the CCMA representative was on our side (which almost never happens). He ended up backing down after we threatened to sue him back for the cost of his recruitment fees but that was a lot of wasted time and effort preparing for court with him.
“The second guy we let go was a sales person. Dude was a nice enough guy, but terrible at his job. He didn't make a single sale in his first three months, so we start the PWP counselling with him as well. Gave him as much help as we could, everyone from every department was offering a hand but he just couldn't get his shit together. The next few months he didn't even hit 50% of his target. After three PWP's and extending his sales cycle so he could make target, we gave him notice and let him go. He went off at my boss (the CEO) in the meeting, going on about how we've ruined his life and we are taking food out of his kids' mouths, how is going to make rent now, basically making it really personal. My poor boss, a big strong guy that I've known for the past eight years, was almost in tears he felt so guilty. I just told the guy to GTFO. I'm sorry, if you want to be a provider for your kids, you have to be able to do your job. He hasn't tried to take us to the CCMA... yet, I'm just waiting for the notice. He'd be pretty stupid to try it though. It weighed on my boss for a long time afterwards.
“I don't want to ever have to fire anyone again,” they conclude. “It's a s****y job.”
HR professionals rarely enjoy firing an employee but aside from shouting and the occasional tears, most of us will come through the unpleasant experience relatively unscathed – unless you’re one of these employers.