Re: Bad Fit?

Subject: Re: Bad Fit?
From: "Elna Tymes" <etymes -at- lts -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 01 Feb 2001 12:55:50 -0800

Maggie -

There are a number of scenarios that might explain why the situation you
described happened to you. However, of all of them, please spend only a minimal
amount of time on the ones that focus on you and possible things that are wrong
with your personality, your conduct, your style of working, etc. Unless you've
been told directly by someone (there or elsewhere) that you have certain
specific glaring faults, any attempt to turn the criticism inward is a waste of
your time. In my experience, you probably did nothing wrong - you were simply
in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Here are some other possible explanations:

1. Budget cuts - immediate and affecting the group you hired into. It is
easier to invent a plausible excuse to let go the most recently hired than to
assess the desirability of everyone in the group and maybe have to let go
someone who's been there longer. However in most cases it's harder to say that
to the person than to hide behind some other kind of excuse like "it just didn't
work out."

2. Someone who got interviewed about the same time you did, and wound up being
a preferable hiree, became available after you accepted the offer. (Maybe they
already knew Frame, maybe they had some other skills you don't, whatever.)
Suddenly the guy they really wanted was interested - or even accepted an offer
they didn't realize they should have withdrawn to offer the job to you - but
they already had you on board. Rather than continue to invest in you, they
decided to let you go in favor of the other guy.

3. You expressed some belief or some preference that the existing group
couldn't tolerate. In many states, this kind of discrimination is quite
illegal, but sometimes difficult to prove. It's easier to hide behind
"personality differences" and other excuses.

4. Your style of working, and of getting information, may have not been
consistent with the established hierarchy. For example, in some places you're
never, never supposed to go to the head of engineering with a question about
source information - you're supposed to go to a project lead or someone else.
Brittle organizations like that tend to protect technical prima donnas and do
whatever it takes to accommodate their whims. (I can think of several local
examples of that one!) If said prima donna says "Off with her head!" the
offending person is let go, and HR gets the unenviable task of creating a
defensible excuse. The good news is that organizations like that rarely last
long; the bad news is that anyone can get caught in the flak.

There are lots of other plausible reasons why you were let go that have nothing
to do with your skills and ability. Go ahead and sniffle a bit, but then get
your resume back out there. There are still lots and lots of jobs open.

Btw - if you're feeling particularly vindictive, you might take your case to
your local office of the federal Dept. of Labor, and ask whether what happened
to you is actionable. Regardless of whether it is, the resulting potential
investigation can cause upset tummies for days at the company that fired you
(depending on how it's handled where you are).

Elna Tymes
Los Trancos Systems

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