Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Can you fire anyone?? Part 2

When we last left our hero, he was battling the forces of stupidity in the North Carolina Employment Security Commission. The battle resumed this morning.

There was a telephone appeal hearing scheduled for today involving the prep cook I fired for stealing food in February. When I returned my forms to the ESC early last week, I requested an in person hearing instead of the telephone hearing. The state makes no requirements for asking for an in person hearing, you need only object to the telephone hearing. I did add to my request by stating that I suffered from ADHD and could not focus on a lengthy phone call and also mentioned my rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. I just love tormenting bureaucrats with their own rules!!

Apparently, the hearing official was on vacation last week and has not gone through his mail. He was unaware of my request. I told him that we could do the telephone hearing, but that I was doing it under protest. We proceeded with the testimony and questions. The former employee acknowledged that he had taken the food. He admitted that he knew that he could be fired for taking the food. He admitted that he knew that he could be arrested for taking food. He was his own worst witness. His entire case is based on his claim that I told him on that day that I wouldn't fire him.

When my turn came, I pointed out that I had only told him that I wouldn't call the police that day. I terminated him when he came in for his next scheduled shift. I also stated that I was free to terminate him regardless of what I had said. I try not to fire anyone when I am under stress. Doing that usually creates mistakes that come back to haunt you. So even with my famous temper and vocabulary, I waited two days to fire him. I had not let him return to work and I had terminated him within a reasonable time. Why?? It was in the hope that I would not end up having to deal with appeals in unemployment cases. It didn't work.

So what have I learned??
1. It might have been quicker to just shoot him.
2. Next time, I will call the police and let them handle it.
3. Next time, take a few minutes. Take some deep breaths, calm down, fire them.

I should get the results in a couple of days. I will keep you posted.


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