Thursday, March 13, 2008

You don't make the cut

My boss is planning on firing a new trainee tomorrow. He "doesn't catch on quick enough". The trainee learns things at an average rate, and I guess my boss only wants to employ above-average people.

Two things bother me about my boss's decision. First, it would be wonderful for the company if we could employ only above-average people. But the fact of the matter is, finding an above-average person applying for a job that involves hard manual labor in a dirty and (compared to an office job) unsafe environment and starts at $8-10/hour is uncommon. Those that we do find tend to either have poor attendance (for a wide variety of reasons) to the point they are unsuitable for employment, or very quickly find a better job and leave us (without any notice). Holding out for an above-average learner with good attendance and a long-term desire to work for our company means the position is going to be open for a long time. Which will affect me: as long as this position is open, I will work more hours and do less interesting work.

Second, this trainee quit his last job to come work with us. I don't feel so bad when my company fires people from temp agencies: most likely they didn't give up anything to come work for us, and at least they were employed for the time we had them. But giving someone a "better" job, so they quit a secure position, and then firing them after four weeks? Does our business really require that kind of cold-heartedness?

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