Archive | Employment

Getting ahead

How does one get ahead in life? Does everyone have the same drive to get ahead? Like many things, getting ahead has different meanings for different people. For some people, getting ahead has a short term focus, such as making enough money to pay the monthly bills. For other people, getting ahead means constantly improving […]

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Getting ahead, as Melissa suggested, is an idea which is subject to much interpretation.  I agree with Melissa though, that getting ahead requires one to take steps to make it possible.  Education is probably the most universally accepted step.  But, it is interesting as I talk with people to listen beyond the words, and sometimes […]

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Ramifications of “You’re Fired”

I’ll start with the obvious: anyone can be fired. As long as someone works for someone else, they can be fired and, in many states, with or without reason. (If someone is self employed, they can be fired by clients, but that is a different situation.) Some people seem to think, so what if I’m […]

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This topic has been on David’s list of things to write about for many years, however, recent events evidently inspired him to write about it.  During the almost 30 years Magnus has been in business, David has always performed the human resources functions in our company, including hiring, training, disciplining, and firing employees.  More people […]

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Helping without Realizing

Sometimes in life people make a difference without even realizing it. Without trying to make a difference. “Leading by example” is the term often used to describe this phenomenon. Melissa was pleasantly surprised when the owner of a small hotel and conference facility “comp’d” our stay at the hotel for a non-work event. The woman, […]

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As corny as it sounds, I try to “let my light shine” in my dealings with everyone.  When I was growing up, my parents treated everyone with respect, whether they were dealing with the lowest or highest members of society.  Mom always told me to watch what I was doing because I never know when […]

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You Will Get Fired if: You Steal!

This is the last in the “you will get fired” series (I hope). Even when the employee does something bad, like stealing, going through the conflict of termination is unpleasant, not satisfying. In owning a small business, there are ways employees “steal” from the company. I’ve been remembering about a direct financial theft we suffered […]

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Reading this series of posts about reasons for firing an employee might give the reader the impression that David and I have had terrible luck with our employees.  If so, I want to explain that, to the contrary, we have had many wonderful employees in our almost 30 years of owning and operating Magnus.  I […]

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You May Be Kidding, But I’m Not

This is the second post about Magnus’ unfortunate experience with the nasty mock juror who was sent home after he threatened one of my employees. Sadly, this sort of thing has happened before. Sadder still, I expect it to happen again some day. In every instance Magnus has had in which a mock juror threatens […]

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Racial discrimination, bullying, or other abuses are certainly not something to kid about.  More than ever, this is true and employers must be vigilant in ensuring that zero tolerance is the only option.  Within an employer’s environment there are probably different ways of handling these issues, but our environment is unique.  We have to “have […]

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You Will Get Fired if: You Talk Back!

Sometimes, lessons from your mother go a long way. Unfortunately, not everyone learns those lessons. As I’ve been pondering some of our termination experiences, I recall a few instances when the problem was friction between an employee and me, or more concerning, between the employee and the “big boss,” Melissa. We have had a few, […]

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David and I have told countless people about the employee who, after being fired for insubordination, refused to leave.  It is beyond me to understand why anyone, knowing he/she is unwanted, would stay around, but that is exactly what this creepy guy did.  Until the deputy from the Broward County Sheriff’s Department showed up at […]

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You Will Get Fired if: You Forget to Press Record!

Few things are as important in our mock trials or focus groups as recording the presentations and, more importantly, the deliberations or participant discussions. We’re not in the video production business, but it sometimes seems that way because we have to capture the video, and particularly, audio, from our research sessions. This is a pretty […]

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Oh my!  Words I never want to hear during a mock trial, focus group, or any other type of research for a client are “Dr. Pigott, I forgot to press record when the mock jurors started deliberating.”  I particularly dislike hearing these words via a walkie-talkie while I am in the presence of the clients […]

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You Will Get Fired if: You Can’t do the Job!

This will be the first post in a series about being fired. I can’t believe I didn’t write these sooner, but it is not a happy topic. I put it on the list of things to write about many years ago, just never bothered until I, once again, had to terminate someone. For some people, […]

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Here we go again.  I frequently quote the psychological phenomenon regarding the requirement of both ability and effort to achieve successful task completion.  If one or both components are lacking, a task will not be completed successfully.  That is, if one has the ability to perform a given task, but one puts forth no effort […]

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Just Answer the Question

When I write some of these posts, Mom’s words come to mind and I can hear these words spoken in her voice. This is another one of those times. Some people are direct in their speaking style and in general, in their approach to life. In contrast, other people, as Mom used to say “beat […]

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I chuckled when I saw the title of this post, and not in a good way.  I was recently frustrated by a recently terminated employee’s inability to give a straight answer.  I will admit there are times when a “yes” or “no” is inadequate and a more detailed explanation is warranted.  However, in the midst […]

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Everyone you meet knows something you don’t know

“Everyone you meet knows something you don’t know.” This was the text of Facebook post I saw recently. And, my first thought was, of course they do, they know their name, address, hometown and many other personal details. But, as I thought about it, I realized how true this is on many levels. Everyone has […]

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David’s writing reminds me of the childhood taunt, “I know something you don’t know.”  It’s true; I do know something, many things, you don’t know.  It is equally true that you know something I don’t know.  It isn’t possible for any of us to know everything about everything.  Meeting someone in one’s field of study […]

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