Archive | Managing Employees

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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Those little annoyances

Someone told me long ago that he lacked the personality characteristic to be able to tolerate performing mundane tasks, including dealing with automated telephone systems; working out problems with a bank; balancing a checkbook; etc. I share this absence of the personality trait that obviously includes having patience to handle being placed on hold for […]

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It’s not easy being OK to Handle.  I think we’ve written about that story before.  But, in the recent example, I was dealing with one of our banks.  I don’t enjoy that kind of experience, but I know I can get through it; I have to.  Melissa could not.  I just have to persevere.  This […]

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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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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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Lesson from a Roofer: “I just do my job”

I have learned some things while observing the roofers who worked on David’s and my roof for 4 months (that seemed like an eternity). I have written past posts about some of my observations, including my amazement at how happily the roofers perform their jobs. On the last day of the 14 day installation of […]

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Sebastian told me something similar when I told him it seemed unfair to make him work on a (dangerous) roof by himself.  He shrugged and said “It’s a job.”  He seemed indifferent to which roof, which tile, how many co-workers he had.  He just knew what needed to be done and went about it without […]

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Patience

“I appreciate your patience.” “Thank you for your patience.” How many times do we hear this when dealing with customer service? When dealing with problems with vendors, contractors, retailers, etc.? These are obviously trained phrases. That is, the customer service reps are trained to say these words. But, in my opinion, they are ill considered […]

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Oh, the silly things people say!  Here are some of my favorites, starting with David’s, “Thank you for your patience.”  When someone tells me “Thank you for your patience,” I ask, “Why do you assume I have patience?”, particularly if I have been waiting for what seems like an eternity for the person to get […]

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Things Back to Normal! Water Fountains, Crowded Elevators, Smiling Faces

Hooray! Hooray! I had the privilege of selecting 2 juries, for 2 different clients, in 2 different courthouses, recently. Usually, this would be nothing to write about, however, these jury selections were noteworthy due to the fact that they were the first, and second, jury selections for me since the world shut down in March […]

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As the one who watches the business side of our business, it is great for Melissa to be back in the courthouse again.  Non functioning courts have been terrible for our business as clients have had little perceived need or motivation to hire a trial consultant if there can be no trials.  So, having trials […]

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