Am I a Bad Employee or Do All My Past Bosses Stink?

by Evil HR Lady on March 16, 2011

Fired one time for not being a team player? Maybe it’s an anomaly. Fired 3 times for the same reason? Either you have really bad luck, or you really stink.

Am I a Bad Employee or Do All My Past Bosses Stink?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren March 16, 2011 at 5:15 pm

This reminds me of one of my favorite sayings. I'm sure there are many versions floating around out there, but this is how I know it:
"If one person calls you a donkey, ignore him. If two people call you a donkey, look in the mirror. If three people call you a donkey, buy yourself a saddle."

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Manager-in-the-making March 17, 2011 at 2:04 am

To be fair, many supervisors have a great deal of trouble being completely honest with people when it comes to constructive criticism or negative feedback. In my workplace, it is customary for the entire department to know a problem is going on with an employee's behavior while it is never addressed with the appropriate person. For example, one of our managers has been making some poor decisions and several complaints have been filed regarding her behavior. Instead of speaking with her and giving her some constructive feedback, the supervisor chooses to avoid the issue and the manager has continued with the same behaviors for over a year now. Two employees have left because of this, so it was planned to talk with her about her poor decision-making. Two days before this happened the manager decides to take another position in a different department. So the supervisor makes the decision not to speak to the employee because she is leaving in a few weeks. Now this person will go on, completely unaware that people were unhappy under her management and it is very likely that the same behavior will be repeated. Not to mention that other employees will have to endure the uncorrected behavior for several more weeks.

Even if you ask past co-workers for honest feedback there is no guarantee you will get it. Try to move forward and in future jobs I hope you have a supervisor who you can be honest with and tell them what has happened in your job history. Tell them you expect them to be upfront and open and that you expect ongoing feedback. That is a true mark of professionalism and personal growth. Own and accept responsibility for your practices, good and bad. Use future supervisors as mentors for good work practices and let them know what you expect from them.

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