How do you explain being fired?

by Evil HR Lady on April 30, 2012

Dear Evil HR Lady,

This is the first time that my probation of six months with a company was not confirmed, and I was asked to leave immediately.

So, I left as HR ESCORTED me out. What do I say at interviews? It seems to be a very negative perception.

No reasons were given for not being confirmed. I do not want to pursue legal action… only to get another job as soon as possible.

To read the answer click here: How do you explain being fired?

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Wonder_aloud April 30, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I worked for a doctor who would use ‘let go’ medical assistants during their probationary period because he ‘didn’t like their hair’ or something else equally weird and benign (on the part of the employee). Being let go during a probationary period my have nothing to do with the employee at all.

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Evil HR Lady April 30, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Well, it is true that some people are totally whacked out and fire people for reasons like that, but it’s not common at all.

Usually, there is an underlying reason.

Although, I will note that not liking someone’s hair is generally a legal reason.

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Alyssa April 30, 2012 at 6:05 pm

It’s underhanded, and probably expensive in the long run, but I have seen quite a few companies operate a kind of revolving door in order to avoid paying benefits: in a field with a lot of good candidates and little work, it’s easy to just hire a new person every 3 to 6 months and let them go just before their benefits kick in.

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Dmitry April 30, 2012 at 9:08 pm

I am tempted to think that firing somebody in order to prevent benefits from accruing breaches the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

IANAL.

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susan April 30, 2012 at 10:05 pm

We terminate probation people for two main reasons: attendance (coming in late or not coming in at all too frequently) or not getting along with co-workers/supervisors. Although we don’t give reasons, reasonable people should know why they were let go.

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Evil HR Lady May 1, 2012 at 8:46 am

Exactly. And yet these people will claim that they have no idea why they were terminated. In almost all situations, you can figure out why.

In the case that it’s just bad management then there will be a whole boatload of you in the same situation, and then that’s also a valid reason. “Company X has a habit of terminating people just before probation ends. In fact, I can name 7 people that happened to.”

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JustTheFacts May 1, 2012 at 12:31 am

Evil HR Lady AKA Suzanne:

Why does the person need to put this short-term position on his or her resume anyway?

A resume is a marketing tool designed to assist people in securing positions. It is NOT a full account of every single job a person has held.

Could the individual simply take the job of only a few months off the resume; or instead use that space to highlight relevant volunteer work or other achievements?

Also, telling someone who was recently fired and escorted from an office to sit around second guessing his or her actions is in your words, “tacky and dumb.”

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Evil HR Lady May 1, 2012 at 8:44 am

Of course you don’t have to list it on a resume. You may have to list it on a job application or a background check. You may wish to list it because working for 5 months looks better than being unemployed–and you have to be able to explain what you were doing during that gap.

And yes, if you were fired and escorted off the property, you should think long and hard about the reasons. Most often there is a very good reason and you are fooling yourself if you think there wasn’t.

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Elizabeth West May 2, 2012 at 6:17 am

The last time I was unemployed, it took me a year and a half to find a job (the one I just got laid off from). In the interim, I temped off and on for a year, and did take one job that lasted three months. Nothing on that job went right. I couldn’t please my manager, had to sub for another employee far more than the one day a week that was in the job description, and there was a sales rep that was a nightmare to work with. After three months, we mutually agreed that it wasn’t for me.

I have never put it on my resume. I just put the temp agency down and the dates of the year I worked there. As far as I’m concerned, it didn’t happen. The only way I would even mention it was if I were applying for a job that needed clearance, or had an intensive background check, such as for a police or federal agency. In fact, I was hoping to forget it.

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Ex Employee May 10, 2012 at 4:15 am

Well I haven’t been let go quite yet but they are giving me the run around. I got a shoulder spasm and reported it to the Supervisor who sent me to the company RN. The RN gave me a list of all the things that we do on the job to give to my Dr. My Dr. put me in all kinds of restrictions, I called the RN to tell him what the restrictions were, and he told me to give the note to my supervisor when I came in to work. I worked on light duty that night. Then next night I was told to not go in and see HR in the morning. HR said they would try to find something for me to do. Later in the day they told me I would have to be put on temporary disability but because am on probation I did not qualify and most likely be let go. This was Friday. Monday I had a therapy evaluation and my Dr. change my restrictions that allowed me to return to work. They never call me to let me know where I stood. I called them every day, my supervisor and the RN said they didn’t know what was going on to talk to HR. How do I explain this on my interview and on my resume. Help all I want to do is work. and it was unfortunate I got a muscle spasm on my shoulder. Help

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Ex Employee May 10, 2012 at 4:15 am

Well I haven’t been let go quite yet but they are giving me the run around. I got a shoulder spasm and reported it to the Supervisor who sent me to the company RN. The RN gave me a list of all the things that we do on the job to give to my Dr. My Dr. put me in all kinds of restrictions, I called the RN to tell him what the restrictions were, and he told me to give the note to my supervisor when I came in to work. I worked on light duty that night. Then next night I was told to not go in and see HR in the morning. HR said they would try to find something for me to do. Later in the day they told me I would have to be put on temporary disability but because am on probation I did not qualify and most likely be let go. This was Friday. Monday I had a therapy evaluation and my Dr. change my restrictions that allowed me to return to work. They never call me to let me know where I stood. I called them every day, my supervisor and the RN said they didn’t know what was going on to talk to HR. How do I explain this on my interview and on my resume. Help all I want to do is work. and it was unfortunate I got a muscle spasm on my shoulder. Help

Reply

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