>An undergraduate with good communication skills, looking for a part time job after college hours: her profile suited the vacancy I was looking to fill. Young, smart and seemingly dynamic she was and I was mighty pleased with my luck and patience for having waited long enough to come across the right candidate. That was on Day 1.
Day 3, and she was already beginning to come late to work. It was her first job, so I continued being patient with her, trying to ease her into a working life.
Day 7, she called up someone in the office to say she was ill and wouldn’t be coming to work. I had been a little late in handing her her appointment letter telling her she was still on probation and not entitled to any paid leaves during that time. Next day, I promptly handed over the letter so that the terms and conditions of her employment would be clear to her. I was also miffed with her for not seeking my permission for the leave and made it clear to her that any communication regarding leaves was to be made directly with me.
Day 8, she didn’t turn up at all. I was alarmed by her absence from office without intimation, forget prior permission. Her cell phone was switched off and I couldn’t fathom what could have gone wrong, imagining the worst, hoping everything was alright with her! She called me up late in the evening to inform me her relative had had an accident and she had to leave urgently for the neighbouring city of Kanpur – a two-hour run from Lucknow – that morning. So urgently that she forgot to carry her cell phone and also forgot inform us at the office about her leave. She hadn’t quite realised she needed to call us up until she saw the missed calls on her phone. Not quite convinced, I still let her off with a warning and the benefit of doubt.
Day 13, she wanted to leave early because she had “some work” with her mother and it was “very important”!
Day 15, she called up an hour later than her reporting time to take a leave because she was “too unwell”. She sounded it and I had no option but to grant her permission.
Day 16 was supposed to be a hectic day at work and we desperately needed hands. I asked one of my team members to call her and tell her as much. Despite that, she did the vanishing act. We again tried calling her in the afternoon from the office number – no response. Then we called up from a cell number and she took the call. We politely inquired if all was well. She said she’d call us back in half an hour. That meant the rest of the day.
Day 17, she sauntered into office only half an hour late and apologised for not being able to come because she had “very high fever”. “Very high”, I assume, means, you’re unable to take calls from office numbers but okay to receive calls from unknown numbers. It also means, I assume, that you cannot call back and are totally incapable of informing your boss you’re not coming to work. I have had “very high fever” in the past – all of us do at some time or the other – but I do not remember that condition being so bad that I wouldn’t be able to at least SMS my boss. Of course, I had lost my cool by then. I very politely and curtly told her about her failings before telling her to go home and never come back.
By the way, she’s the fourth person I had hired for that position. She’s the third person I had to, quite literally, chuck out because of inefficiency, unprofessional behaviour and lack of commitment to work.