>Work Ethics – Part One

>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.


25 responses »

  1. >this is everywhere…even i am facing this problem now and then…in office and at home only..but the sad thing in your case is that you didnt even get the chance to motivate her or educate her..!!:)

  2. >haha, goodness that sounds horrendous! Here I am, sitting idle with nothing to do apart from lazing around, and there’s the person with a job who doesn’t take it seriously! Sheesh..Don’t lose hope…im sure u’ll find someone responsible to fill in for her position :).

  3. >Wow. She must have really taken you for granted. Normally, new recruits don’t ask for leave until at least a month has passed. And that too only if things are really bad…

  4. >@GM: Interestingly, she was capable enough if she had worked.@Vinz: I actually did try to motivate her – nudged, prodded, rebuked and finally sacked her!@Abha: Thanks. I need someone desperately.@Unsung: Really!@Neha: Exactly. Ungrateful I say.@bluemist: I asked her of course. I wanted to know if it was something in the office that had prompted her to act like this. But she had no answers. I couldn’t have assumed otherwise. And nothing justifies such irresponsible behaviour.@mojo jojo: I was quite taken aback by her behaviour. Who does this on their first job?@solitaire: Why are you not surprised?@chandni: that question is what I’ve been mulling over…

  5. >She sure was dynamic in bunking work for different reasons :)Sometimes people are just not motivated and don’t take things seriously.Do they? So many people don’t even have jobs…I hope she learnt a lesson after getting fired from her first job within the first month!Good luck with the next recruit at least!

  6. >what was her problem though? could she be struggling with something outside home? extra school load? abuse at home? workplace? some psychological worry? or are you certain that she was just being plain careless?only curious :)but you did the right thing. your business can’t suffer due to world’s problems. you have to do what’s best for you.ps: u write really well. i enjoy reading!

  7. >I guess she was still in the ‘college student’ mode and not prepared to come out of it. I find such behavior more irritating if the person is competent otherwise, makes me mad to see them waste their potential. LOL at, as someone said, she was innovative enough with her excuses and all!

  8. >Gosh! What’s with young people these days? No commitment to work and zero sense of responsibility – and they are the future of tomorrow! She reminds me of a creative trainee I had – same behaviour pattern – only differnce is that she just stopped coming to work and never bothered to call and inform me.

  9. >@Piper: It is!@Jira: I did think for a long time that she was plain unlucky – falling ill so frequently in the first month of her job. But I just couldn’t stand how she could take the asbence from work so casually.@Aneri: Perhaps. I gave that some thought myself.@Roop: If there was something else, I couldn’t have guessed it. @Devaki: Lol!@Mystic: Ok, that’s another hint what my Work Ethics – Part Two is going to be all about.

  10. >Tolerating such a person is really a pain..lack of responsibility, if she was supposed to do this only then shud not have applied for the job..hope you get someone who is as per ur expectations..

  11. >Just think how these people will behave with customers! I had a terrible experience recently while buying a new Postpaid, cellphone connection. Glad you fired her. She is young, this might make her see this kind of irresponsible attitude is not acceptable.You might have done her a favour.

  12. >First job, second job doesn’t make a difference. If you are supposed to be in office at a particular time, you have to be there. There is a certain sense of responsibility attached to you as an employee.

  13. >@sanjeev: I hope so too.@IHM: I hope she is able to see it that way, though I doubt it will happen immediately.@Ramby: That would make me a Westerner then! @Silvara: It sucked big time!@Hemanth: You’re right. You have to be responsible whether you’re at home or at work.

  14. >oh no… well…. this is after th comment on part 2… i sure wouldnt be that bad…. in fact, im quite meticulous abt stuff ike attendance and rules and all that…its jus that, somedays i just dont feel like working, and end up not working for a whole day together!

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