CharlieMC (charliemc) wrote,
CharlieMC
charliemc

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Tough Day -- A Staff Person is Let Go.

Marilyn and I went out to The Burrito House directly after work tonight. Carol joined us shortly after that (also from our staff), and her husband Brian and Aisha (her daughter) came not long after. So it was five of us for dinner.

We started out with margaritas -- and these were well earned.

Today Marilyn had to let Caitlin (Kris' niece, by the way) go from employment with the festival. While she was doing that, I had to change the passwords for the festival's Instagram and Twitter accounts, while Carol changed the Facebook password -- policy when the person being let go has had access to said accounts (Caitlin helped with our Social Media at the office).

It's also my job to change Caitlin's password for her Profile. And when Marilyn was done speaking to Caitlin -- and had given her time alone to compose herself -- then it's my job to sit with her at her desk while she gathers her things and gets ready to leave.

Caitlin is a very nice person that we all like very much. Such a sweet girl. Marilyn carefully pointed out that this was a matter of not having the right fit -- person to position. I walked Caitlin part way to her car and hugged her twice. I told her that everyone liked her and I hoped she could keep in touch with us.

First thing this morning I had finished up the eNewsletter that Caitlin had been working on: She got to see it ready to be sent out. I praised her work and gave her a heart carved from marble as a 'prize' for her successful effort. She did a good job. I was glad she got to end her employment with us on a high note...

I've known most of the week that this was coming -- her replacement had been interviewed and is ready to start on Monday morning (when I'll be training her, as usual). I couldn't mention it before now, because of confidentiality. I can't really discuss it in much detail even now, for the same reasons.

But the bottom line is that this wasn't working out, and it was time to make a change. Everyone wishes the best for Caitlin -- and hopes she'll go on to find exactly what she wants and what suits her. Meanwhile, we're also hopeful that the new hire will work out for this position as seasonal assistant for Carol.

It's very hard to fire someone -- I really admire the way Marilyn does it. She's managed to remain friends with many people that she's had to let go for one reason or another over the years, and I feel this is because she handles things in a professional and humane way. She prayed beforehand and asked me several times to pray that she would say and do the right things. She cares about people and wants to be sure she is kind in how this is accomplished.

I, too, want to say and do the right things when I sit with a person like Caitlin. I don't want her to feel I'm just there to 'guard' her until she leaves -- even though that's our policy and there's security that needs to take place. I want to be there to try and comfort her and support her through a difficult time...

Caitlin took it very well and did a good job transitioning. There were tears, but she was mostly very controlled (and there's nothing wrong with tears, after all). I hugged her a couple of times before she left.

I also let Kris know what was going on (and had given him advance warning, as well).

But I was close to crying myself when it was done. And I know it was really hard on Marilyn...

The eNewsletter didn't go out today, because there simply wasn't time to focus on it, with all of this going on. We'll get it out next week -- but it's Caitlin's baby, and she should be proud.

The final Princess for 2014 was selected today -- from our High School, Roosevelt. Normally Marilyn and I would attend that announcement, but there simply wasn't time in the day this year (obviously). I'm sure Ashley is glad to have this major task finally finished.

I was also dealing with IT issues, as usual, today. The new WiFi at the office simply isn't working correctly. Kris plans to come in this weekend to try and figure it out... (sigh)

Marilyn and I plan to work tomorrow at the office. So does Jeff. So does Carol. And I don't know who else. It's that time of year...

Anyway, we earned that dinner and those drinks (I had two drinks!), after today.

I'm thinking about Caitlin tonight, and hoping she's doing okay. (And praying for her.) Marilyn is sleeping -- I'm sure she's exhausted. It's been a very long, tough week for her -- and today was a very tough day. She's up to it, of course, but still...

I fell asleep sitting up in my chair in the family room while trying to watch "Jeopardy" (on DVR) after we got home. I just couldn't keep my eyes open. I went to bed, but by then I was wide awake. So I read for a bit until I dozed. Then when I woke up I decided to blog (before I went back to sleep and totally forgot to do it). Days like this need to be blogged, I think. So we can remember these moments, however painful.

Laying someone off doesn't have to be totally negative. I know it's nearly impossible for it to be a totally positive thing, considering someone is losing a job (and is bound to feel hurt). But it can be done with consideration. I know that because I've had to be part of many of these situations over the years.

And most of us have been through this ourselves at one time or another -- I certainly have. I remember it very clearly, really. I was proud because I managed not to cry in front of anyone at the office, even though it came as a total shock. (I got laid off during lunch hour and told to be gone before lunch hour ended -- they didn't want me to interact with anyone.) I'm a nester (with tons of my own things around me when I work), so I had a LOT of packing up to do. I had to get a friend to come after me, because I was taking the bus to and from, but couldn't manage the boxes of stuff... (smile)

Marilyn gave Caitlin the option of saying 'goodbye' to people if she wanted to -- or not -- depending on how she felt. Or she told her she could come back in next week to say goodbye or chat with others. That's compassionate, I think. I really never had that chance when it happened to me -- and it's difficult to have closure when you're not given time to speak to anyone.

Well, I think people try to do the best they can with hiring and firing in most cases. It's not easy to be the one who has to tell someone there job is over. The woman who told me was near tears and made it clear she was sorry to let me go (obviously not her decision -- but she'd been the one to hire me).

I look back on that experience as a moment of growth. We learn something important when we lose a job and we hopefully find ways to use it in positive ways as we go forward in life.

I'm headed back to bed, because I can barely keep my eyes open to write this. I'm sure most of you reading have also lost a job (or maybe more than one) during your life -- so you know how it feels. Please keep Caitlin in your thoughts and prayers tonight. And while you're at it, please keep Marilyn there, too! Thanks!

I'm very proud to be Marilyn's sister (and to also call her my boss). She's a special person.

And the world wags on. It's back to work as usual starting tomorrow.

Tags: 2014, burrito-house, caitlin, carol, dinner, drinks, enewsletter, festival, festival-layoffs, food, kris, march-2014, margaritas, marilyn, proud, work
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