December 16, 2006
Originally published October 3, 2002
We bid a fond (well, no-so-fond) adios to a new employee at work today. He was 19 years-old, able to escape from a minimum-wage job throwing sacks of fertilizer at "Webb's Seed and Feed" just down the road from me, and welcomed with open arms to a place that was willing to offer him three times what he was making before, medical benefits, a retirement plan, 401-K, and the opportunity for advancement.
Before he managed to actually show up and work 60 days on the job (his probabionary period) he was late three times, missed four days of work (three of those were medically excused for a KIDNEY STONE! How the hell does a 19 year-old KID get kidney stones?) went home early three times (Sick to his stomach twice and... I am not making this up, CHAPPED NUTS from sweating in his crotch-area, and he got our medical department to assign him to two days of "light duty" for that. I don't have "light duty" where he worked, so he sat on his lazy ass for two days while other people did his work, and that didn't bother him at all.) He was late again yesterday, so we fired him today.
I must be WAY out of touch with the younger generation. The job that young man was offered was the one I started with at the plant. During MY probationary period, I caught a terrible case of the flu and came to work anyway, with a 102 degree fever. I made my shift and did four hours overtime, too, at the very worst of my fever, chills and trembles, because my name was on the schedule. I figued that any sane employer was going to look at me HARD during that probationary period, and know that with my job really on the line, when I could be fired at the snap of a finger, he was seeing the very best he was EVER gonna see from me. I wasn't going to fuck up a good thing. I wanted that job.
I'm starting to see a few of the new hires that remind me of me, but I still have a lot of "Rusty-Nuts" (the nickname this asshole earned among his coworkers) coming down the pike. We have 60 working days to cull 'em, and we're starting to do a good job of that. After "Rusty's" third incident, I called him into my office and told him that he was on thin ice. "If you don't want this job, say so now," I told him. "There are a hundred others on the street that DO want it, so you can save me, you, and somebody we don't know a lot of grief if you just quit. Keep on the way you're going, and I'll fire you. SOON!"
He was repentent, contrite and slobbering in his promises to do better. That lasted three days, and now he's gone.
I suppose he'll go back to slinging fertilizer at Webb's Seed and Feed. If they want him.
I know that I DON'T!
All content © Rob Smith