Today a friend of a friend was sharing a story concerning a co-worker who was released from their position for having a 99% accuracy rate with a 1% margin of error. Can you believe that? My handy household cleaner Lysol will not even guarantee 100% and that’s a man-made product. Show me one human being who is not subject to err?
This particular job the employee could at any point be subject to emotional, vulgar outburst from buyers, abrupt distractions, anger gestures, in your face customers, especially when a dealer losses a bid, a computer freeze because the processor is unable keep up with the fast pace of data input, the loud bang of the gavel, less than a foot away, let alone carbon monoxide fumes and heat. The variables of anything going wrong was very probable, yet somehow the employee still continued to focus on recording correct bids, bidder numbers, correcting the auctioneer’s incorrect calls, all while seeing to it that everything matched up on the system, as each dealer’s cost was configured or re-configured with each up and down bidding process.
Let’s not mention having to quickly adjust numbers when the buyers mistaken their bidder number or forget the description or price paid for the car purchased. The employee is able to achieve all of this in a matter of seconds per car in real-time, non-stop. Perhaps, there are some managers, that have never actively taken on the task of the job described, but can only watch with rose-colored glasses, from within a nicely air-conditioned office of glass petitioning the real meat of the business, as they shield themselves from the noises and sounds of shouting bidders in the run lanes.
Or could it be, to the managers their subordinates are insignificant members valued at less than the products being sold. In some cases, these managers may deem a bathroom break inexcusable, having the employee sit through 4 hours in the same place. There is always a shortage and high demand of skilled people in this field, because it demands of an individual, keen hearing, nimble swift fingers, rapid 10 key-stroke ability, adaptation to different computer keyboards, knowledge of split screens, to be able to go between programs in seconds, quick-witted, sharp in-head mathematical computations, along with an agile mind. Just watch a hard-core game tester, or gamer? Oh they look like they’re doing nothing, but they have to be detail oriented, strategic, alert, have a working knowledge to recognize a glitch in the system or program, resolving the matter quickly.
It is front liners like this employee that supply work for the office personnel, managers included. It is the front liners that keep the flow of paperwork headed in their direction after all sales are finalized; after the noise subsides, fumes lift, and the last sound of the gavel rings out across the sea of chaos, as buyers move-on. I’ve heard of AI’s (Artificial Intelligence), but I don’t think, even they have reached such great proportions of knowledge and skill to hear, record all bids, physically, simulcast online bids as well, along with monitoring two, maybe three screens at once, among the other skills listed earlier, likened to the “stock exchange pit.” No humans are not robotic, and yes it’s humans that program those same AI’s which also are prone to err.
The employee baffled, thinking no-one does 100% all the time, questioned the legitimacy of their being fired from the position. They continued to reference questions relating to their work, finding no resolve. None of the answers were based on dismissal of work ethics, so the employee knowing the steps in firing an employee question the manager on those points, still the manager could not substantiate solid reasoning. The employee at that time asked for compassion of the manager to give them 2 weeks. With embarrassment and humiliation (being human), began to explain the 2 weeks would help because they were responsible for the care of another human being. The manager became adamant. It was then that the employee knew that the uncaring attitude was strange even for them, feeling, sensing a coldness. Right there and then, they knew this had nothing to do with their quality of work at all. Still unable to make sense, the employee looking for peace of mind began to speak further.
Now fuming inside after being humiliated says, “A 1% margin of error and you’re firing me, out of everyone else who you know makes mistakes….what did I do to piss you off???” This manager was willing to take away this individual’s source of income immediately. With a chuckle and smiling, the manager’s response was, “It’s my decision to let you go, and yes, even though out of all the others that make mistakes, it’s because I can choose to do so.”
” The employee hearing the chuckles, feeling insult had been add to injury(knowing they’ve never slacked off), asked. “Why are you laughing, this isn’t funny for me.” In turn the Manager replied “Leave now, or I’ll get someone to escort you off the premises!” Another Office Personnel, witnessing the events chimed in saying. “We don’t have to explain, this is a “Work At-Will State,” grabbing the written notification from the employee refusing to give a copy of the complaint at that time, quite candidly remarking, “that a copy can be obtained at a later time from HR!”
With that the employee still trying to comprehend the chain of events that had taken place so rapidly, proceeded to leave the inner office without haste, only to have another staff member, which had been assigned to escort this individual out, run to catch up, asking “what is going on?” “I’ve just been told to make sure you leave, but you’ve finished your work for the allotted time?” The “fired” employee’s response was, “I have a 99% of 100% accuracy rate doing the runs at 3 seconds per car, and I’ve been fired.”
Take note now. This person is titled in a “waiting to be engaged” job position, in which the manager, did not inform the employee before clocking in that morning about her impending decision, but did so after the employee had completed the 4 hour period. Is it that playing by the rules is no longer applicable? As this person always showed up when others called out on short notice, was punctual, focused on the task at hand, meticulous and efficient.
If anyone knows and understands the definition of a “waiting to be engaged” employee is as phrased by the U.S. Department of Labor Fact Sheet #22, it is quite clear what took place here.
It is obvious this may have been more like an “ego” or “power” move on the manager’s part then anything. The frequency of stories like this, leave the impression that it seems members of society have become so smug and comfortable and insensitive in their managerial status, that they give no regard to perhaps “remembering when one encroaches on another out of “ego” that there just might be in the hierarchy a “boss” that they will encounter and reciprocate in the same manner as the manager had with this employee. Karma anyone?
Or maybe, this Manager forgot they are not the CEO, they too are a “Work-At-Will” employee on the totem pole? You think? Or maybe the Manager in that moment of what they believed to be exerting their power forgot “human respect and dignity for a fellow being?” I still remember the old-timer’s teachings “no matter how “JUSTIFIED” ONE MAY FEEL.” DO NOT EVER DO THIS:-