He Can’t Quit. He’s Fired!

Another update from the Jungle…..

Gene is mad as heck and he no longer cares who knows it. He slouches through the office emitting a fog of discontent as toxic as a radiation leak.  Gene has always been hot-headed and stubborn, so it took a couple of weeks before his co-workers realized something is different this time.

Gene’s attitude cratered a couple of weeks ago when he had another run-in with his manager, Eric.  Eric is almost as hot-headed and stubborn as Gene and they’ve clashed endlessly. If they would each take a moment to think before speaking, their differing skills would make them a great team. At least, that’s what the HR manager, Jan, believes. 

She’s spent so much time counseling them and resolving their bickering that she’s sick of both of them.  Of course, an HR manager can never admit that, so Jan continues smiling through gritted teeth.  But she’s on constant alert for the next explosion. 

The explosion duly comes at this morning’s staff meeting. Eric announces a new project and asks for suggestions on how to most efficiently complete the project.  At first, no one says a word as they try to decide if Eric is actually interested in their suggestions or just following a technique learned in his recent manager training. 

Gene looks at his co-workers, looks at Eric, and then launches into his suggestions for completing the new project.  As he talks, Eric’s jaw clenches and he takes a deep breath, preparatory to blasting Gene’s suggestions into orbit.    

Before Eric runs out of breath, Gene jumps up, knocking his chair into Dean’s elbow, causing Dean to spill his coffee. Dean leaps to his feet cursing fluently and swatting ineffectually at the coffee splotches on his slacks.

Gene bellows, “You’ve insulted me for the last time. I quit!”  He rips off his security ID badge and hurls it onto the table where it skitters into a water bottle knocking it over before bouncing up to ricochet off a light fixture.  Bodies lunge in all directions to avoid the ID badge and the water shower.   Gene stalks out the door of the conference room.

Eric bolts from the conference room straight into Jan’s office.  He glares at her, chest heaving and announces that he wants to fire Gene before the SOB can quit. 

What options are available to Jan?

  1. She can suggest that Eric and Gene settle their differences in the octagon ring like a couple of UFC fighters.   
  2. She can rejoice knowing that she’ll be free of their petty bickering because, one way or another, Gene is leaving.         
  3. She can begin the termination process and then meet with Gene to explain the consequences of a voluntary resignation. 

When co-workers can’t get along, larger companies may be able to transfer one of the feuding pair to another department.  Small employers often need to decide which employee is most valuable to the company and then terminate the other person’s employment.

If your company is struggling with HR issues, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff as the policies are implemented.

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