Danny is interviewing for a new job, and the question he dreads most has just been asked. Why did he leave his last job? Danny stares at the in-house recruiter of his prospective employer and thinks back to his former job.
Danny is a young salesman, bright and energetic. He was hired straight out of college into his dream job. He thought his former boss, Sam, was his friend because they talked about sports when they weren’t talking about business.
They often hung out at a sports bar after work watching sports events. They also called and texted each other about games they were watching during the weekend. Unfortunately, Danny hadn’t made the mental transition from college buddies to business colleagues.
He learned this hard lesson during March Madness. Danny hosted a party for some of his college frat brothers. Since he was hosting his own party, he couldn’t attend Sam’s party for colleagues and clients.
As the game progressed, Danny called Sam to discuss the latest score and joke about some of the action. But Danny was drinking heavily and jokes that amuse frat brothers don’t necessarily amuse a boss, particularly a boss trying to entertain his own guests. After the tenth call in as many minutes, Sam ordered Danny to not call him again. Danny laughed drunkenly and agreed. A few minutes later, he called Sam again. Sam hung up and turned off his phone.
The next day, Danny was met at the office by an HR rep who explained that getting drunk and making harassing phone calls to a boss was inappropriate. She informed Danny that he could resign and receive a severance package or he could be fired. Danny chose the first option and returned home to nurse his hangover.
This sorry sequence of events flits through Danny’s mind as he stares at the in-house recruiter. What are Danny’s options?
- He can admit that he got drunk, showed poor judgment, and was invited to be successful elsewhere.
- He can trash his former employer as a rotten place to work.
- He can say that his former employer wasn’t a good “fit” or that he is looking for a new challenge.
In the actual situation, the young employee was given a few coaching tips during his exit interview, regarding appropriate behavior outside the office. It’s always a good idea to add a segment in the on-boarding process to remind new hires that what they do on their own time can negatively affect their employment.
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