Grace loves to write commentaries on psycho-cultural and sociocultural dynamics in their myriad forms.
You Can Be Fired For Almost Anything!
In these precarious economic times, one must exhibit the utmost smarts and creativity in order to retain their jobs. People are doing almost anything(legal, that is) to be indispensable to their superiors. They are returning to school and taking job upgrading classes to update their skills. One must be constantly up to date just to keep a job. Promotions are almost out of the question-the main concern is just keeping a job in these perilous times!
Even though, the majority of people are scrambling and hustling to retain their positions, there are people who by their actions, are near and/or on their way to being fired and unemployed. Their actions are not the usual actions such as being constantly late and having poor work performance. Their actions are often intangible; however, these actions are seriously affecting them and the workplace. Please note: some states have an at will employment policy i.e. that an employee can be terminated for ANY reason as long as it is nondiscriminatory!
Here is my synopsis on the ten reasons why people are terminated from their jobs- and it is not for the common reasons that people think! These reasons are as follows:
(1) Being apathetic on the job. There are some people who actually hate their jobs and dread coming to work. However, they elect not to remedy the situation, hoping that "something" and/or "the job" would get better. Alas, it does not and it only gets worse. They know this; however, they still are passive regarding the situation. Then one day, the situation becomes so unbearable that the person really do not give a #%#%(! about the job anymore. Their morale is at an all time low. Their sorry mental attitude eventually affect their technical work performance so they are eventually shown the door! Goodbye and so long!
(2) Having a pissant poor attitude! These people believe that the job should revolve around them. They believe that they do not have to contribute to the workplace beyond the basic, minimal level. They also hate their job and are consummate clock watchers. They hate their coworkers and their superiors! They feel that their job exist as a means to an end- whatever that end is! They make it known that this job is just an onerous task that one just perfunctorily perform! It is just a J-O-B and nothing more! Furthermore, their coworkers and superiors should be GLAD that they are present! Well, guess what-this pissant attitude eventually creates a poisonous work environment which superiors do not need! Bosses know that a bad attitude eventually affecdt staff morale and technical workplace! Let us remedy this and show this employee the door-Bye! Bye!
(3) Career burnout- These people know that they have reached a PLATEAU in their career. They know that they cannot go any further yet they are loathe to search for alternative and/or other career options. A once star performer becomes a surly performer who really does not give a hoot about production and/or work performance. The motto is since there is nowhere else for me to advance to, screw working hard-hell, I am just going to work just to get by if at all! Well, here is news for you! Your stellar past work performance means NOTHING now-it is WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR THE COMPANY LATELY! No tangible results eventually equals NO JOB! Adios, my friend- you have sunk yourself!
(4) Being in the wrong corporate culture-each corporation have its own culture and office politics. One must fit into a particular and specific corporation culture in order to thrive and succeed. If a person is in the wrong corporate culture, no matter how hard he/she tries, it will be very difficult for him/her to succeed. Eventually if the person is in the wrong corporate culture, he/she will eventually be terminated from the job "because of personality differences."
(5) Believing that you are better than your job. This is totally self-explanatory. If you believe that you are better than your job, you will not exert the necessary effort to perform your job satisfactorily and to learn all aspects of your job. Your work performance will be minimum at best and minimum is not good enough in these precarious economic times! Sooner or later, you will be shown the door! So, goodbye!
(6) Being ill suited to the job. Again, self-explanatory. Commonsense dictates that if you are ill suited to the job, you will not perform adequately and satisfactorily. You are on your way to being fired! Bye, bye baby!
(7) Creating a toxic and disturbing work environment. You are a malcontent; however, you elect to remain passive in the work environment. Instead of becoming proactive and improving your situation, you chose to sublimate and displace your unhappiness, complaining and bitching in addition to using any methodology necessary to make others unhappy. However, you are being watched and creating a toxic and disturbing work environment are no nos. You are going down a deleterious road- to the unemployment line!
(8) Being confrontational towards your superiors. You have a problem with authority. However, instead of assessing your personality and thinking maybe you should become an entrepreneur and/or work independently, you have the mentality of you vs. them. You view your superiors as your enemies. Your main intent at work is to exercise upmanship with your superiors at every turn. Well, work is not a boxing match. Eventually you will either be asked to and /or forced to L-E-A-V-E!
(9) You insist on following your own drummer to the ultimate extreme. You believe in disregarding and flaunting the work rules. You believe that you are above the rules which govern your co-workers! Okay, keep this up and you will find yourself without a J-O-B!
(10) Always going to the union for the most insignificant matters. You are the employee who goes to the union each time a superior gives you an extra assignment and/or ask you to stay late because of an important assignment. In this day and age, people are constantly asked to go beyond the necessary. People who only limit themselves to certain assignments and job duties are soon viewed as being very dispensable and disposable by their superiors who want only employees who are capable of performing varied assignments! Furthermore, employees who constantly go the union because of insignificant matters are viewed as TROUBLEMAKERS and the LAST thing employers need are troublemakers. It is time to sever this relationship and to say GOODBYE!
Now, you have my take on the ten intangible things that will get an employee fired! Read and beware!
© 2011 Grace Marguerite Williams
Dave on September 12, 2013:
I believe this article to be true but one thing to consider is the Morale of the company as a result of one of these termination reasons. I believe many companies would choose to be more cautious. When coworkers believe an employee was wrongly fired, that has more to do with creating a toxic work environment than anything that an employee can do. I work in a call center and almost every employee that works there is guilty of more than one of these reasons. I do not blame any employee for falling into that mold - They employer is often responsible for the causes.
Circle square on February 05, 2013:
Very good, well written article and sound advice.
disenchanted on January 19, 2013:
I don't think I am "owed" a job. I am fed up with a temp job where my questions go unanswered and I am treated like a child. We must be in our seats, quiet and waiting for our assignments as roll is taken each day. We are told that we will be fired for being a minute late, for being sick ( I went to work with a 102f fever), for unacceptable production, etc I hate the job and the "team lead" I am now stuck with who only responds to questions from young single women (old perv).
H C Palting from East Coast on January 16, 2013:
Qes, as a person who has worked outside the home for others as an employee, I know from experience that this article simply speaks to the realities of the modern workplace in many states. Even if GMWilliams is/was a manager or director, that only bolsters the fact that this is reality and not bias. Please be sure to read the above comments by knowledgeable and experienced readers who agree in their experience and observations.
qes on January 16, 2013:
Very biased. Obviously written by a manager or HR director.
Elena from London, UK on January 14, 2013:
Very interesting read and good to see No 10 in there. Unions are good but many times, the issues raised are so trivial.... and if employees don't get their way, they threaten to strike.
Mackenzie Sage Wright on January 11, 2013:
So true. Maybe it's because my parents & their siblings were around working during the depression/the American dream period, I've been drilled to have a good work ethic. I notice it is absent in a lot of people these days, too many seem to think they are owed a living.
dobo700 from Australia on January 10, 2013:
Always good to remind your self of the basic things you could be doing wrong.
Ralph Deeds from Birmingham, Michigan on January 10, 2013:
Express10, very true. I know of a case handled by a lawyer friend who represented a long service pilot for a natural gas company who was dismissed. The lawyer gave the dismisses employee a recording device and suggested he call his former boss and a couple of others in the company and as them this question: "Why me." His unwary boss replied honestly: "We need to cut costs and we have several other younger pilots
that are making a lot less than you." Or words to that effect. He got a big settlement without even having to go to trial.
Another situation that is quite common in unemployment compensation appeals cases is as follows: Employee is fired for "misconduct" but is not replaced and his duties are reassigned to the remaining employees. This amounts to a layoff disguised as disqualifying misconduct. When I suspect that's what happens I ask the employee to find out if he can whether anyone was hired or promoted to take his place after he was fired. If the answer is kn, at the hearing I ask the employer witness: "Was anyone hired to replace the claimant or were his duties reassigned to the remaining employees in the department?" An answer that "The fired employee was not replaced" is helpful convincing the judge that the dismissal was motivated by cost cutting, not misconduct. Some unscrupulous law firms advise employers to fire employees for misconduct rather than laying them off to avoid having unemployment benefits charged against their account.
ThePelton from Martinsburg, WV USA on January 10, 2013:
Interesting Hub. I am thinking of copying it and passing it around.
Frank Slovenec from San Francisco, CA on January 09, 2013:
Well done: It is amazing what people think they can get away with as to how they work, relate to superiors and co-workers and think they are top performers, then they are stunned when they are dismissed of course no one else is surprised when they are let go..thanks
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on January 08, 2013:
Don't I know it! There are various surreptitious ways that companies can get rid of older employees i.e. "saving costs", "needing new blood" and other devious means. However, the older person can file a discrimination charge because these acts are ruses to cover up that he/she was unlawfully discriminated against because of his/her age in violation of the ADEA (Age Discrimination Employment Act) and local/state human rights antidiscriminatory laws. A smart invesigator knows these surreptitious ruses and they are discriminatory in intent.
H C Palting from East Coast on January 08, 2013:
Unfortunately Ralph is right. An additional factor in getting rid of older employees is saving the company money by hiring a younger replacement that typically costs much less to the organization in compensation and benefits (if any are given). Fairly often it all comes down to saving money, but many companies avoid saying this at all costs.
Stephanie Casao from San Diego on January 08, 2013:
I lost my job in December for a number of the reasons you listed here - and getting fired (for me at least) was a blessing! My old company re-structured in February 2012, and once that change happened, my work satisfaction declined significantly. Its not that I didn't like my job, but I was given the responsibilities of 2 people who were laid off the previous year and got burned out quick! Couple that with a bipolar boss, and my work life turned in to an absolute nightmare! I appreciate your candid thoughts here. They are true!
Ralph Deeds from Birmingham, Michigan on January 07, 2013:
In my work representing claimants in unemployment compensation hearings before administrative law judges I have noticed that cases are fairly common where long service employees are dismissed by new and especially younger supervisors. A young supervisor and a significantly older employee is called by sociologists an "age-status conflict." When a long service employee fails to respond with alacrity to changes ordered by a new supervisor the result is frequently a "new broom" dismissal of the older employee by the new supervisor. Moreover, the new supervisor may wish to build his or her own team and therefore looks for excuses to fire the older employee. My advice to an employee confronted with a new supervisor is to pay attention to his or her instructions and be very cautious about resisting changes in methods and procedures. Getting a new supervisor should be considered a red flag.
H C Palting from East Coast on January 07, 2013:
You have hit the nail on the head. Many people believe they are "owed" a job and don't understand they can be fired with or without cause. Take the case of the woman who worked in a dentist's office who was fired because the dentist felt she was a potential threat to his marriage all because he felt tempted by her and figured at some point over the years and 40 hour workweeks that he'd make a move. Apparently she didn't get the memo.
Jean Bakula from New Jersey on January 04, 2013:
I can relate to the part about malcontents. Don't you find that wherever you work, it's almost the same group of people? I tell my son to avoid the malcontents, they are the ones that can bring down your mood and attitude. If you really hate where you are, get out. It's pretty simple. And sometimes you just don't relate or fit in with certain people. It almost seems that in some places, the people we work with everyday are as important as the job. We spend more hours working F/T than with our families or friends, (if you count sleeping hours) so it matters that you work in a place you like, or at least find tolerable.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on November 16, 2012:
Thank you for your response. The world of corporate politics can be quite fascinating to say the least!
Michelle Dee from Charlotte, NC on November 16, 2012:
I remember in the 1990s when jobs were much more plentiful I saw a lot of really bad employees as described above who never got fired. Of course today they are probably not in those jobs anymore.
iguidenetwork from Austin, TX on January 25, 2012:
Nice reasons suggested by you...Thumbs up!!!
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on November 04, 2011:
To IJR112: Thank you for stopping by and for your intelligent response. What you have said is so true, I have seen highly intelligent and educated people who were either fired or remained in their same positions because of a bad attitude.
IJR112 on November 03, 2011:
Having a bad attitude is kryptonite for your career. Even if you are great at your job, if you have a bad attitude, you will not advance very far. That's what I've learned in the working world.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on November 03, 2011:
To Ralph Deeds and ugagirl66: Thank you both for stopping by and for your responses. However, if a person is terminated to make room for new blood, that is age discrimination which can be proved. This egregious act should be reported to the local human rights agency and/or to the EEOC. I was not talking about that-I was discussing the non-discriminatory, intangible reasons why people are terminated from their jobs! I appreciate both of your insights regarding this issue!
Regina Harrison-Barton from South Carolina on November 02, 2011:
Very good article. Very sound advice. Having been an HR Professional for over 25 years, I certainly recognize some of the examples that you have listed.
Keep up the good work!
Ralph Deeds from Birmingham, Michigan on November 02, 2011:
Well done. I would add situations where an older, long-service employee fails to respond quickly enough to changes instituted by a new, younger boss. A new broom often sweeps clean.