Clawing to escape the belly of the beast here in Hollywood. To commiserate, email my name assistantatlas at yahoo.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

How to Tell If You're Getting Fired: 5.38

I gotta keep this short, since I'm not at my usual Assistant/Atlas Global HQ.

Or, "my apartment", as some insist on calling it. Thanks again, Time Warner Cable.

Anyway, I've been around long enough to recognize the basic firing signs...

-Have any of your co-workers been pulled aside by the boss--and afterwards started to tiptoe around you like you have suddenly been diagnosed with inoperable, terminal cancer? Downsizing-ahoy!

-Notice people saying, "Oh, that's okay, don't worry about it, I'll take care of it" and getting left with nothing to do following meetings? Or, just don't get invited at all? You're about to be auf'd.

-Does training new people suddenly seems to take on newfound, and profound, importance? Someone's going, that's for sure.

-Are people offering to help you with nearly everything you're working on? You're being fired very soon.

Now, usually by the time you've recognized a lot of warning signs, it's probably too late to do anything about your impending firing. So, it's time to immediately look for a new job. I've discovered that

Oh- and I will say this: in my experience, many more people quit jobs than get fired from them in Hollywood. The two exceptions: upper-level execs and mass downsizees at the studios.

Feel free to add your own warning signs for all the naive readers out there.



Anonymous Bj Munroe said...

yeah...I was fired a year ago from a really crappy job that I hated...and I know the signs to a tee.

You hit most of them, but there are a few others.

The biggest clue you're about to get axed is when you're boss or direct superior suddenly starts to distance themself from you.

Another sign is when you've noticed a lot of closed door meetings. You dont have to become paranoid, but if this isnt the norm for your office, something is being kept secret for a reason. My office's closed door meetings were to interview my replacement. I'm not a total moron, so that set off my suspicion.

Notice if your boss is hanging out in HR a lot. When I got boss had the balls to walk with me to the HR building while I dropped off payroll forms so she could look at resumes (These resumes were apparently for someone to replace me!). She pretended like the resumes were for another opening we had.

The bitch even introduced me to the HR consultant that would be firing me later that month. She did it as a friendly introduction like she was doing me a favor. It was all a sick joke to her.

Luckily I had a friend that worked next to my manager's office who clued me on to the secret "messages" that were being passed to HR about me (which were ALL false, and INSANE!) so I spent the rest of my employment at that hell hole chatting online with friends, looking for another job, researching unemployment benefit laws, and slowly "reorganizing" files that would really make life interesting for the office once I was gone.

When the day finally came...I was actually pretty happy, much to my manager's surprise. Maybe she thought I would beg...but I knew I was in for at least a 6 month, well deserved vacation (from researching UI benefits)...and I knew that she was in for months of hell as I purposely wrecked all of the financial statements into such a mess..she would have to hire an extra person to straighten them all out. Thats on top of the other fun things I did with computer files (deleted), important paperwork (trashed), off site storage info ("altered").

She thought she was so smart being so secretive...who was I to make her think otherwise?

Yeah, doing these things make me sound like a vindictive dick, but you'd have to work in this shark infested cesspool to realize that it was much deserved Karma. Plus, I knew how I was going to be screwed so I knew the place was no good for a reference.

I worked there for about 18 months, dealing with the most nuerotic people I've ever met. The place really thickened my skin, which has helped me everywhere else.

Since I was fired, they havent been able to find an employee that they can keep for 3 months. The place is a nightmare.

The best part though? I used my 6 months of unemployment to intern in a career field that I really wanted to work in (entertainment) being fired was the best thing that ever happened to me...and I know other people that would say the same thing.

I've been told its not being fired that defines you as a person...its what you do AFTER being fired that shows how much heart you have.

I've also been told the best day to look for a new job is the first day on your new job.

Sorry for the novel Assistant Atlas.

10:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a copy of the latest UTA joblist if you need it.

10:14 AM

Anonymous Arnie said...

Let's see, getting fired, laid off, riffed, canned, slayed, outsourced, downsized, rightsized, resource reallocation, resource adjustment, resource realignment, rebalancing, workforce adjustment - these are just a few of the terms used - but really, fired is about as good as it gets.

- you boss stops talking to you
- you get asked to provide an updated activity/project plan (and I need that updated daily)
- you boss threatens to kick your ass (that pretty much a give away that something is wrong)
- there's a box on your desk when you show up in the morning
- your ID badge no longer works
- you get several calls from co-workers stating your email addess keeps bouncing back to them
- you go on vacation, call in for messages, ask for you extension, and are told that person no longer work here (what!did I quit before I left??)

There probably others, but my advice, if you see it coming, start taking vacation days on Fridays (those closest to pay day), companies love to get you on Friday!!

11:00 AM

Anonymous Dianna said...

the best one that I have experienced personally took place about a week after my boss had engaged me in an (I thought) random casual conversation about wether or not I'd ever wanted to move to Boston. I think I had mentioned having lived there in college and hated it, blagh blagh...

The next week he comes casually through my office and says "Oh Im going to need the discs for this printer" indicating the one for my desk..
"why am I getting a new one?"
"No - we are moving the office to Boston."
"you are moving the office to Boston? and since I don't want to live in Boston, ...I am apparently not going to have a job anymore - and when you sat and thought about how you were going to explain that to me - asking for the discs for the computer is the best thing you came up with??

Yeah - that really happened.

8:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's one I know all too well: You log in to get your email during the weekend to find out that someone is on your email account at the office.

Best clue that you (and everyone else not related to the boss)are toast: Your millionaire boss waves his hand in the general direction of the grossly underpaid employees and whines: "When I look around here, all I see are people who are taking food out of the mouths of my children."

3:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

After about a month on the job (for which I received little to no training, most of it bad), my boss (who doesn't like me) casually asked me if the workload is too much. I said, "err...only sometimes". After that, she stopped asking me for the daily update, stopped giving me projects and started asking me to run across town to pick up lunch. Ummm...noooo. She would also get in to work in the morning, leave for lunch and leave at night without telling me she was going. Then began the parade of new victims. I guess I wasn't supposed to notice that the HR witch was sneaking candidates into her office...considering her office is right in front of me, I'd have to be blind not to see it. Then, after weeks of this crap, she has the gall to tell me that she is "thinking" of hiring someone to take the burden off of me. That person started the next Monday and quit the next day.

3:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another big "sign" is finding your job posted on the internet. If you think you are going to get fired, the job is probably already on the web. That's how I found out...

My advice if you know you are about to get canned, write a cheerful, non-bitter resignation letter and hand it in before they find your replacement. This puts them in an awkward spot, you might leave before they interview someone. They usually then offer to let you stay as long as you need to find a new job (and train your replacement). It's much better to have an extra 2 weeks - 2 months than find out on a Friday afternoon that you won't be coming back on Monday. They might even write you a recommendation letter.

4:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best hint I ever got was getting an email from a recruiter asking if I was available for work or if I knew anyone that would be a good fit for the attached job description.

Lol... the description was of the job I had at the time even going so far as to name the company so I was positive they were interviewing people to replace me.

1:43 PM

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