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View Full Version : Banging my head here



RS6405
09-21-2013, 12:11 PM
I know that many of you do not deal with the typical notions of employment, but can anyone relate?

Hired someone almost a month ago. That person bragged about his skills, abilities and experience for the job he was hired to do. He relocated to take the job. He had intended to relocate regardless of this job because of his family had intended to move to the area, but he was the first to move here.

While he did not know this state's particular laws or procedures, there was an expectation that he could adapt. After shadowing the person was replacing for two weeks, he was on his own. I saw immediately that he had issues following directions, or comprehending oral or written communication, as well as numerous other issues as indicated in 2 page typed list of his generalized mistakes. (I.E. not a complete itemized list of his mistakes).

I offered for him to leave immediately or the option for the next month to continue employment at a reduce rate. I attached this offer to his termination letter/ mistakes. We both signed it, and I gave him a copy of it.

Well he left the office and told another staff member that he did not have to be there since he was going to be paid for the next month regardless.

Now he is trying to get my law partner to pay him the "severance" he claims I promised him in the written document.

I am very irked about the whole thing. Yet, I feel somewhat vindicated (with a told you so attitude) since my law partner and I have numerous discussions about this person. He thought I was not giving the employee enough of a chance to acclimate to my particular practice and believed that was the issue with the mistakes the employee made.

imnohero
09-21-2013, 12:35 PM
While I don't have experience as an employer, as they say in Jersey... "I hea' ya'!"

I've had people like this assigned to my work center in the military. They talk a good game but can't work effectively. It is very irritating. On the upside, at least you have the option of firing the guy, right?

I realize that this is rewarding bad behavior, but it might be easier to just give the guy the "severance" amount and wash your hands of him. He won't get any work done if he stays anyway. Or worse, he'll start screwing up on purpose. Ask yourself is you really need the bullshit hassle this guy is going to create and whether you really want to spend your energy on it? You know what I'm sayin'?

Greg
09-21-2013, 01:03 PM
I agree with imnohero. This person is an irritant, and is hoping you won't pursue the situation any further. How valuable is your time? What about your principles though? I'm a stubborn asshole. If I had documentation I would follow up, no matter the hassle, to show the individual my word is bond.

RS6405
09-21-2013, 02:05 PM
The irony is that this is issue demonstrates exactly why he was terminated. Someone who claims to have 7 years experience in the legal field but is trying to claim that the word employment means the same thing as severance pay, or that he is entitled to a month's severance when he did not even work a full month at the job is a joke. I wanted to be decent concerning this issue, but not a fool.

On a practical side, he will not get paid regardless about how rich lawyers are suppose to be. This partnership started in Jan. 2013 and quarterly taxes are due next month. Since Obama raised employment taxes 50% in 1 year, Uncle Sam receives more money than I do each quarter. Hence, I cannot just throw away money like that.

RS6405
09-21-2013, 02:18 PM
He won't get any work done if he stays anyway. Or worse, he'll start screwing up on purpose.

Agreed. As I see it (in a legal sense), I offered for him to leave immediately or to have employment for a month. By leaving the office shortly after our conversation, he accepted the first option and the second option is no longer available to him.

imnohero
09-21-2013, 02:20 PM
yeah, the irony didn't escape me.

When I got out of the military, I applied at a law firm as an "assistant." What they actually wanted was someone that could be both a legal assistant and the front person for the office (phones, filing, mail, etc.) They didn't want to hire me because I had no legal experience. Didn't want to take the risk, or wait for me to get "caught up", I guess. (as an aside, I would have been excellent at that job)

Employers are in a tough spot, trying to find someone with the right mix of skills and personality, especially in small businesses.

imnohero
09-21-2013, 02:22 PM
By leaving the office shortly after our conversation, he accepted the first option and the second option is no longer available to him.

That's exactly what I thought.

USMC0341
09-21-2013, 09:46 PM
I don't understand why people continue to inflate their capabilities in a said job field; it doesn't take long to be exposed for what they are. Hell, I practically tried to talk my current boss out of hiring me. I didn't think I fit the skillset she was looking for. Turns out she knew more than me on that one and I am saving her a lot of money doing the job.

I see many folks similar to your situation, but usually it is a case of nepotism, or political pull. I hope your person learns a bit of a lesson and adressed their shortcomings, versus moving on and trying to fool another employer.

RS6405
09-26-2013, 11:29 AM
yeah, the irony didn't escape me.

When I got out of the military, I applied at a law firm as an "assistant." What they actually wanted was someone that could be both a legal assistant and the front person for the office (phones, filing, mail, etc.) They didn't want to hire me because I had no legal experience. Didn't want to take the risk, or wait for me to get "caught up", I guess. (as an aside, I would have been excellent at that job)

Employers are in a tough spot, trying to find someone with the right mix of skills and personality, especially in small businesses.

Actually, we were hiring two positions, one was to be my paralegal and the other was to be a receptionist/ my law partner's legal assistant.

Out of 35-45 applicants only 1 person indicated military experience, and he was applying for the receptionist/ legal assistant position. I pulled his résumé out to be on the short list for my law partner to consider, and even wrote notes about the pro's in considering him; however, he was not hired.

Here are some of my thoughts as a small business owner when reviewing his résumé for others who might be looking for similar jobs.

Off the top of my head, I remember he had 8-10 years in the service, which translates (to me) that he shows commitment, follow directions, be on time, and honestly, he wasn't a wash out.

If he had only 2-4 years in, and didn't follow up with a college afterwards, I would wonder if he was a problem in the military. If his time was 14 years plus without retirement, I would wonder why he did not do 20. Yet, if the applicant had listed a reason for leaving, it would resolve my questions.

The applicant did show that his time in the military was in an office setting, but his post military time was in industry for about 7 years. When trying to play up his skills, he really emphasized his leadership skills over any office skills.

The problem with that was the actual job he was applying for, aka receptionist/ legal assistant. I am a small firm in a small county with a lowly job position. While my business is growing faster than I imagined, I still have a fear that I will plateau, especially in this market (increase business taxes, looming Obamacare, etc.). I actually wondered if I could grow the business to the level of where he wanted to be.

I would have suggested he emphasis the office skills and the ability to do the job being offered then state the ability to grow and adapt into different roles if and when needed.

As for having legal experience, if you don't have it, but truly want to get into the legal field, consider offering to intern for free. If you offered a month to show you could adapt to what they were looking for, then it could make you a promising candidate. If they turn you down, then don't take it personally. Most likely the business is so busy that it is critical to have someone with the experience in order to function. Instead, ask if they could recommend another firm that would take you up on your offer.

Sperry1989
09-26-2013, 12:23 PM
Actually, we were hiring two positions, one was to be my paralegal and the other was to be a receptionist/ my law partner's legal assistant.

Out of 35-45 applicants only 1 person indicated military experience, and he was applying for the receptionist/ legal assistant position. I pulled his résumé out to be on the short list for my law partner to consider, and even wrote notes about the pro's in considering him; however, he was not hired.

Here are some of my thoughts as a small business owner when reviewing his résumé for others who might be looking for similar jobs.

Off the top of my head, I remember he had 8-10 years in the service, which translates (to me) that he shows commitment, follow directions, be on time, and honestly, he wasn't a wash out.

If he had only 2-4 years in, and didn't follow up with a college afterwards, I would wonder if he was a problem in the military. If his time was 14 years plus without retirement, I would wonder why he did not do 20. Yet, if the applicant had listed a reason for leaving, it would resolve my questions.

The applicant did show that his time in the military was in an office setting, but his post military time was in industry for about 7 years. When trying to play up his skills, he really emphasized his leadership skills over any office skills.

The problem with that was the actual job he was applying for, aka receptionist/ legal assistant. I am a small firm in a small county with a lowly job position. While my business is growing faster than I imagined, I still have a fear that I will plateau, especially in this market (increase business taxes, looming Obamacare, etc.). I actually wondered if I could grow the business to the level of where he wanted to be.

I would have suggested he emphasis the office skills and the ability to do the job being offered then state the ability to grow and adapt into different roles if and when needed.


As for having legal experience, if you don't have it, but truly want to get into the legal field, consider offering to intern for free. If you offered a month to show you could adapt to what they were looking for, then it could make you a promising candidate. If they turn you down, then don't take it personally. Most likely the business is so busy that it is critical to have someone with the experience in order to function. Instead, ask if they could recommend another firm that would take you up on your offer.


I am just curious about something. Would it be more advantageous to your firm if you hired your staff from a temp/staffing agency? I would expect that you would pay a flat rate and their employer would be on the hook for taxes and health care. That type of arrangement may not work for a law firm but many other firms use this type of service to staff their businesses. Do not get me wrong, there are pros and cons using staffing agencies but if you found a person that was productive, you could hire him/her as a regular employee and discontinue the use of the temp agency.

I do not have any recent experience in the private sector so my comments above may be way off base. May be some other folks here can provide some insight.

imnohero
09-26-2013, 01:47 PM
One of the tough things for me to get down with clarity on my resume was my office experience and skills. Because that wasn't my primary job in the AF, I don't have any certifications or official training to show. Filing, phones, messages, emails, meeting suspenses, writing reports, office machines, typing, software, etc. were all just "expected skills." I mean, how do you put "I've been using email for 15 years" on your resume, you know? It seem so "bland." LOL.