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#1 Apr 12 2012 at 8:07 PM Rating: Good
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I've recently had a pretty bad experience with a new hire. While not top dog, I am second in command where I work. When my boss is out of town, I'm in charge. When he's busy, I make the decisions.

A couple months ago we hired a new electrical engineer to help out. We told him clearly what was to be expected, what he'd be doing, etc. He'd have to handle drawing machine schematics, wiring new machines and upgrades to existing machines, and troubleshooting/repairing existing machines. Pretty basic industrial electrician stuff. He seemed pretty enthusiastic about it.

Flash forward a week after he started working. We had our first major break down. Number one machine in the plant stops working, top priority to fix. We stay til about 8pm (3 hours over time) to get the machine running. The next morning, 8am rolls around, I look around... new hire is no where to be found. 9am, we call him. He says that all that overtime really did a number on his back and he had a hard time sleeping that night. Ok, what ever, he'll be in a little late? No, he just didn't show up at all that day.

Over the next month or so, we try to show him how things work, he doesn't seem to care. We have him repair simple things (stuff we give summer interns to do) and he does them wrong continuously, even after being shown how to do it right numerous times. We have him go over some old machines to update schematics, he spends days looking in the electrical panels, taking pictures, but in the end gets almost nothing done as far as updated prints goes.

Near the end of his second month, he starts missing days. No calls, just doesn't show up. He'd come in the next day with some excuse. Then last week he comes in on Monday. Then Tuesday doesn't show up. Then Wednesday doesn't show up. No show Thursday, No show Friday. By this time, the company policy is taking into effect. If you miss three days of work in a row without any attempt at notification, you are considered to have voluntarily abandoned your job. The following week, (this week), nothing. I contact a family member of his (a person I knew). He says "Oh, he's out of state on an interview. He said he gave his two weeks notice and quit". No... he just stopped showing up.

Now, I'm sure this person is not going to list us as a place of employment on their resume (seems he'd be stupid if he did). But in a case like this, if someone did contact me as a reference for this person... what could I legally say about them? I don't know what you are allowed to say about a past employee. I have many bad things that can be said about him, and they are all true. Since they are facts (not opinion based or how you feel about the person) can negative things be said about a person to their potential future employers?

Edited, Apr 12th 2012 10:10pm by TirithRR
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#2 Apr 12 2012 at 8:23 PM Rating: Decent
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Don't quote me since I do not know for certain, but it depends on whether he was fired or quit. If he quit, then no, nothing bad. If he was fired, you can give the reason for the termination and possibly disciplinary issues that lead to the termination. Given that it's being argued as to whether he quit or was fired, I wouldn't do anything other than acknowledge that he worked there. Just remember that you can be hit with slander or defamation charges if you say something that you can't back up.
#3 Apr 12 2012 at 8:51 PM Rating: Good
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Does you company not have an existing policy on this matter?

I know that there are ways you can state true, factual information abotu the employee, but I'm only an internet lawyer so I would be unable to provide you the nuances. As much as you may warn the next potential employer, it IS possible to screw this up and wouldn't be worth that headache. Not worth taking chances.
#4 Apr 12 2012 at 8:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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Realistically, unless the employer runs back to the prospect and says "Your old boss said...", he's not going to know anyway. He just won't get the job. If you really wanted to play it safe, you could just empathically state that you wold never rehire him and let the employer draw their own conclusions.
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#5 Apr 12 2012 at 9:04 PM Rating: Good
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Allegory wrote:
Does you company not have an existing policy on this matter?


Not that I'm aware of. We are a relatively small company that has seen some pretty crazy growth over the last 5-6 years (with a little hurt during the 2008 crash).

And I doubt I'll ever get contacted by anyone dealing with this person. I'm almost 100% certain that they won't even show this employment on their resume. The whole ordeal just got me curious about how, if at all, a past employer can warn future employers of truly bad employees.
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#6 Apr 12 2012 at 9:33 PM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
Allegory wrote:
Does you company not have an existing policy on this matter?


Not that I'm aware of. We are a relatively small company that has seen some pretty crazy growth over the last 5-6 years (with a little hurt during the 2008 crash).

And I doubt I'll ever get contacted by anyone dealing with this person. I'm almost 100% certain that they won't even show this employment on their resume. The whole ordeal just got me curious about how, if at all, a past employer can warn future employers of truly bad employees.


Though, in theory, they might contact you anyway. It's getting easier and easier to find someone's past work history.

I have no clue what you can say, but I think (in this case, at least) you can probably play it safe and still completely get your point across. You'd be free, I imagine, to mention the policy through which he lost his job and note that you were hesitant to think that might have been his intention, given past circumstances.

Also, who the hell just doesn't show up for work? Smiley: confused
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#7 Apr 12 2012 at 10:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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You do have to be a bit careful about what you say, usually it is just yes or no if they worked for you before and whether or not you would hire them again. If you say he did something he can always claim he didn't and if he doesn't get the job due to it can claim slander and sue. Like Joph said say something like "Yes he did work here but he is not someone we would ever think about hiring again".
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#8 Apr 13 2012 at 12:19 AM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Also, who the hell just doesn't show up for work? Smiley: confused
It got bad enough around here for a while that it's now policy that a single no call, no show is grounds for immediate termination. It can be reversed in the event that it was a situation where the employee truly could not call, but that rarely comes up.
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#9 Apr 13 2012 at 3:58 AM Rating: Excellent
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When giving a bad reference on someone, you need to ask the person asking questions of you to keep the questions to yes or no answers.
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#10 Apr 13 2012 at 6:57 AM Rating: Good
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The One and Only Poldaran wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Also, who the hell just doesn't show up for work? Smiley: confused
It got bad enough around here for a while that it's now policy that a single no call, no show is grounds for immediate termination. It can be reversed in the event that it was a situation where the employee truly could not call, but that rarely comes up.


That boggles my mind... Granted, I think I've called out of work like twice in my whole life. And both times I was legitimately sick and working in the food industry. The idea of just not showing up just seems... impossible.
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#11 Apr 13 2012 at 8:25 AM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
The One and Only Poldaran wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Also, who the hell just doesn't show up for work? Smiley: confused
It got bad enough around here for a while that it's now policy that a single no call, no show is grounds for immediate termination. It can be reversed in the event that it was a situation where the employee truly could not call, but that rarely comes up.


That boggles my mind... Granted, I think I've called out of work like twice in my whole life. And both times I was legitimately sick and working in the food industry. The idea of just not showing up just seems... impossible.


Our office is fairly relaxed in this regard, but it's still certainly expected that people will call in if they're absent. It might be codified in some way, but it's really just that people know what's expected of them, and we seem to hire pretty professional folk.

The fiance works retail at a saddlery store, though, and they have a real problem with this. The owner doesn't seem to be a good business manager, and is out in the field often. A lot of the employees seem to just not show up periodically, without calling in. If the owner is out, they have others sign them in to get paid, sometimes for a full 9:00-5:00 that they stayed home for. Seems like a real mess.

Edited, Apr 13th 2012 10:26am by Eske
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#12 Apr 13 2012 at 8:28 AM Rating: Good
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
When giving a bad reference on someone, you need to ask the person asking questions of you to keep the questions to yes or no answers.
Right. Just saying that should be enough of a tip-off without getting yourself in trouble.
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#13 Apr 13 2012 at 9:09 AM Rating: Good
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Other deals with the personal stuff for the company we work for. I ran this question by her and she basically said you should not slander the person in any form. She also said if you do get a call request them to fax you the questions on paper with the company's info in the header. If they ate unable to do so, then stick with yes/no questions or watch how you word things. She said you never know who will try and get companies on slander charges by having a smooth talking friend call up and pretend to be asking about, but recording the convo waiting for the last employer to bash away.
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#14 Apr 13 2012 at 9:09 AM Rating: Good
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#15 Apr 13 2012 at 9:18 AM Rating: Good
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I've run into a situation like this before. We only confirmed that the person worked for us and we gave the dates of employment (based on the paychecks). We always declined to speak about job performance other than whether the person was eligible to be re-hired.
#16 Apr 13 2012 at 9:49 AM Rating: Excellent
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
When giving a bad reference on someone, you need to ask the person asking questions of you to keep the questions to yes or no answers.


One of my most memorable calls involved a string of "no" answers.

Protip: If you're going to lie about what you did at your previous job make sure your reference is in on your little conspiracy... Smiley: oyvey

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#17 Apr 13 2012 at 10:04 AM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
Uglysasquatch wrote:
When giving a bad reference on someone, you need to ask the person asking questions of you to keep the questions to yes or no answers.


One of my most memorable calls involved a string of "no" answers.

Protip: If you're going to lie about what you did at your previous job make sure your reference is in on your little conspiracy... Smiley: oyvey

Details plz. If it's a fun story anyway.
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#18 Apr 13 2012 at 10:09 AM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
The One and Only Poldaran wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Also, who the hell just doesn't show up for work? Smiley: confused
It got bad enough around here for a while that it's now policy that a single no call, no show is grounds for immediate termination. It can be reversed in the event that it was a situation where the employee truly could not call, but that rarely comes up.


That boggles my mind... Granted, I think I've called out of work like twice in my whole life. And both times I was legitimately sick and working in the food industry. The idea of just not showing up just seems... impossible.
Yeah, I'm a bit of an anomaly around my work. I've called in 4 times* in my almost 9 years there, iirc, and all of them were food poisoning/stomach flu. We've had at least one person call in more than that in the last month.


*There was one time I tried to call in that I'm not counting. I had the regular flu, but so did literally everyone else. My manager had just pulled a double, with the flu as well, and begged me to come in because there was no one to cover. I told her I wasn't feeling like I'd be able to manage to stay awake all night, so she told me to just sleep on the lobby couch where guests could wake me if they needed something. Smiley: laugh
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#19 Apr 13 2012 at 10:10 AM Rating: Good
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We have a strict no call no show policy here. If you are conscious, you are expected to at least send a text message if you're unable to be there on time. If you are late without notice, you will be sent home without pay for the day. If it happens with any regular frequency, you're out.

A single no show without an attempt of contact won't get you fired if you have a reasonable excuse and you were not incapacitated, but the second time it happens, you're gone.

As for the questions: The "eligible for rehire" is the big one. If the parting was sweet sorry, as it was when I was a supervisor at my first call center job because I was downsized, then the person is eligible for rehire and would probably be welcomed back given the opportunity. Or, if the person left the job on their own volition, they are usually eligible for rehire.

As your dude didn't provide the requisite two weeks notice, you can call him not eligible for rehire on that basis alone and be done with it.
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#20 Apr 13 2012 at 10:13 AM Rating: Excellent
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We have a pretty good policy here as well. You don't show up and make no attempt to call, we send the police.
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#21 Apr 13 2012 at 10:21 AM Rating: Excellent
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Details plz. If it's a fun story anyway.


Not so much, but I won't let that stop me. Smiley: grin

Flew the guy up from Denver for the interview because he had worked for a fairly reputable person in the industry and his resume looked good. He showed up dressed like he had just woken up. We're pretty casual, and scientists don't usually sent fashion trends or anything, but you could at least button your shirt or something. First clue something was amiss... Smiley: rolleyes

We chatted for a while and while he seemed to know all the key topics we brought up, his answers were lacking any real depth. After he left we got on the phone to his old lab and talked to his boss. The guy put down he operated various instruments on his resume, but it turned out he never did more than maybe turn them on, or maybe put a sample in the tray. He was there 6 months as an intern type person a couple of days a week and mostly just shadowed people. So one of those, "no he didn't do that" "he wouldn't have touched that" "well he might have once..." "I'm sure he watched someone do that..." type of phone calls. Smiley: lol

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#22 Apr 13 2012 at 12:21 PM Rating: Excellent
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lolgaxe wrote:
We have a pretty good policy here as well. You don't show up and make no attempt to call, we send the police.

Lol this took me a second.
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#23 Apr 13 2012 at 3:16 PM Rating: Excellent
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We have a policy of "Never hireing anyone with a first name that is the same as a major constellation" anymore at other work after one truely epic failure of hireing practices. This individual, "Orion" was hired as a workroom computer repair technician. Some workstation builds and repair, a bit of light facility cabling, drive image creation, etc. Seemed to know what he was doing in the interview, had a good reccommendation, so we hired him. The guy was a complete disaster. The first day in, he tears up the entire workroom cable infrastructure, which has worked flawlessly for the past 5 ish years, and decides to route it all into an IP KVM. Which might have been ok in theory, but it took 8 available computer repair bays and turned them into 1 repair bay. he also did this by jut routing large stacks of cable all over the workspaces, and then leaving it. When asked about it, he told his immidiate boss "oh, if you don't like how it looks, you can clean it up". His boss being a rather tolerant individual let that go. Next, he went through the available computer benchstock and decided to overclock them all. on air. With stock cooling fans. Needless to say, none of them survived very long, but they lasted long enough for about 15 or so computers to have come back into the shop for various reasons. Most of them were easy fixes, bad ram, bad power supply, etc. He declared each and every one of them unsalvageable and sent them to the surplus pile. He also deleted a bunch of fairly critical process files that were backed up, on theory that the replacement he was working on was going to work so much better someday. Good thing we had backups.Then he decided to go do some cableing at a remote facility, to "help". He drilled through an exterior wall with a half inch drillbit for a single network cable, didn't even caulk the hole, ran the bright yellow cable diagonalyl up a wall across a window opening, diagonally again across a roof, down to the switch, where he left an apperent 50 foot service loop for an 16 foot wide room, and instead of nicely coiling up the service loop. he tossed it all over the network gear like some sort of horrific cable spooling accident. After that, he came back, managed to piss off his boss even more, and got fired on the spot.

After all that, the worst part was the guy just wouldn't blow his damned nose! Every single day you would hear him talking, and then in mid sentance, this horrible <Snerrkkshshs!> sound of him inhaleing all the snot. Multiple times. I still have nightmares about it.

The best part was 3 months later, he actually put us down as a job reference, and they called. When asked if we would consider rehireing him, his former boss just laughed his ass off for about 3 minutes, then replied "No" and that was the end of that.

That wasn't the craziest person though. The best one was the guy who was using his work laptop to store the 5,000 pictures of his cats he had taken (not to mention all the games installed, on the laptop, at work, at a government facility with a monitored network that scans for installed software...) A few months after he left, we got a call from the police to be on the lookout for him because he had left a "suspicious package" at his mothers doorstep and was in hideing, and they thought he was going to come shoot us up or something. It turns out the package was a large bag of cat feces, and he just really hated his mother, according to the police follow up call.

I don't think Magi from here got a good reccommendation either...
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#24 Apr 13 2012 at 9:30 PM Rating: Good
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I can't think of any sane reason anyone who was hired for an IT position would do any of that.
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#25 Apr 14 2012 at 7:40 AM Rating: Good
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I understood half of that, and it was enough. Smiley: lol
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#26 Apr 14 2012 at 5:11 PM Rating: Good
5000 cat photos? Sounds normal to me.
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#27 Apr 14 2012 at 5:32 PM Rating: Good
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IDrownFish of the Seven Seas wrote:
5000 cat photos? Sounds normal to me.


Maybe "cat" is a code word for something else?

The old maintenance supervisor where I work had tons of porn on his work computer. And magazines in his filing drawers, DVDs in his desk, etc. He never got in trouble for it either.
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#28 Apr 16 2012 at 1:40 AM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
The old maintenance supervisor where I work had tons of porn on his work computer. And magazines in his filing drawers, DVDs in his desk, etc. He never got in trouble for it either.
I've never been able to understand why people need porn at work.
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#29 Apr 16 2012 at 3:34 AM Rating: Excellent
They're busy people, and that porn's not going to watch itself.
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#30 Apr 16 2012 at 7:23 AM Rating: Good
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On the other side of things, some guy at my dad's work got fired for watching porn at work. But he fought back and it came out that they were seeing the effects of malware they didn't know was there. And they paid for McAfee. Smiley: lol

The best part is that the guy's desk is out in the open, with his screen visible from outside, and to a few other workers inside. And they are open until late, but he doesn't have the late shift. If he had been watching porn, people would have known.
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#31 Apr 16 2012 at 8:06 AM Rating: Good
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IDrownFish of the Seven Seas wrote:
They're busy people, and that porn's not going to watch itself.
Hey, multitasking is a rare and valuable talent.
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#32 Apr 16 2012 at 1:55 PM Rating: Good
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The One and Only Poldaran wrote:
I've never been able to understand why people need porn at work.


Probably the same reason they need porn at home.
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#33 Apr 16 2012 at 2:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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As several people have pointed out, just keep information short. You have no need to involve yourself in a future hire of that employee, and can get in legal trouble for appearing to do so. If called, just give yes/no and short factual answers. Usually the same folks that are unbelievably incompetent at work are the first to claim some sort of unfair practice by their employer(s), so best to just avoid the chance of that.

As to bad employees, we had one guy who was so bad he got demoted like 3 times (and moved to simpler jobs) and then still wasn't able to do the work. Although he went through the usual hiring process, no one was willing to admit to having been a part of it after the fact (not publicly anyway). He was actually pretty good at the whole social aspect of things, so the assumption is that somehow he just bluffed his way through, and no one really called him on any direct interview questions (it happens).

This was the guy who we actually had to rename/move certain system commands on our installation server because he would continually forget which system he was on and reboot/shutdown the server instead of the system he was installing. After finally getting pushed down to simple computer hardware tech work, he showed what can only be described as an astounding inability to handle even the most simple tasks. Every single time he handled a cable connector with any sort of pin, he bent the pins. Every. Single. Time. Now, I'll grant that some of the cables at the time could be tricky (anyone who's handled one of those fast/wide ultra-scsi cables knows what I'm talking about), but he would do this to even simple cables. Hell. He once bent the pin on a three prong power cable. I'm not talking about the flat lead/ground prongs. I'm talking about the one in the center. How the hell do you do that? And not on a cable end either, cause you could step on that and bend it. I'm talking about an internal male connector as part of a power supply as seen in the bottom socket in this picture. Seriously. How the hell?
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#34 Apr 16 2012 at 10:07 PM Rating: Good
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Hmm, Lousy with technology, highly charismatic, and always bending things. I suppose he's better off in his acting gig anyway.
#35 Apr 16 2012 at 10:55 PM Rating: Decent
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Only time I no call no show was with my last employer and they were expecting it. Though those a**holes had a pool on when I was going to kill over.
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Allegory wrote:
Hmm, Lousy with technology, highly charismatic, and always bending things. I suppose he's better off in his acting gig anyway.


Kool-aid. Smiley: mad
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#37 Apr 19 2012 at 1:06 PM Rating: Decent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
The One and Only Poldaran wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Also, who the hell just doesn't show up for work? Smiley: confused
It got bad enough around here for a while that it's now policy that a single no call, no show is grounds for immediate termination. It can be reversed in the event that it was a situation where the employee truly could not call, but that rarely comes up.


That boggles my mind... Granted, I think I've called out of work like twice in my whole life. And both times I was legitimately sick and working in the food industry. The idea of just not showing up just seems... impossible.
My very first job that I worked when I was 16, I pulled a no show no call and never looked back. In this case though, my boss was a lunatic who screamed at the other employees and myself in the kitchen, physically shoved us, called us horrible names, etc. Since then though, I've never been able to see how people can do that. It @#%^s up EVERYONE'S day and that would just make me feel terrible.
#38 Apr 19 2012 at 5:27 PM Rating: Good
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Codyy wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
The One and Only Poldaran wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Also, who the hell just doesn't show up for work? Smiley: confused
It got bad enough around here for a while that it's now policy that a single no call, no show is grounds for immediate termination. It can be reversed in the event that it was a situation where the employee truly could not call, but that rarely comes up.


That boggles my mind... Granted, I think I've called out of work like twice in my whole life. And both times I was legitimately sick and working in the food industry. The idea of just not showing up just seems... impossible.
My very first job that I worked when I was 16, I pulled a no show no call and never looked back. In this case though, my boss was a lunatic who screamed at the other employees and myself in the kitchen, physically shoved us, called us horrible names, etc. Since then though, I've never been able to see how people can do that. It @#%^s up EVERYONE'S day and that would just make me feel terrible.


That's still different--you just quit without alerting them (and sounds like you made the right call). In this case, it's people who don't show/don't call and still expect to work there.
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Anyways, you all are horrible, @#%^ed up people

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#39 Apr 19 2012 at 7:54 PM Rating: Excellent
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Codyy wrote:
In this case though, my boss was a lunatic who screamed at the other employees and myself in the kitchen, physically shoved us, called us horrible names, etc.

You worked for Gordon Ramsey? color me jealous.
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#40 Apr 19 2012 at 10:39 PM Rating: Decent
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Tyrrant wrote:
Codyy wrote:
In this case though, my boss was a lunatic who screamed at the other employees and myself in the kitchen, physically shoved us, called us horrible names, etc.

You worked for Gordon Ramsey? color me jealous.
haha, the guy was actually a chef. Must be a chef thing: always treat your employees like sh*t. Use force even when not necessary.
#41 Apr 20 2012 at 12:01 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm pretty sure physically shoving somoene inside a kitchen filled with sharp objects, extremely warm objects, and various and sundry grinding utensils is a good way to find yourself served as steak tartar.

"Nope, we never saw him, he didn't come in to work today, he said something about skinny dipping in the ocean while clutching a large haunch of raw bloody meat in shark infested water though. you should go check there"
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#42 Apr 20 2012 at 3:33 PM Rating: Good
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Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:
I'm pretty sure physically shoving somoene inside a kitchen filled with sharp objects, extremely warm objects, and various and sundry grinding utensils is a good way to find yourself served as steak tartar.

"Nope, we never saw him, he didn't come in to work today, he said something about skinny dipping in the ocean while clutching a large haunch of raw bloody meat in shark infested water though. you should go check there"


Oh! And try the new rib dish we've got. It's to die for!
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