Getting fired on Monday, how should I handle it?
July 13, 2008 8:21 AM   Subscribe

I've come to understand from co-workers as well as things that have gone on this past week, that I will be getting fired on Monday. How should I handle it? Much more after the jump.

So here's a rundown of what's happened.
A few months ago, my boss sat me down and had a conversation with me about not answering my phone (and when I say my phone, I mean my cell phone, that I pay the bill for) when he calls. Sometimes I would go three to five days of not answering the phone when he called. Now I never did it out of spite, it just happened. Now keep in mind that I only get paid for billable time with customers (kinda like a lawyer I guess), I don't get paid when I'm home at 10pm when he calls sometimes nor do I get paid when I'm siting in the office in between customers scheduled times when he calls.
My thinking is that because I don't get paid to answer the phone there should be times when I don't have to answer it or return his call right away, especially those times when I'm not in the office, have the day off, or it's outside of normal business hours. I don't think many people would argue with me on that train of thought.
Well after he sat me down about the issue of me not answering my phone when he calls, I said I would do better at answering my phone. I left the meeting with him seeming much happier as I am his best and most valuable employee (out of three).
Fast forward a few months, and things with the business have slowed down quite a bit, to the point where the last time I worked was this past Tuesday (the 8th) for one hour. The rest of the time I've been [in essence] off, because I have no scheduled appointments with customers. Now with this time off, I've been doing a lot of things to keep myself busy (riding a motorcycle I just bought, exploring the city I moved to in Sept. that I haven't had a chance to because I've been working so much, and hanging out with a girl I meet), which most of the time keeps me from answering my phone [when anyone calls]. I just looked at my phone and he called me a total of 7 times since Tuesday, all of the missed calls [I didn't answer]. He never leaves a voice mail, never sends a text about what the calls about. I've tried to return his calls 4 times in the same time frame, every time I get his voice mail (where I leave a message "Hey *boss name*, it's *my name* just returning your call."), which is somewhat ironic I think.
Now come Friday while speaking to a coworker I'm told that the boss is pissed at me and I need to get in touch with him (this conversation was at 11:30pm which is in my opinion too late to call my boss), so the next day I call him a total of 7 times and send him 1 text message, all of which are never responded to (because at this point, he's already made up his mind to fire me). That evening (Sat. the 12th) I drive down to my office around 7pm, as that's where my motorcycle is stored, because I was gonna go for a ride. I get to the office and my key no longer works. He's changed the locks.
At this point it's clear to me that I'm fired, but the boss has never said anything to me, I've just been putting things together from what another coworker has been saying and he's not saying much, trying to stay out of the middle of it all.
The boss told this coworker to tell me that there is a "mandatory meeting 9am Monday", where I presume he will fire me.
Now to the questions is, how do I handle this? I don't really care about the job, it doesn't bother me to lose it. Honestly I think the whole situation is rather comical. I already have a new job in the works lined up more money, being my own boss, etc.
I've not been paid for the last two weeks (we get paid weekly and he's failed to pay me). I want to make sure I get my pay as well as all my belongings.
How should I react to the boss when he fires me? Should I be mad or should I just make it clear that I don't give a hoot? Should I give him a peace of my mind for having sub par equipment and putting my life at risk? Should I even let him finish if he starts to dig into me, or should I just says "Write my checks while I get my personal belongs."
I've never been fired before and honestly I can't think of a better first firing situation, I'm just looking for the best way I can handle it.
posted by blackout to Work & Money (45 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Should I give him a peace of my mind for having sub par equipment and putting my life at risk? Should I even let him finish if he starts to dig into me


How should I react to the boss when he fires me? Should I be mad or should I just make it clear that I don't give a hoot?

Be confident. Look him in the eye and say: "I'm sorry you feel this way." and "I'm sorry we had a misunderstanding about phone calls." Don't say anything else. Repeat these two things over and over if you have to. Don't try to argue your case. Don't talk too much. He won't be receptive.

I definitely think it's a good idea to stand in the room/office until you are paid. State what you are entitled to, get your money, and tell him to have a good day.
posted by LoriFLA at 8:33 AM on July 13, 2008 [6 favorites]

Handle it as maturely as possible. If he fires you, you just say O.K., and ask for your unpaid salary to be paid out to you, and some time to get your stuff out of your desk (if you have any). Taking the opportunity to give him a piece of your mind might seem tempting but really will just degenerate into a slanging match. Leave as quickly as possible, comforted by the knowledge that your life has taken a distinct turn for the better. Enjoy the rest of the day.
posted by awfurby at 8:37 AM on July 13, 2008

Best answer: Oh yeah, and on your next job, don't give work your personal cell number.
posted by awfurby at 8:38 AM on July 13, 2008 [3 favorites]

Are you even an employee? One hour a week? Don't sweat it? Do ask for your final paycheck. It should be small enough that he can write a check without i going through 'payroll'.
posted by Gungho at 8:41 AM on July 13, 2008

LoriFLA has it just right. Be polite and do not leave there untill you have everything that is owed to you. If he is willing to play games about fireing you he is willing to play games about paying you. Be as professional as possible and just keep reminding yourself you have somthing better in the works.
posted by elationfoundation at 8:41 AM on July 13, 2008

Sounds like getting out of there is going to be a good thing. As for arguing with the guy and whatnot, my perspective would be to follow the old proverb:
Never wrestle with a pig: You both get all dirty, and the pig likes it.
You don't want the job, you don't care about the job, but it sounds like your boss is spoiling for a fight on it. No matter what, you won't win the argument. Get your things & leave, and put it behind you. The best revenge is a life well-lived.
posted by swngnmonk at 8:42 AM on July 13, 2008 [5 favorites]

People who truly don't care about something don't make a fuss about it. Take the high road. There's no need to start any drama. In this guy's eyes, you're not worth keeping around, so he isn't going to take to heart anything you say.

Do get him to pay you before you leave, though.
posted by kitty teeth at 8:46 AM on July 13, 2008

Don't be clever. Just act like it's not a big deal, and be polite. If it's true that you don't care about being fired, then just act naturally. I like LoriFLA's suggestions.
posted by mpls2 at 8:47 AM on July 13, 2008

Everyone I know, including me, does have free incoming on their cell phones.

Two or three of the others reasons you gave or not answering the phone seem very odd to me.

Are you a flakey person? Do you make appts and cancel them without warning? Are you late all the time? Is it hard for anyone to get in contact with you? Do you lose track of time often?

I think I know what type of person you are. You should work on changing that , because most of the population sees that behavior as a negative trait.

If you want to make some money, responsibility follows. You should have answered your phone 70% more than you did. Missing some calls is OK. But you were ignoring the ringer.......

In the future, If you want to Layback and enjoy your life , tell the boss man and quit/take time off.

If you want to work ... then be prepared to put the effort in. Even effort that seems like too much sometimes.

When he had the meeting with you about not answering, you said you would try to answer his calls. You're telling me since Tuesday you've never heard your phone ring?? If you called him back a few minutes after he called .. he would answer. Thats obvious

I think you had a warped perception of phone etiquette and maybe some boss anxiety.
posted by Ryaske at 8:59 AM on July 13, 2008

Ok its obvious you did hear the phone ring , just didnt feel like you should have to be "on call" on the time.

You should have communicated this to him. The firing would have went much smoother ..

Never burn your bridges!
posted by Ryaske at 9:01 AM on July 13, 2008

Be professional and don't burn any bridges on the way out, but do insist on your pay and belongings.

You didn't answer your bosses phone calls for days at a time? Now business is off? It is kind of predictable what is now happening. To protect one's job in this economy sometimes requires going the extra mile. Good luck in the next one. I think being your own boss will make it easier to go that extra mile.

By the way, how did the current one put your life at risk?
posted by caddis at 9:04 AM on July 13, 2008

I was about to give pretty much the same speech as Ryaske (Glad I previewed.) 7+ unanswered calls over the course of 3 or 4 days is really pushing the limits of "me time" at almost any job.
posted by JaredSeth at 9:08 AM on July 13, 2008

[NOTE: I am here to give you bad advice. Do not listen to me.]

"See you in hell, fuckers!" is the most satisfying, soul-filling, put-a-bounce-in-your-step sentence in the English language, and there are an extremely limited number of occasions where it can be justifiably deployed. This is one. Don't miss a chance to storm out, righteously pissed, flipping your ex-boss off.

Those who tell you not to burn bridges and to be polite are probably right, but c'mon.

You can keep your head down and your nose clean and go through life unnoticed, congratulating yourself on your team spirit and work ethic and moral fiber.

Or you can create a maelstrom of drama and outrage and give all those church mice something to jaw about for months. Because you KNOW they all desperately wish they had the cojones to tell the boss exactly what you just said.

Don't just burn the bridge, nuke it from orbit. Reduce it to cinders.

Come to the dark side. We have cookies.

There's a world full of jobs out there. You'll get another one.

[ENDNOTE: I never had a job that relied on prior references in my life, so I may not know what the hell I am talking about. I also have nothing resembling a Career, an Avocation, or a Professional Life. Take everything I say with several shakers of salt.]
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:31 AM on July 13, 2008 [17 favorites]

Being fired is not the end of the world: I've been fired twice and I've had to fire two people when I was a manager. Just take it w/dignity and then get the f**k out of the building. Don't spend a lot of time agonizing over it. It sounds like you're ready to move on anyway.
posted by ornate insect at 9:32 AM on July 13, 2008

I have to agree with Ryaske and JaredSeth here about the unanswered calls.

Well after he sat me down about the issue of me not answering my phone when he calls, I said I would do better at answering my phone.

In that conversation, maybe it would have been better if you expressed to him that you would prefer he called you during business hours only. It sounds like you said it just to please him and that you weren't going to make an effort to call him back.

You say you are sometimes not in the office because you are with clients, and some days you only had an hour or two of client-related business. If you aren't in the office on those days, how could he get in touch with you? It's your personal phone, yet it's only way he can contact you.

Maybe you could have asked for compensation for those calls, asked that he give you a business phone (which you could agree to answering only during business hours) or, if you are a freelance-type worker (only on client-billable time) then your personal cell phone is actually your business phone.

If you had simply returned his calls the next business day every time, first thing in the morning, perhaps you could have trained him that that's the only time when you will talk to him.

I would say do not burn your bridges and definitely do it with as much dignity and the least amount of arguing possible. Even in NYC, the business world is small, and everyone knows everyone.
posted by anthropoid at 9:34 AM on July 13, 2008 [2 favorites]

Even in NYC, the business world is small, and everyone knows everyone.

Might be true for certain industries, but for "the business world" in general it's not even remotely true.
posted by ornate insect at 9:37 AM on July 13, 2008

but for "the business world" in general it's not even remotely true.

That's a fair statement. But why take the chance?
posted by anthropoid at 9:40 AM on July 13, 2008

You wrote an awfully detailed explanation for something you supposedly don't care about.

Frankly? I'd have fired you, too. You said you would be better about answering your phone, but you weren't. An expectation was set, you agreed to it, and then failed to live up to it. The time to bitch about the expectation is before you agree, not after you face consequences for not following through.

The best way to handle it is exactly as LoriFLA says, and then use this as a learning experience for the future. Do what you say you're going to do. Don't make promises you can't keep. Those two things will make you a better person.

On the flip side, if you don't want to deal with it, write a resignation letter and hand deliver it first thing Monday morning. Do not attend the meeting. It's the coward's way out, but probably a good idea if you don't think you can avoid getting into a fight over it.
posted by toomuchpete at 9:41 AM on July 13, 2008

My thinking is that because I don't get paid to answer the phone there should be times when I don't have to answer it or return his call right away...

Answering the phone when your boss calls IS part of the job. If you didn't want to do that on your personal cell phone, you should told him so and sought an alternative solution. Dodging the calls, especially after you said you would answer, is not the correct solution. Every job has unpaid give and take and this: "I drive down to my office around 7pm, as that's where my motorcycle is stored" indicates that your boss was willing to do a little unpaid extra for you which you failed to reciprocate. Was he charging you garage fees on that motorcycle sitting at his space? Probably not.

You don't have a leg to stand on to be angry here and your "peace" of mind should be contrite.
posted by jamaro at 9:42 AM on July 13, 2008

Ryaske, I don't know where the heck you live, but everyone I know pays for incoming calls on their cell phones. If the boss involved was going to use the phone as a primary contact mechanism, he should have offered to get you a phone. If he didn't offer, you should have asked. However, I get the feeling your paying for the phone is not the issue - you just hate being on call. In which case, this boss obviously isn't someone you could work for long term since the man is all about calling you at all hours.

I'm also not a phone person (getting in touch with me by email is almost always more efficient than calling me) and I've made that very clear to people who work with me. It's a good way to go.
posted by crinklebat at 9:57 AM on July 13, 2008

If 'being on call' is an issue for you you will find being your own boss difficult because your customers sure as hell will want to be able to reach you! I would suggest getting two phones - one number goes on your business card/email signature and you check that phone regularly and get back to people. Even if it's just a quick message to say I'm sorry I missed your call - do you still need to talk to me? Because the relationships you have with your customers are what's going to make them want to work with you - or not if the relationships go the same way as that with your boss.
posted by koahiatamadl at 10:27 AM on July 13, 2008

Best answer: I'd be siding with those who say that you agreed to something and then didn't keep up your end, except... all those calls from the boss and no voice mail? I can't think of a reason why he wouldn't leave you a message unless he was seriously power-tripping here. It doesn't seem like being out of contact is the issue. It sounds like you not jumping when he cracks the whip is the issue.

I do agree with others here that you appear to be on call and if that's the case, you needed to work out the rules of that game ahead of time or when problems first manifested. Unless he's giving you a phone or blackberry, what was your expectation about him getting in touch? But this call and not leave a message, nor respond to yours, is passive aggressive bullshit.

What to do: I'd go with LoriFLA's advice, except that if he refuses to issue you a cheque on the spot, let's be realistic, there's not much you can do. Submitting a letter of resignation before the meeting may be a bit more satisfying as you know it's going to burn the boss a bit yet still be civil, so really, that's an option, too. And BOP's option, well... up to you. But be aware that to those you leave behind, you don't actually look like a winner. Refusing to engage with an angry boss always makes you look better. And it can be pretty satisfying, too.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:28 AM on July 13, 2008

Response by poster: Let me give a little more information.
First off I'm a subcontractor, the boss man merely writes my checks, the money comes from my clients, I get paid when he gets paid. I always, ALWAYS answer the phone when a client calls, if I'm able, if not I return their call at the next possible time.
Second the company is very, very small (three employees and the boss). The boss/owner sucks every cent he can out of the business (thus the sub par equipment that puts my life at risk), there is no way he would a) get me a business phone and b) pay me to answer the phone.
Third in the meeting we had it was discussed that I would have less responsibility as far as the business goes as up to that point there had been only one employee, me. And I had been running the business, with little to no input from the owner [not hearing from him for weeks at a time and walking in to find a check on the desk Friday mornings].
Forth, I'm not angry at all nor did I want to give him a peace of my mind about getting fired, I don't care about that, what I wanted to tell him was about the sub par equipment that puts my life, my clients life and the $250,000.00 machine at risk nearly every time we utilized it, merely for the fact that he didn't want to pay a mechanic $40/hour to look at issues I brought up regarding safety of the machine.
Fifth, I have never once been late to meet a client, I'm always 30 minutes early, nor have I ever no-showed on a client. All of my clients love me, several have expressed to me that they are seriously considering no longer doing business with the owner and continuing on with me at my next job where I will be doing the same thing.
Sixth, every 10 hours I work brings $2,700.00 into the owners bank account. I would see $200.00 of that as my payment. As I was normally working 20-35 hours a week I was bringing in a fare bit of cash for the business. Also take into account that each clients is going to require a minimum of 200 hours of work [$54,000.00]. He let me store my motorcycle at the office in lieu of a $2/hour raise. So yes, I paid for it.
Lastly, business is not down because I've not been answering the phone. Business is down because we're running out of clients. What new clients are coming in are not being given to me, as was decided in the meeting.
posted by blackout at 10:37 AM on July 13, 2008

Tell us how it went.
posted by yoyo_nyc at 11:06 AM on July 13, 2008

You've gotten some common sense advice above, with which I agree. But I would also add that you do not *know* you are going to be fired. Sure, you think you are, but you don't *know*. Some business decisions work well when based on intuition, but others don't. I think you're in a situation where it will behoove you to slow down and wait for more information.

Approach the Monday meeting with an open mind. Your boss is flaky and he's not a good communicator. You can't actually know what changing the locks means... could there be some other explanation? Has the office been broken into? Is there another employee who is a problem?

When approaching an unknown situation like this, the best that you can do is to protect yourself. It sounds like you already have done so, if you have another job already lined up. But remember that if your new job keeps you in the same industry as your boss, then he is potentially in a situation to come into contact with you or your clients again. If you are being fired, protect your professional future by keeping your mouth shut, collecting what is due to you, and walking away.

That way, if any of your customers ever asks you what happened, you can truthfully say that you and your boss parted ways due to a mutual decision. You never know, in this hyper-networked world, when unprofessional behavior will come back to haunt you.

Best of luck to you. I hope that whatever happens on Monday, you come away satisfied and confident about your future.
posted by woot at 11:14 AM on July 13, 2008

Don't piss off your boss. Do call those clients and let them know you'll no longer be working for your boss, but you will be working for/at X company.
posted by sondrialiac at 11:18 AM on July 13, 2008

The boss not leaving a voice mail seems kind of weird. It was important enough to call you after hours, but not to leave a message?

Still, I'm kind of on his side on this one. I often have to call people that work for me during their "off" time. I expect them to answer the fucking phone.

I don't call for routine things, I'm not all, "Hey, I just thought of a task I want you to do." In every case when I call someone, it's because I need to ask them a question that only they know the answer to, and I need it before I'll see them again. Not knowing the answer is holding up my work or someone else's, and if they don't answer I'm going to get really pissed, day off or not, personal cell phone or not.

With my guys, I can just keep them at work for ungodly hours without paying them any more, just in case I have a question, if that's what I want to do. So answering their phone is kind of an unspoken agreement - you want to take a day off, OK, if I can contact you should the need arise. That's not exactly your situation, but it's probably your boss's attitude about it.

So when you get fired, no need to make a stink, but also no need to act sorry. It was two people with different expectations and it didn't work out. It happens. Just be polite and work together for one last day to get the admin done and get your paycheck. Good luck on your next job.
posted by ctmf at 11:35 AM on July 13, 2008

Response by poster: Woot: I do know I'm getting fired. I've been told by a coworker.
posted by blackout at 12:03 PM on July 13, 2008

Response by poster: ctmf: For what it's worth the boss has little to no involvement in the running of front end of the business, I have clients that have been with us for 6+ months that have never seen or spoken to the owner. All front end work is done myself and the other subcontractors, unless a prospective client calls the owner. In that case he will a) not answer the phone, and get the phone number off the voice mail for one of the subcontractors to call or b) talk to them long enough to get a phone number for one of the subcontractors to call.
As far as the back end work goes, it mostly consists of him writing checks. As long as the subcontractors are doing their job bringing money in (which in the time I've been here I've brought in $135,000.00+ by myself) he has the assets to do his job write the rent checks, etc.
Honestly the man works maybe 2 hours a week.
posted by blackout at 12:14 PM on July 13, 2008

It sounds like you can get the job done from start to finish.

Think seriously about going into business for yourself.
posted by coffeefilter at 12:59 PM on July 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

I don't know the procedures for this but is there some way to be a whistleblower or file a complaint with the proper authorities about the unsafe equipment? That is no joke.
posted by citron at 2:03 PM on July 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Er, I mean of course you know it is no joke, just a figure of speech here, but, there must be some way to make sure the alarm is raised so that this situation doesn't continue until someone is seriously injured or killed.
posted by citron at 2:04 PM on July 13, 2008

Personally, I'd go into the meeting with a letter of resignation and a great attitude...telling him that I've found a new opportunity and while it was a pleasure *ahem* to work for him, I'm moving on now so I'll just be getting my stuff and going.

I'm not saying it's the RIGHT thing to do, or even a remotely smart thing to do, but I hardly ever let that stop me.
posted by kattyann at 3:52 PM on July 13, 2008

As an employer, it looks to me more like you have already quit "All of my clients love me, several have expressed to me that they are seriously considering no longer doing business with the owner and continuing on with me at my next job where I will be doing the same thing." than him firing you. When did you have this conversation with your clients? If I was the owner I would be looking over your contract very carefully to see if you violated it.
posted by HappyHippo at 4:25 PM on July 13, 2008

Best answer: I really can't imagine how any employer imagines s/he can get you to do his/her bidding without paying you to do so. Unless you're being paid a retainer salary and there is a clear expectation that you are always on the clock, I can't see that you have any obligation whatsoever to pick up his phone calls outside of business hours. And he doesn't leave a message? Well, what if you don't have call display? How the hell are you supposed to know that its even him?

Passive-aggressive power-tripping does not a good work atmosphere make.

I second everyone who says you should bring a letter of resignation with you and share the sad/happy news that you have found a great new opportunity, and ask if two weeks' notice is sufficient.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:58 PM on July 13, 2008 [2 favorites]

I wanted to tell him was about the sub par equipment that puts my life, my clients life and the $250,000.00 machine at risk nearly every time we utilized it, merely for the fact that he didn't want to pay a mechanic $40/hour to look at issues I brought up regarding safety of the machine.

If he didn't listen to you the first time you told him the equipment needed work, he won't listen to you while he's firing you. If you really think the equipment is unsafe, complain to OSHA (or whatever your state calls it), after you get your last paycheck. At least that would be a semi-righteous "fuck you."
posted by faster than a speeding bulette at 7:43 PM on July 13, 2008 [2 favorites]

"I often have to call people that work for me during their "off" time. I expect them to answer the fucking phone."

Looks like your boss is checking in.

This is not the way to run a business or treat employees. Something isn't right somewhere if this seems normal to you.
posted by gjc at 8:00 PM on July 13, 2008 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Your story is full of holes, and you spend a lot of time defending yourself in your posts, but never really discussing why exactly you're getting fired. Oh, yes, the phone thing.

Here's what you should remember for your next job: as early as possible in your job, find out your role in the company. It seems your boss had one idea and you had another idea about your role in this (former) company. The way to find out your role is to take some time and sit down with your boss and ask him/her. Many bosses are more than happy to tell you your role ad nauseum. Maybe your boss was poor at telling you.

At this job you seem to have a complete communication breakdown, not about the actual missed calls, but your job and role in relation to the calls. You thought your time off was your time off, but your boss thought differently. Who's right? I don't know, but you and your boss do. In short, you should've talked with your boss about the phones a long time ago.
posted by zardoz at 4:54 AM on July 14, 2008

Please let us know how this goes.
posted by sondrialiac at 6:34 AM on July 14, 2008

Are you being "fired" or "let go"? There's a big difference. This situation may not be acrimonious at all - it doesn't sound like they have the money to keep you on. Be the bigger guy - it will give you the most satisfaction. On the other hand, if you are being "fired" I would submit my resignation first. Never give out your managers name as a reference - always use your coworker friend.

As far as the phone thing goes, I always ask that my employers contact me via email. If I'm "on call" than I'm usually being paid for that time - unless this is a specific requirement of the job - like you are a doctor or something.
posted by xammerboy at 7:30 AM on July 14, 2008

Response by poster: So I went in this morning for the company (all four of us) meeting. We all sit down, he starts going into the problems currently going on and how I am at the root of them all because I don't answer my phone. How me not answering my phone is causing him to have to work too much which is causing a communication break down in the whole company. Which is bull because all of the subcontractors need not communicate with each other as we just need to deal with our clients and be done with it, we talk more about going out and getting some beers than about work related matters.
The whole meeting took maybe 15 minutes, and I just sat back and let him talk. I kinda felt bad for the guy, his face was shaking, he was sweating, his voice was cracking and kinda looked like he was gonna cry.
He kept asking me if I had anything to say, which I didn't. I could tell he either wanted a) me to beg for my job or b) me to get in an argument with him. Neither of which were worth my time.
He said what he wanted, told me to get my stuff together. I said while I'm doing that write my check and I'll give my keys back when you give me my check.
Got all my stuff together loaded it in my car, got my check gave him my keys and got on my bike and drove to one my clients homes where I'll be storing it for a short while.
The owner called that same client when we were out to lunch, and asked if he had heard (that's I'd be fired) and if he wanted to start working with another of the subcontractors, the client said no, he would no longer be doing business with the owner and he would continue using me for his needs. At which point the owner promptly got pissed and hung up on him.
Apparently this went on with three of my other clients. Two of which (the one I was at lunch with and another) are the main clients and source of income for the company.
The client I was at lunch with thinks the owner will ask me to come back, if so I will promptly decline and continue on with my four clients on my own.
posted by blackout at 11:43 AM on July 14, 2008 [3 favorites]

It's never easy to fire someone. From the sounds of it your boss was nervous. I'm glad you got your money and are keeping some clients.
posted by LoriFLA at 3:51 PM on July 14, 2008

So he might not be the ideal employee, but now he is the boss, and he seems responsible to the customer, so there is good chance for success into the future. Many people make poor employees and great business owners/service providers. My uncle is a perfect example. He never could stomach a boss, he was literally the guy who tried to say yes sir and only managed a fuck you. Yet, when he took control, he put all his energy into his clients and became an outstanding success. Put the customer first - succeed. I think blackout will succeed just fine. He has the right attitude about the customer, but no I would not hire him as an employer, but probably yes as a client. We all need to find the right path in our professional lives and if blackout can serve the client he is headed for success.
posted by caddis at 7:44 PM on July 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

A big part of being self-employed is relationship management. That means, in order to attract and retain contracts, sometimes it's necessary to take phone calls at 10pm, and it's always necessary to return calls promptly to a client/boss. If you don't, you will lose your contract.

Relationship management also includes good communication skills, and this will help you set boundaries. This is tougher to do, since most bosses are type-A personalities, and like to set their own boundaries. Still, you have to explain there are times when you are unavailable, and explain that it is because you are employed on an hourly basis. However, you can soften this rejection by offering him different solutions - schedule more time to be available (and paid) or negotiate a retainer.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:04 AM on August 1, 2008

...he starts going into the problems currently going on and how I am at the root of them all because I don't answer my phone. How me not answering my phone is causing him to have to work too much which is causing a communication break down in the whole company.

I think at the very least at this point I would have asked him why he didn't answer your calls and messages. This would have let the rest of the staff know that you weren't totally blowing off the boss and it would have been interesting to see what he had to say.

I'm glad you got the funds you were due and are now able to move on with a clear conscience! Good luck!
posted by SoftSummerBreeze at 12:23 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

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