Hi all, I joined this message board as my hopes are that someone can help me find the light at the end of the tunnel. I was terminated today, mainly out of the blue, for very little reasons that apparently piled up, and gave my district manager a reason in his mind to fire me. I'm very stunned and shocked and I'm having a hard time grasping everything.
I am 23, graduated from a university with a 4 yr. degree. I've never been in trouble with the law, not even a speeding ticket even though I was once given a warning. I did well in school and always got good grades. I had a couple part-time jobs, one I quit in high school and another I basically quit when it was time to look for a full-time career after college.
I held an internship with a management internship. Then, a month after graduating, I got lucky and found a job with a convenience store/gas station chain(remain nameless) as an assistant manager in training. I trained for about 6 months and was reclassified into an assistant manager, a position that I held for a year until today.
A year ago, I had a complaint filed against me. Short story is that a customer threatened to have my job and she made a complaint. I got off with a write-up but nothing about bad customer service. I just happened to get the wrong woman angry at the wrong time but I WAS NOT written up for bad customer service. I signed the write up document though for a safety issue.
In 2010, I was put in charge of the store for 2 weeks and I made a bad mistake by putting fake numbers in the log book so as to make it appear that I was keeping track of it. I already was putting in the extra hours but not being a true manager, I had a difficult time getting the counts in everyday. I admitted this to my district manager and I guess he gave me a verbal write-up, but I didn't sign anything.
Reason for Termination:
1. I was again put on duty as the interim manager as my manager went on vacation for 2 weeks. This time, I made sure to count like I was supposed to and there were other days where the shift leader/supervisors would count , so we all did it together. Unfortunately, some days were not logged into the binder and this issue was never brought to my attention until today when I was fired. I was not aware of what was going on and if those counts were being done or not, so those might have been the days that the counts were not logged. So, this was reason #1, b/c in my DM's words, I was responsible for making sure this was done when I didn't even know this. My manager never even explained this to me and certainly, it's been 1 month since and my manager never even brought this issue up to me so it came out of left field.
2. there were 2 complaints filed while I was on duty. One was against me and another against my co-worker but I was in the area and was told that I did not do enough to diffuse a situation
A. This time, a woman claimed a problem. Apparently, she made a complaint against me that I did not do enough for her. I tend to believe this was a fluke complaint b/c perhaps the woman was in a bad mood and I got the wrong person upset at the wrong time.
B. On the same day, another woman took offense to how <my coworker> was talking to her and she started raising her voice. At that point, I knew the customer would file a complaint and my hopes were to calm the customer down and not make the situation any worse. It got to the point where both were talking very loudly to each other and I just stood there, unsure of what to do, b/c I did not want the customer to get angry with me either. Her complaint was mainly at him but since I was next to him, my manager/district manager basically said I didn't do enough and I became guilty by association.
So, essentially, the summary here is that I was terminated due to 2 complaints filed against the store in the same day. Then, my district manager used the other 2 situations in my backgroundas further reason to fire me. Even though, when I had my evaluation done in 2010, he told me that I would be starting off fresh with a clean slate, so I didn't understand why he was using those 2 situations against me again.
Overall, if you asked my co-workers, they would say I was one of the hardest working people in the store. I believe there was a personal agenda to an extent b/c a lot of the reasons I was terminated were little reasons. Unfortunately, they built up to the point where the district manager was ready to fire me.
So, I feel like most of my issues were little issues that tend to happen when you are always learning on the job.
What Should I Do:
At this point, I'm stunned and shocked and not sure where to go from here. Do I have a gripe that I can bring to an HR representative? I have already left voicemails for my HR rep. and his boss who is the HR manager for one of the regions in the U.S. in hoped that I can give my side of the story and have a chance to represent myself b/c my district manager basically fired me without allowing me a chance to defend myself.
I feel very scared and helpless b/c even though I'm young and have a lot of money saved up, I tend to believe that this will ruin my chances of finding a good career for the current time being. I was already looking for another job b/c my district manager basically bullied me and others and he forewarned me that he would have no problem firing anybody for any reason, so I knew this day was coming but I did not know what the reason would be for my termination, I just had this gut instinct for the last 6 months that it was coming.
As I said before, I'm a good kid and consider myself to be a hard worker with a good attitude and a willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve results. Please help me because I'm not in a good place right now.
Last edited by Administrator; 01-26-2012 at 10:45 PM.
Reason: removed identifying info
Re: Suggestions on how to Handle My Termination....
I have no doubt that you will land on your feet, learn from this, and move beyond it in a positive way. You seem to have the right tools. You also seem to have a good gut sense, which can be trusted. You have discovered that sometimes we are let go for seemingly personal reasons no matter how hard we try. Good chemistry with co-workers/superiors is so key to job security I think. You perceived your boss as a bully and he bragged about firing people. You saw the writing on the wall.
I've been in your shoes. In my case I hated the job but was still devastated to be let go. It ultimately led to a better job fit for me. I made a point to avoid working in a similar environment. Customer service is tough work and there will always be complaints.
You seem to have good credentials and a good work ethic. Try to keep focused on your strengths. Maybe you can get some reference letters from co-workers who can speak to your strong points. Try to stay positive. Everyone has a personality clash with a co-worker or supervisor (or customer) at some point. When you start to interview, stay positive.
Analyze what you might do differently next time. When you face a challenge, could you brainstorm with a boss/co-worker or trusted friend on how to solve the problem? Maybe you could offer some solutions next time to expedite a tedious process (like the cigarette count).
Finally, it's awesome that you've been saving b/c these things happen in life & they are often beyond our control. Take time to process this b/c it is shocking & hard to cope with initially. Sharing is a good thing and you will find that many people you respect have a similar story to tell you. Keep perservering. This too shall pass!
Re: Suggestions on how to Handle My Termination....
Yea and the ironic thing is that I just bought a car about 6 weeks ago, but luckily I've been saving my money like crazy, not spending much of it b/c my dad got laid off 3 years ago and I see that he saved his money and at least he has a cushion right now with everything paid off(mortgage, car, etc...)
I took a similar cue b/c you never know what will happen. I meant he job itself was fine, a little repetitive, but I got along great with all of my co-workers. The biggest thing was that it was never a problem with my manager and myself. Him and I had a good professional working relationship and he was never the real problem even though he has some bad flaws like everyone. My district manager is the one who wrote me up for stuff, decided to give me a bad raise, and it was him alone who made the decision b/c I worked Monday overnight and I saw that I was on the schedule for the next work week. Come Wednesday, I am completely off the schedule, so I understood there was a problem and that the manager probably only found out about it the day before or perhaps he didn't know until yesterday.
Anyways, I've been trying to reach out to my HR Rep, his HR manager, and the HR manager in another region. All I got was voicemails and I left some long 4-5 minute messages in the hopes that I can provide my side of the story b/c basically, I was fired without having a chance to give me side of the story like I did in this original post.
I believe there was some bad blood. He knew I didn't like him but I tried to do the best I could to avoid him and just stick to my job and do what I could for my store. I believe he looked for reasons to get rid of me. He was not the person who hired me, I was hired by a former district manager who was either forced or decided to take a different position with the company. It came to a point where after I complained about my low raise, he told me that if I didn't make improvements in the areas that I thought I needed to improve in and if I didn't want to advance to become a store manager, he had the right to demote me or terminate me. From that point on, I knew I was in trouble and everything between July and the end of December was fine, no issues. As soon as a couple of minor issues took place, I got the boot.
It could be a lot worse of course but I had this plan that I would work my way up the ladder and eventually get into my real field of interest which is marketing. In the mean time, I graduated from college and was getting a lot of useful experience. But now, this is a real stumbling block for me.
Last edited by Administrator; 01-26-2012 at 10:32 PM.