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tinyfaery's avatar

I think I'm going to get fired tomorrow. What should I do?

Asked by tinyfaery (36014 points ) August 6th, 2011 from iPhone

I work at a group home. I’ve done this sort of work (crisis intervention/babysitting) for many years and at a few different places; places good, bad and in between.

I always knew this place was so-so when it comes to the therapeutic process, but some shit went down last night that left me cold. I almost walked out of that place until I realized all this one girl had was me.

This morning I vented to a coworker and now my boss wants to see me early for my shift tomorrow. I’m almost positive someone gossiped and now I think I’m going to get chewed out.

Maybe I was right, maybe I was wrong. That’s not the issue. I think I’m gonna be confronted and probably fired.

I’m not sure how to handle it. Should I tell her exactly how I feel about what was said and done or should I just STFU and accept whatever she has to say?

I know I’m dumb. Sometimes I should just keep my big mouth shut.

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47 Answers

linguaphile's avatar

What type of relationship do you already have with your boss? That might help with the suggestions

tinyfaery's avatar

Barely know her. She is never around. She is very terse and cold in my opinion

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

If tommorow your boss starts to use “firing words”, I’d be honest and outright and tell her exactly what is on your mind and then some. If I were getting fired, I want to go out of there telling it like it is. It would make me feel better being honest rather than hiding behind it all.

Jeruba's avatar

Did your venting include criticism of the management?

Have there been other incidents where anyone spoke up, and what happened?

Is there a legal issue involved? an ethical issue?

If you were applying for a new job anyway, would you be dependent on these folks for a reference?

And most important (to me), what does your gut tell you? And where does your sense of right and wrong point you?

plethora's avatar

If someone is going to fire you, they are going to fire you and probably will not be persuaded otherwise. I would not want to go out with a load on my chest that she really ought to know about. I would gently ask her permission to share some exit remarks and then tell her what you want her to hear. But I would go real easy if you want a recommendation from them for another job..

jonsblond's avatar

Suck it up if you want to keep the job.

Tell her how you really feel if you don’t care what happens and hope for the best.

tinyfaery's avatar

I criticized management, and it was warranted. Legal issues are involved. In CA, group homes are subject to Community Care Licensing and this place does not adhere to all the rules.

What happened last night was everything one is not supposed to do when a child is in crisis, especially when they are threatening suicide and murder.

KateTheGreat's avatar

Just deal wit’ it.

If you’re going to get fired, the decision has been made. Just be professional about leaving and don’t make an ass out of yourself. Better to walk out with pride and find somewhere else that suits you.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Jeruba's avatar

In that case, @tinyfaery, I would take measures to protect yourself (such as documenting what happened while it’s still fresh and including any objective evidence if you have it) and then be prepared to speak your piece, calmly, rationally, and without anger. Can you? If you know you’re likely to be volatile, maybe think it through beforehand.

Silence is your only reasonable alternative to the truth. I don’t see you as one who’ll simply cave and endorse a falsehood.

I think your sense of what’s right is the guide to follow. If you can be an advocate for youngsters in that environment, where one is obviously needed, perhaps you want to stay. If you are expected to compromise your ethics, perhaps you don’t.

In the end I don’t think you can influence what the boss is going to do tomorrow. You can only control your response to it.

funkdaddy's avatar

Go in with a plan as to how you can get their services up to par. Present it as you understand everyone was under pressure yesterday, yourself included, but you’d like to see it fixed for everyone involved. The company so they don’t get busted, yourself so you don’t have to go through that again, and first and foremost for the patients.

Make it about them.

If you can, keep your cool even if they fire you, and if you can, present your plan even if they fire you. Something may come up down the road for whatever situation happened and maybe even your part in it. If they are firing you, that may be their “corrective action”, let them know that’s not enough and let them know you know it.

If you’re fired tomorrow, you’re fired already and you have to take care of yourself and your patients from here. If you’re not fired, you still have to work with these people who may or may not know what they’re doing isn’t correct. Go in with the attitude of helping them fix it for the patients and whatever happens take it in stride as much as you can.

The meeting very well may be so everyone is on the same page if the same situation happens again. Firing may just be a fear at this point.

dappled_leaves's avatar

If I were worried that my job was on the line, I would go in with an open mind – be prepared for your boss to unfairly fire you, but also be prepared for her to just want to talk to you. I would think carefully about what I wanted to say, so that I’m less emotional when talking about what happened. Be professional, be straightforward, be prepared to just listen to advice.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Hawaii_Jake's avatar

First, don’t think of yourself as dumb. You’re not. You’re a passionate, reasonable person with a job to do serving the needs of patients.

You’ve already got some great advice from the others who’ve written before me. I especially like @Jeruba‘s idea of documenting the incident while it’s still fresh in your mind. If you have any evidence, preserve it. If not, then simply write out a narrative of the timeline of events including the names of the participants.

I also really like @funkdaddy‘s idea of going in with a plan ready to hand over as to how they can get their home up to standards mandated by law. Such a plan doesn’t have to be extremely detailed. It can be a simple point-by-point explanation of how to address the issues.

Finally, remember that you are worth the effort of remaining calm in the eye of the storm. You are worth it. All hell may break loose, or it may not. Breathe deeply on your way to work. Do what works for you to stay calm.

Remember that we’re here to help you through all eventualities. Obviously, we can’t be in the room with you, but we can help you afterwards.

tinyfaery's avatar

Not getting into it.

Thanks, @funkdaddy and @dappled leaves, all excellent suggestions. I may be blowing this out of proportion. It’s just that this event was so traumatic for the child, and thus for me. I, unlike some, truly empathize with the mental illnesses and problems these kids have. To me it was a huge deal.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
cheebdragon's avatar

If you don’t need to collect unemployment, I’d go in and just quit before they say anything…..but either way, free office supply’s! Extra pens are always cool, especially when they are free.

(I haven’t had an actual job in about 5 years so I’m probably the last person you should take advice from.)

bob_'s avatar

I think some very good ideas have been given by those who responded before me.

To add to what they have said, I would like to ask you, if I may, what would you like to happen? Do you want to keep your job? Protect your reputation? Are you conncerned about any potential legal ramifications? Are you worried about the child who had the crisis?

tinyfaery's avatar

Being fired isn’t cool, but I could live without the job. I’m worried about the staff and the clients at the facility. I also hate job searching. Ultimately, my desires are selfish, like all things.

bob_'s avatar

Then I think the best thing you can do is to try to keep your cool. Like @KatetheGreat said, if a decision has been made to fire you, then that is that, but if you snap at them, you risk getting blacklisted, which would make your future job searching a bigger pain. Also, if you can explain to them what you think is being done wrong in a way that is not seen as confrontational, they will be more likely to listen, which ultimately helps the children.

This is obviously a lot easier said than done, so good luck,

Nullo's avatar

Be honest, but tactful.

lillycoyote's avatar

I haven’t read the other responses and I apologize for that but I am going to say, if it does happen, go on your way and out the door with as much dignity as you can muster. Other than that, if it does happen, there’s not much you can do. Don’t burn your bridges.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
Nullo's avatar

Be respectful and slightly deferential in your speech.
Professional huffing (not the sort that accuses the boss!) might help, especially if you make it about the patients. Might also help if you can line up your actions with their core values, mission statement, w/e. It sounds like you blew up for a reason; if you can present that reason well, you might save your bacon.

rooeytoo's avatar

Most of above sounds reasonable, it is up to you, what you want to do with it.

But what about the kid. I know you can’t solve the problems of the world, but will this kid have someone to turn to if you are not there? If not, can you arrange to have someone else step in to mentor her if you indeed get the axe?

Bellatrix's avatar

I think there has been some great advice here. Is there a union for your industry and are you a member? If not, can you become a member? Just to be safe?

I would also add, if you feel you have to explain anything and doing so will help you keep your and you feel you were perhaps tactless in your comments or unprofessional, I would admit to that but I would then calmly explain your response was brought about by frustration because of problems you have noticed and your concern for the clients. If you are tactful and honest, maybe it will bring about some useful change?

I open my mouth and say too much at times too. It happens. I hope you aren’t penalised for speaking the truth.

gorillapaws's avatar

If they tell you you’re fired I’d blackmail them with reporting the violations to the proper authorities, that you’ll expect an excellent reference and a generous severance. Have evidence/documentation. Best wishes.

Bellatrix's avatar

@tinyfaery that was meant to read “so will help you keep your JOB and you feel you were perhaps tactless…” I changed it and stuffed it up completely. Hope it works out.

FutureMemory's avatar

I would do my best to document in as much detail as possible the violations at the facility in order to have something concrete to counter any potential blacklisting your employer may attempt in the future.

Cruiser's avatar

This is truly an actionable moment. You HAVE to stand your ground and make it crystal clear that this terrible situation that exists within what this girl in crisis needs contrasted to what the services this facility you work(ed) for was providing. Be specific and to the point and make it clear that you will either defend this girl here at your place of employment or in court.

Facade's avatar

Personally, I would do what needs to be done in order to make sure the people you are trying to help are being treated in the right way rather than put them to the side to keep my job. But then again, I’ve been called crazy and dumb for having such notions, so like the others have said, decide what’s most important and act accordingly when your boss speaks with you.

john65pennington's avatar

Tell the truth. Be honest and explain why you did or did not do. If you were wrong, apologize and maybe it will be accepted.

Learn from this experience.

janbb's avatar

Lots of good, if conflicting, advice. I wouldn’t presume to tell you what to do. Do think out what result would be best for you and the institution and if you can, temper your response to achieve that goal. Best of luck tomorrow, dear!

jca's avatar

Please post an update, if you wish, as to what happened and how you handled it.

JCA
The Update Lady

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m fired. She says it was because of the schedule, then said maybe I’d fit in better at another place. Yeah—a good one.

Oh, well. I cried a bit, now I’m over it. Back to looking for a job.

gorillapaws's avatar

I’d report them for any serious violations. Karma’s a bitch.

jca's avatar

You’d think she’d have some more balls and tell you the real reason.

rooeytoo's avatar

@tinyfaery – good luck on your quest. Working for jerks sucks so you’re probably better off now anyhow!

Jeruba's avatar

@tinyfaery, I’m sorry that happened to you. It feels lousy to be fired even if you are better off. Good luck with whatever happens next.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@tinyfaery : Best of luck to you. Wherever you land will be lucky to have you.

Bellatrix's avatar

I am sorry to hear this @tinyfaery. No matter how right you know you are, that would feel like crap. It won’t help right now I know, but usually when this sort of thing happens you find yourself in a better place. Might take a little time, but you will find a better job in a place that will respect your care for your clients and your integrity.

jonsblond's avatar

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. You’ll find a position better suited for you and those you want to help.

Good luck.

janbb's avatar

@tinyfaery so sorry to hear that! Best of luck in finding a new job!

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@tinyfaery Sorry to hear that, but like @jonsblond says, everything happens for a reason. I believe that.

Good luck in finding a new job. All the best to you.

tinyfaery's avatar

Just filed for unemployment and submitted a few resum├ęs. I’m good to go.

janbb's avatar

Good for you!

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