Social Question

CMaz's avatar

Do I fire my employee?

Asked by CMaz (26268points) June 8th, 2010

He is a very talented individual. Hard working and smart. Not a kid either. 38.

He sees a conspiracy in everything. Also, it is his way or he is like a bratty child, becoming difficult.
I went as far as to adjust his work responsibilities. So he does not have to conflict with authority and direction.

We have had cutbacks and he was cut to part time. No question, it sucks.
I want to make that transition as easy as possible.

The problem I have is he went from the conference room (when told what is happening) to his computer where he proceed to password protect and encrypt everything.
Which is against company policy. So I sat down, had him remove all passwords and delete all security programs.
His reasoning for doing it was that he did not want the client list to get in the wrong hand. Great if he would have consulted me on that move.
But I know that is bull.

Funny thing. All his projects and the client list are gone. He is not overly upset about it and feels that some how when deleting the security programs.
The files must have gotten deleted too. I believe… I know that is a crock.

I am giving him time to clear his head and put things in order. I do not want to cut him loose. He has plenty of issues at home. Don’t we all.
Basically I have been hoping and have been impressing upon him to get everything nicy nice, by the end of the week.

He has even gone as far as to not only go over my head, but cooperate offices head trying to get to the top.Attempting to plea his case. Of course he was directed back to me.
What is tweaking me even more is he is now basically trying some half ass extortion. I KNOW, if (and it wont) he was reinstated to full time. All those documents would magically re-appear.

I know what the end result is going to be. Just want your insight on this matter.

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56 Answers

janbb's avatar

He’s got to go; he is trouble.

syz's avatar

Why would you consider not firing him?

Vunessuh's avatar

Wait till he is reinstated to full time and once the documents magically appear, fire his ass.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I’m with Vunessuh on this one.

WestRiverrat's avatar

What he is doing amounts to theft. Fire his butt and press charges.

CMaz's avatar

Do I fire my employee?

@syz – Good question. He is a good guy. His douche attitude is just getting too much.

I am VERY considering it.

@Vunessuh – To reinstate him would be to play his game. No one and noting is irreplaceable.
Besides, that just wont happen.

janbb's avatar

One thing you should not do with a troublesome insubordinate employee is wait. When he put the password on his computer, he was insubordinate. He needs to be fired and escorted off the premises.

Vunessuh's avatar

He is compromising and tampering with the company. If you don’t think the documents will reappear, then just fire him now. There’s no point in keeping him employed so he can just do more damage.
I also agree with @janbb.

Val123's avatar

O man. This is kind of one of those, “I had a feeling when I hired him….” but overlooked it. And now you wish you hadn’t. Been there. Yeah, let him go. It’ll get nothing but worse, especially if he thinks he can get away with it. If possible, for his sake, maybe have an exit interview? But that could be dangerous too. He sounds like the suing type. “You can’t fire me for having emotional immaturity issues! That’s discrimination!”

ninjacolin's avatar

pay him to leave.

lillycoyote's avatar

He’s difficult and he violated company policy. And it looks like he’s seen the writing on the wall and deleted his client list and plans to take it with him. It can’t ever be easy to fire someone. I’ve never had to but it sounds like it’s the right decision in this case.

chyna's avatar

@ChazMaz Are you NOT wanting to fire him because he is a good guy? Are you two friends?
Would you put up with this behavior from anyone else? Is his feeble extortion attempt holding you back? In my last job (only job), they had to have written a person up three times before they could fire them. Some infractions were immediate dismissal. What is your company’s policy on this?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Walk him and PRESS charges.

envidula61's avatar

Without even reading the details, I know that if you are asking this question, then his ass is already out the door. You just want confirmation.

Ok, I read the details. I was right. You can not tolerate extortion, I don’t care what is going on at home. This guy is hiding a lot of stuff from you, and that is a kind of disloyalty you can’t afford to risk, no matter how good he is.

filmfann's avatar

Fire him for destroying company materials.

And I am so sorry for you both.

CMaz's avatar

“What is your company‚Äôs policy on this?”
He is going on his fourth write up.

And we are not friends. I try to give enough rope to pull them in or they hang themselves with it.

chyna's avatar

Then don’t think twice about firing him.

FutureMemory's avatar

Does your building have a security guard? I’d summon him to my office followed by the employee, fire him, then have him escorted off the premises.

Val123's avatar

Vaporize him.

perspicacious's avatar

Yes, chaz. Let him go. If you must have cause, you have it based on what he did with his computer and the disappearance of company-owned information (client list). If you are in an at-will state, fire him without cause. This is just my opinion.

Cruiser's avatar

I had very similar situation with an employee that was chock full of resentment and he went over my head and described the situation to my boss that because of my involvement he was a tree that grew bent and once a tree grows bent it cannot ever be straightened. FF he is now a trusted key employee all because I backed off and let him do what he needed to do to do his job to his best abilities and I consistently supported his efforts which bore fruit.

He is ready to fight you and make his exit as miserable as possible or you can offer an olive branch and let his quirky personality become an asset and if that is not possible just fire him now and get it over with.

Pandora's avatar

People rarely know how to really wipe a computer of information. Take the computer to a computer tech and have them retrieve all the info and then fire his butt for theft and blackmail. Good luck to him finding a job with that as a criminal record.

john65pennington's avatar

First of all, if this computer belongs to the company, he destroyed property that did not belong to him. that, in itself, is a firing offense. no offense to you, but you have kissed his rear end long enough. 38 or not, he still acts immature and that is something your company does not need. you have done your part to make this employee as “comfortable” as possible. the destroying of important information on a company computer is not acceptable. that alone, would be grounds for dismissal.

Trillian's avatar

Set phasers on “kill” Mr. Spock.

Buttonstc's avatar

This is not all that dissimilar to dealing with kids (if you are the parent or teacher).

You do your best to avoid unnecessary conflict whenever possible. But if a conflict is inevitable, you need to do whatever you must to NOT LOSE. You cannot allow him to get over on you like that as things will just continue to deteriorate.

He has forced your hand by his recent actions. He has drawn the line in the sand. He knows full well that destroying company property is not acceptable. He has totally flouted your authority in spite. If allowed to remain, his attitude could infect others as well.

This showdown was his choice and when one chooses the behavior, they also choose the consequences whether they like it or not.

If it were me, he would be gone already. You’ve given him lots of leeway in the past and rather than be appreciative, he’s pissed on your shoe.

You don’t need his poisonous attitude infecting every workday. He pushed it way too far. Time for him to learn that temper tantrums (especially illegal ones) are not the way to act in an adult workplace. You’ll be doing your workplace and the rest of the world a favor.

Hopefully he will learn from this.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

You should get rid of him now before he can destroy more company materials. No more warnings and certainly no notice, he’ll go on a rampage of deletions it he knows he’s on the way out. Is he a potential violence threat?

LuckyGuy's avatar

Grab the documents from your back up server. Now! They might still be there. Most companies back up for about a week. Ask your IT geek. Quietly.

roundsquare's avatar

Get rid of him. Don’t even let him use his computer. Fire him overnight and when he comes in, tell him he’s done. If needed, have security with you to escort him out.

Second, talk to you IT people. You may be able to recover what you need.

If you can setup an exit interview, go for it. You seem to want the guy to succeed in life so try to help him out… after firing him.

If you are worried about a law suit, do you have evidence of him doing stuff like this? Really, a single extortion or breaking an important company policy (such as encrypting everything) should be enough.

If you’re really worried, talk to someone above you to confirm your actions… but I don’t suggest this because they will probably get pissed off that you’ve waited to fire him.

MissA's avatar

I suspect those files are fully retrievable. If not, give him a chance to come forth with them or face charges. You might add that to take a company client list is theft.

Here it is, a time when jobs are so scarce, and people act like jerks, putting their’s on the line.

mattbrowne's avatar

I would fire him.

Very few people who see a conspiracy in everything actually suffer from schizophrenia with auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions (which they usually keep to themselves). It probably doesn’t apply in this case, but one never knows. About 0.5% of the population is affected. In this case they are sick and not jerks. They need treatment.

bob_'s avatar

Fire him, but give him a sandwich to soften the blow.

CMaz's avatar

Thank you all for your insight. :-)

It helps me out plenty! :-)

Val123's avatar

@bob_ Yeah….a poo samwhich, right!?

bob_'s avatar

@Val123 Um, I was actually thinking pastrami…

CMaz's avatar

Hold on there!

If anyone is getting a pastrami sandwich, it is me. ;-)

janbb's avatar

@ChazMaz I’ll buy you a pastrami sandwich and a beer after you fire the guy.

CMaz's avatar


Val123's avatar

Isn’t pastrami gross? Sounds gross. Like corned beef. I’ll take the beer though.

CMaz's avatar

@Val123 – You silly goose. :-)

On rye bread. Mustard, with a kosher (crunchy) pickle.
Or a Reuben sandwich (corned beef).

So yummy!

Val123's avatar

@ChazMaz I hate every one of those things! Rye bread (which I’ve never had) mustard AND pickles! Not to mention corned beef. Frow up.

CMaz's avatar

Well, as the saying goes.

To eat your own. Or is that, To Each His Own? ;-)

janbb's avatar

@ChazMaz For most of us, that’s a physical impossibility.

Silhouette's avatar

I could probably get over his conspiracy theories but I don’t think I would be able to get over the big dramatic titty fit. I would have to cut him loose.

Val123's avatar

Let us know what you do…..

lilikoi's avatar

@ChazMaz But aren’t you afraid he’ll see this?

FutureMemory's avatar

I second everyone’s wish to know what the eventual outcome is, Chaz.

CMaz's avatar

@lilikoi – No, it takes a VERY unique individual to be on Fluther.

Something this individual lacks. Not to say this person does not have unique qualities.
But, Fluther not being one of them.

@FutureMemory – When the mess is all cleared up. And it is in the process. I will have a great story to tell.

Well, great for me.

Val123's avatar

Looking forward to the story. I’m unique?? That is so COOL!!! I thought I was just a one-woman wrecking crew!

downtide's avatar

If he’s tampering with company computer equipment/software/data, don’t wait. Fire him now, and escort him off the premises.

CMaz's avatar


Employee has been fired. Actually he fired himself. Leaving for lunch, not coming back and not telling me is considered walking off the job.

This individual not only encrypted all the data, he destroyed all the back up files. All hard copies are gone too.
Not only is this persons ability to get a job in this town damaged. Jobs are scarce enough as it is. There will be legal charges agents him because of the destruction to company property. Meaning possible jail time.

For the next month it is going to be a real pain in the ass getting all the data back.
But, in the end we will be stronger without this person.

roundsquare's avatar

@ChazMaz Sucks about the data. But still, like you said, its for the better.

Good luck with the legal challenges and stuff. Hope it works out.

FYI – I’d suggest you stop posting about this. If you have legal actions coming up, this might interfere in some way. (I’m no lawyer, just a thought. So… check with your lawyer).

CMaz's avatar

Yea, just my luck. That this person would come across this post. lol

I did think of that. But for the most part what I have posted is public record.

And really, there is not much more to say.

janbb's avatar

@ChazMaz Good luck with it!

downtide's avatar

Good luck.

Val123's avatar

Good luck….

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Best of luck.

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