About a month ago my employer told me they were going to fire me. Not because my position was being downsized or anything, just because I don’t fit into the corporate culture. I quickly warmed to the idea because I hate my job and I would love to collect unemployment while I look for something better. Well, time has come and gone and come again and still they haven’t fired me. I have even tried to push them into firing me and they still haven’t done it. I have taken an enormous amount of unscheduled time off, I have ignored work to play on the internet, I have come in late almost every day, etc. all for naught. My boss still hasn’t called me in to fire me like she said she was going to this time last month.
I am getting calls for interviews and using up my PTO to go out and search for other jobs, but considering I work an 8 hour day with a 2 hour commute each way my job searching time is limited. I was hoping to have the option to collect unemployment while I look elsewhere for work but they just haven’t gotten around to firing me yet. It is an incredibly tense work environment right now because we are in an obvious battle. My coworkers won’t talk to me and my boss won’t address me directly, only in voicemail and email format. It makes me sick to my stomach to think about going into work in the morning but it makes me equally sick to my stomach to think about not having a paycheck coming in, despite the fact that I have a little over 3 months worth of living expenses saved up and about $5,000 of open space on my credit cards.
I am now at the end of my rope. Do I go in tomorrow and push the envelope even further in hopes that they will finally get around to firing me or do I call in and tell them that I quit so that I can truly focus on my job search? If I quit I have no chance at getting unemployment but if I stay I have almost no time to focus on finding a better job.
Are you absolutely sure that they’re going to fire you in a way that makes you eligible for employment benefits? I’m not an expert on the law, but I believe that if you’re dismissed with cause, you may have some trouble collecting, at least in some states. I’d be worried that they’re building a case against you, based on your taking an enormous amount of unscheduled time off, ignoring work in favor of playing on the internet, and coming in late almost every day.
Yup, ultrafilter nailed it–you’re walking right into it, too. Better off to be a model employee, that way if they dump you you have a plausible case for unemployment. On the other hand, if they don’t document that they spoke to you about your lateness and time off and suchlike you have a much better chance. If you get a writeup sometime soon they’ve started the documentation stage and the nastygrams will come thick and fast on you. I’d be a good employee, look aggressively for something else and only quit if I had something better in the bag. The current economy is no place to be jobless…
Not only have they not documented it, they have not spoken to me about it at all. It feels like a really complex game of chicken…they know they have no documentation of ever discussing anything with me so the odds that they would have to pay out are good (not 100%, but the lawyer I spoke to said I’d have an excellent shot of collecting) so they are just trying to make my life miserable so I’ll quit.
You would be surprised how fast 3 months goes by. I know that it is very tempting when you are in a bad job situation just to say to hell with it and leave, but you need to keep your head about you.
Keep looking for the other job, don’t let them give you a write up without adding your protest. Be a model employee and most importantly act with class.
You will be surprised how years from now the shit you are putting up with will seem minor and you will look better on yourself if you went to work and did a good job.
Even though we have all dreamed about it, the absolute worst thing you can do is to walk in and tell your boss to shove the job up his ass and on your want out the door give an oratory to the remaining employees about how you are getting out of this hellhole. They won’t secretly be proud of you…
Serious question here: Can pbbth go in to see her manager, and say that she’s getting sick, waiting for the penny to drop? And then indicate that she’d rather be fired than to be under the constant stress of wondering when it will happen, anyway? Or am I being incredibly naive?
FTR, I think that continuing to look for work, while still employed, makes more sense - even if it is a hassle. ISTR that the NYC job market, outside of the larger companies, was flexible enough to have a lot of so-called after hours interviews.
ETA: Okay, I am 90% sure I am being incredibly naive…
Whether you like the job or not, if you get a rep for being a lazy jackass it’s not likely to help you in the long run. Employers often make “off the record” inquires re prosective hires via other bosses or employees at your firm they know socially or professionally. Unless you are going over the hills and far away, pissing in the local job market pool is not a particularly wise strategy.
Generally, to document lack of performance, you need to document the employee did it, document you told them, then have them sign their paperwork (they can comment that they don’t agree, but they need to sign that they were told). If she hasn’t seen documentation, any documentation that they DO have will have less chance to stand up to Unemployment’s scrutiny. The Unemployment office isn’t fond of employers firing workers for no reason, then making shit up to keep their premiums from increasing.
This is why firing someone with cause is such a pain in the ass. Getting someone on a “performance plan” to sign off that you told them they were misbehaving is a little like expecting your bratty toddler to actually sit in the time out chair and reflect on his misdeeds.
This is exactly what I was told by my lawyer friend. Because they have never had me sign off on anything or had any kind of meeting with me except the cryptic “we are going to fire your ass” meeting last month (at which no paperwork was produced or signed) they would more than likely have to pay out if I filed for unemployment.
I will take everyone’s advice and stop being a douche at work though. I just wish they would get on with the firing already if they are going to do it or apologize for the empty threat if they are not.
I think the consensus here is don’t give them any reason to fire you. Get back to doing what you were doing before that “we’re gonna fire you” meeting. What were your work ethics back then? I find it very odd that a managerial decision like that would have been discussed so openly. Usually things like that are kept behind closed doors. Very strange that they would let you know in advance what they were planning.
Anyway, why don’t you just throw a monkeywrench into whatever their scheme is and do your job (while looking for another, of course) as well as you can. From my own experience, collecting unemployment can be a very sticky wicket even if things are pointing your way.
And, just to let you know, I went through a similar experience of I don’t belong here anymore, somebody get me outta here but it took me 3 years to get out.
pbbth, you’re in Pennsylania? (guessing, based on the “land of chocolate” possibly meaning Hershey).
If so - PA does (or at least did, 20ish years back) limit unemployment to those who were fired without cause. My brother was one such who couldn’t collect unemployment - he wound up having to make a case to the unemployment commission that the “infraction” he was fired for was based on a) his following established procedures, which b) had been changed without notifying employees, c) for the express purpose of catching someone violating them so they could fire someone without having to get nailed for unemployment. It actually wasn’t anything personal, they were going to nail the first person who accidentally violated the new rules.
So - I agree with the folks who say hold on to the job, don’t deliberately do fire-able stuff, and look hard for something new while still employed.
I’m in NYC (it is the land of chocolate because I have about 6 bags of easter chocolate left in my dresser from when it was %75 off.) Zebra does have a point, actually, about all the other crap that has gone on for the last year that if they did fire me it could possibly be a wrongful termination suit were I so inclined to take them to court. I’m not the least bit interested in that though so they don’t need to worry about that.
They don’t really have any cause to fire me, or at least they didn’t a month ago when they had that surreal meeting with me. NY is an at will state though, so they don’t need a reason except to keep from paying out for unemployment.
The unscheduled days off I have taken for the last month have been for 1 hospital visit and 2 interviews. I have another interview later this week. I am fast running out of PTO though and if they don’t get around to firing me soon I will be fired, with cause, for taking time off of work that I don’t have PTO to account for and then I will be screwed unemployment-wise, which is why I’d like them to get around to firing me before that point so I at least have a shot of filing. I know it isn’t a guarantee but if I quit it isn’t an option at all and if I keep interviewing for other positions I will be fired with cause here in a couple of weeks and I will lose any shot I had at filing unemployment.
If they apparently won’t fire you for coming in late, but they ‘probably’ will fire you for unscheduled days off, why not just schedule your interviews for early morning and go in late those days? I’d think a prospective employer might respect your wanting to be there as much as possible for your current job, and be willing to work with you on interview scheduling.
I try to do that as often as possible. The commute from the area where I am interviewing and where I work is pretty long though…it is a 2 hour commute from home to work and most of the jobs I am looking at are within a half hour of my apartment. My schedule is 9-5, so if I can set an interview at 8 in the morning and it goes for an hour the earliest I could possibly be at work is 10:30. That is late enough that it would cause problems. If my interview is set at 11 or 12 there is no point in going to work at all because I would have to leave immediately upon my arrival to get to my interview on time and then when my interview is over by the time I got back to work I’d only be here for an hour or so.