Web Wise Women

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Los Cambios Necesitan Mucha Paciencia


It has been rather abruptly brought to my attention lately that there are really only two kinds of people in the world. There are those who try to make life easier for others, and those who try to make life easier for themselves. Now being of the first type does not preclude getting an easier life; in fact, if you go through life making things easier for others, you will have a better time of it yourself by association. What goes around comes around, especially if it's good.

By contrast, those who go about making life better or easier or more fun for themselves without much thought to others except as an inconvenience or even obstacle will find it far more difficult to get cooperation, friendship and even love from others. My husband and I found one of those people last week when he was terminated from his job for what amounts to a difference in communication styles and a personality quirk. Ordinarily what would happen when there are communication problems is that first the pair in question work on them... and then later, if they persist, one or the other transitions to a new location within the company so that both can be ultimately successful. This did not happen.

What frustrated us most was that instead of using the many opportunities to find a solution that was mutually workable, the boss decided to hold the information private, view everything in the worst possible light, and search diligently for an excuse to fire him. Then without so much as a word about why, he was escorted from the building and put on administrative leave. Two days later, he was invited in to a meeting and fired. He was given a list of his "errors" and told that he was displaying a pattern of poor judgment. Now mind you, my husband is a person who consistently scored the highest possible ratings for the previous two years. He has (even under the new boss) a 90-95% customer satisfaction rate. He's very good at what he does, and his team is very loyal. The only thing that changed for him is the new boss, 8 months ago.

A top performer, with everything else the same, cannot go from being that good to that poor (worthy of termination) unless there's some big reason. The only change was the new boss. Therefore he hasn't changed, it's a personality difference, and it should be treated as such. Personality conflicts are really nobody's "fault," and there is no blame or shame. Things shift around and everyone is happier. That's how it should have gone.

So now...

An entire family must uproot, move, sell their house (at a loss since we just bought it 6 months ago), transfer children mid-year, and I must leave my delightful university, all because this boss chose not to take the nice, kind, reasonable approach that would have made life easier for everyone. Instead, the boss pushed out a fine employee who loved the company and developed it into an award winner two years running. Sad.

I know which kind of person I am, and I will stay one who tries to make life easier for everyone. It's the right thing to do.


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