I live in a city now infamous for its infamous mayor. At the time of writing this, there’s a huge scandal happening that involves this mayor, Rob Ford, smoking what could or could not be crack cocaine on video. At the time of writing this, nothing has been proven and the tape of the mayor possibly doing drugs still hasn’t been released (that’s the second plot in this story: the owner of the video wants cash to leave town and head west.) Two reporters from the Toronto Star, Kevin Donovan and Robyn Doolittle, saw the video and say that Ford is seen smoking a glass pipe (the pipe is referred to as “crack pipe,” which is probably a defamatory assumption unless proven otherwise). Ford appears to be acting strangely on video, making rude statements about fellow politicians, laughing and swearing, and generally being completely embarrassing.
His recreational activities, harmful or not, could be considered a private issue but he’s not a private person anymore. And this is where the problem lies: the fact is that this is a person who was chosen by the people living in his city to represent them and to do his job as that representative. I’m wondering how this would be treated if this was, let’s say, a manager of a McDonald’s. Innocent until proven guilty, of course, but would this manager not at least get suspended? I mean, McDonald’s is a corporation which has a certain public image that is represented by its employees. This is exactly like a city and its mayor — at this point, it’s not just the mayor of Toronto getting caught doing drugs on tape, it’s the whole city allowing him to stay in the office, unsuspended, because we are behind this image. We’re not, of course, but we are: as long as we let him carry on as if nothing has happened, we have the mayor we deserve.
I’m really proud of the fact that I’ve been with poss.ca for five years. Surprisingly (to me), it’s not such a common thing anymore to be in the same job for a long time — well, not that five years is that long … but in current economic climate it just might be. I graduated from school almost 10 years ago and in those 10 years, many of my friends have had three, four jobs — no one gets shocked even if people move from so-called cushy jobs to pursue more interesting opportunities. I don’t have that urge and I’m happy where I am — I like the routine, I like my team, I like the hours. I wouldn’t have lasted this long if I didn’t!
In the article Is It Time to Quit Your Job?, the writer, Cindy Perman, talks about the various pros and cons of long-term employment. She writes, “If you're still being challenged, if your compensation is fair, if your responsibilities continue to increase, then it's OK to stay at the same job a long time,” summing up what Matt Wallaert, a 30-year-old behavioral scientist at Microsoft's Bing search engine division, talked about about moving around. Wallaert says that all those “ifs” serve as the measuring stick of the decision to move.
So when is it time to move on? Basically when you no longer like where you working. More specifically, Amanda Augustine, a job search expert at The Ladders.com, lists the following signs in the article:
- You dread going to work in the morning.
- You truly dislike the type of work you're doing.
- You can't shake the feeling that you just don't fit in at the company.
- You are getting passed over for promotions.
- The work has become so routine you could do it in your sleep.
- You have serious concerns about the financial stability of your organization.
“It’s just not working out for us,” said the HR lady one day, long time ago, as I sat in her office with my about-to-be-former boss looking on with big, sad eyes. What wasn’t working out for them was me, specifically, and so I was marched back to my desk with a cardboard box, just like they do it in the movies, and I was told to pack my toys. (I did have actual toys on my desk as the company constantly supplied us with kinetic brain puzzles, like the Rubik’s Cube and such.) At the time, I was devastated and I sat on a bench in a park with my cardboard box with the toys, thinking about how sunny it was outside, yet how dark it felt inside. What I couldn’t see at the time was how good it actually was to get fired from that place. Let’s just say it: I was hopeless at that job. And I didn’t like it. And I dreaded having to go to work at that place every day (despite all the toys!). I’m sure that showed, if not in my attitude than in my aptitude.
Once the despair and shock of getting fired wore off, I was able to see how this event was actually a good thing – I now knew what I definitely wasn’t good at and, well … I could start pursuing what I was good at. In the article 10 Great Things I Learned From Getting Fired, Sallie Krawcheck, a former president of Merrill Lynch, US Trust and Smith Barney, writes about her experience of getting the boot. She lists a couple of points to keep in mind on getting fired:
- Cut the cord with the old workplace quickly.
- Have connections outside of your company.
- If you're able to, don't make any big decisions right away.
- Nobody cares as much about it nearly as much as you do.
- If you don't get fired at least once, you're not trying hard enough.
- You can't beat someone who won't give up.
Before you invest time and money into the career of your dreams, you might want to check out whether your passion can pay your bills first — that‘s where labour market information comes into the picture. And that’s what we’ll be talking about on Twitter this Tuesday, May 14, between 11 and 11:30 a.m. We’ll be joined in this tweet chat (live tweet) by our partner, Settlement.Org. Follow the conversation at #immemp, and don’t forget to come prepared with questions about LMI. By the way, the poss.ca Twitter handle is possmag.
I’m always impressed when people quit with style. I’m often reminded of that U.S. flight attendant, Steven Slater, who, fed up with one of the passengers, slid down the plane’s emergency evacuation chute after grabbing a beer from the beverage cart and drove off, making for one of the most dramatic exits anyone’s ever heard of. When the buzz about another air service worker quitting his job in dramatic style hit the news, I was worried for a moment that it was going to be desperado exit 2.0. But as it turned out, Chris Holmes, a British immigration officer, left behind the sweetest rejection letter any boss could ask for. He wrote his resignation in black icing on a cake that he baked especially for the occasion. Incidentally, he left his job to pursue his cakebaking career.
Here’s how he put it: ”I now realize how precious life is and how important it is to spend my time doing something that makes me, and other people, happy! I hereby give notice of my resignation, in order that I may devote my time and energy to my family, and to my cake business which has grown steadily over the past few years.” Holmes had an epiphany about his career choice after the birth of his son — he wanted to spend more time with his family on top of baking cakes for living. He handed in the cake on his 31st birthday. His story has gone viral since, and although we’ll never know if he was counting on this to happen, it was certainly a brilliant marketing ploy and it’ll surely make his business flourish. In conclusion (you can start rolling your eyes now): He had his cake and ate it too …
First RBC fires their staff to hire foreign workers, now a woman who was fired for … being too attractive — the employment news is getting more grotesquely entertaining by the week. When I first saw the link to Court upholds woman's firing for 'irresistible' looks on a friend’s facebook status update, I was totally convinced it was a joke — like with the RBC story, I thought it was a belated April Fools’ thing. Well, it wasn’t. A 32-year-old woman was fired from her job as a dental assistant because her boss found her too tempting. “Melissa Nelson, who is married with children, had worked for James Knight for 10 years before his wife complained about his infatuation with her.” Not sure how it happened (ahem), but Knight somehow found out that Nelson didn’t have an active sexual life and told her, “that’s like having a Lamborghini in the garage and never driving it.”
It was Knight’s wife who demanded he terminate Nelson after finding flirtatious texts he was sending to the assistant — commenting on her clothing and so on. Knight went to talk to his pastor, who suggested it was just a matter of time before an affair would ensue (because, of course, Nelson was probably dying to sleep with her boss, the man she saw as a father figure, actually). Apparently Knight — acting like a true knight — fired his faithful assistant, to save his marriage.
Nelson sued for discrimination. And then the (all-male) Iowa court decided in her bosses favour ruling “that Knight’s conduct was ‘unfair’ but ‘did not amount to unlawful discrimination’.”
Draw your own conclusions.