1st July 2024, 6:18am – Journal Entry #52

Mood: Meh
Weather: 27°C, Light Showers
Location: Mont Fleuri, Mahe, Seychelles

I slept in a weird way a few days ago and this kink in my neck hasn’t gone away. I was also drinking a few days ago and the headache hasn’t subsided. I’ll take a 50mg dose of sumatriptan in just a bit and hope that works out.

We hit our target last month (June) but it was too close to our monthly average and so we cannot conclude that having an additional employee improves our performance from a financial standpoint. For this reason, we decided to let one of our casuals go. It was something we had already decided last week but we made a strategic decision to let one of them go yesterday, as opposed to letting her go while she was at the office. We were going to let go of the loose cannon (C2) but we felt she works better without C1’s support; C1 being the manipulative, demanding one. My sister sent C1 a text, thanking her for her time and the 1.5 months she spent with us.

C1 called back with a “what is this text that you sent to me?” feeling so entitled. I heard my sister on the phone with her, my sister was speaking in a calm and composed tone and explaining that we decided to keep only one. C1 asked “why me over C2 though?” and all of a sudden I hear my sister raise her voice by saying “C1, don’t shout at me, why are you shouting at me?” and after a few more similar exchanges, one of them cut the call. It all happened so fast that my sister thinks it could be either her or C1 that cut the call. When C1 initially raised her voice, she then shouted “why are you screaming at me?” and we assume that someone was there with her, listening in so she wanted to play the victim. Why in the world would we shout at her, we’re not the one losing our job. This call was recorded.

The reaction to being laid off is understandable, but when the text was sent, she should have composed herself before making the call to my sister. When someone is laid off in person, I expect it’s difficult to compose yourself because it’s all happening so fast. But when it happens through text message, you have that choice to take all the time you need to compose yourself before saying something like “thank you for the opportunity” because any future with the business is still possible, especially because you weren’t fired. I was going to beg a friend of mine to take her, he probably would have. But she really did us a favour when she reacted without humility and grace.

I’m pretty sure she later called C2 to ask her if she had received a text from us as well, which she did not. We placed an extension of contract on the desk for C2 to read & sign. This time we have specified a period of 1 month. In Seychelles a contract for casuals is not required because they are “employed” per hour or per day, but because these kids don’t seem to understand the meaning of what a casual worker is (they think it’s synonymous to “probation” which is not. Casual workers only require 1 day’s notice, not the 7-days notice required by employees on probation, to leave their place of employment. This was all stated in their contracts when we first took them in, and they clearly did not read their contract. We asked them if they understood the contract and they both said “yes”, but they clearly did not.

Online, there are people talking about how important it is for employees to fully understand why they are being laid off, and the “correct” reasons. Plain and simple: there is no way to do this properly and there is no reason that will ever be good enough for anyone that is being laid off. Employees are only thinking of themselves, which they should. But they need to understand that businesses have to apply what is best for the business. A while back this girl was fired by Google and the comments on her video included stupid opinions such as “massive companies can afford to employ people they don’t need” – where are all these people educated really? Why in the world would any company, massive or minute, hire someone they don’t need?

As a business, should I lose on profit so that I can hire a person I can do without? This is as ridiculous as some random person asking you to give them $3000 of your $10,000 pay check at the end of the month “just ‘coz”. You wouldn’t do it because WHY the heck would you work to give someone a chunk of your money for no reason whatsoever? The same thing applies to any business, why in the world would we hire someone we don’t need? It’s a for-profit business, not a charity. Why can’t people understand something so simple? The reasons for being laid off doesn’t matter, it is always tied down to cutting expenses in order to increase profits. Profits help to sustain the business because a percentage always goes back into the business, whether you’re fortifying contingency, buying new equipment, improving the environment or increasing salaries and benefits of the staff that you actually want to keep. It’s always a business decision, not a personal one.

I went online to watch layoffs and the “appropriate” ways to do it. There are just opinions all over the place from employees. Here’s the thing – as an employer – above all else, we have to protect our lives. If C1 actually started going psycho-crazy on us over the phone, how would she have handled a face-to-face interaction? I remember being a moderator on a forum a while back. 2 girls (“girl A” and “girl B”) really wanted to be moderators too but I only needed one. I gave it to the one I felt was more “stable” but that’s not what I told the other one. I simply announced it on the forum that “girl A is going to be the new moderator, let us welcome her” and girl B proceeded to delete her thousands of posts. Do you know how long it takes to delete thousands of posts on a forum? There was no option to “delete all”, it’s something she would have had to take down one by one. She had thousands of posts because I previously held a competition of “the person with the most posts wins an ipod nano” and it was a way for our new forum to have lots of posts. So her decision to take down all her posts was malicious – and that’s what many people do when they are laid off: they react by doing something malicious to the company. This is why large companies like Google would have to restrict access to your corporate account even before they let you go: in case you start doing stupid things such as deleting customer accounts, sending mass emails to customers using your corporate email, and basically go out with a bang by damaging anything and everything you can on your way out.

The day I had a huge argument with my last boss, I waited for a day to let him know that I was done. By then, this had been our 3rd major argument pertaining to him forcing me to work with an assistant who wasn’t assisting me in any way. I started the day by clearing out my mess on the company’s desktop computer. I organized the files neatly for the next person, labelling each and every important file and folder. I listed down all the pending deliverables on a notepad document on the desktop, including usernames and passwords that they would need. I also threw out paper and clutter from my desk. I then told my boss that I wasn’t coming in anymore. I left by texting him something in the lines of “thank you for the opportunity and entrusting me with so many projects but for the sake of our friendship and any future business relationship, my time in your company is done.” I think the first thing he did was to change my email’s password, but I’m sure he later realized I had no ill-intentions because months later when he asked me to help him out with completing a few documents, he gave me a new password to the same email account, and that’s when I realized he had changed the password to that email – because when I left the company, I didn’t even bother trying to sign-in to the email.

Leaving that company was the best thing that ever happened to me, and preserving our friendship/relationship helped me boost my current business. If I had damaged that relationship, my business wouldn’t be where it is today. Yes, leaving a company may be different from being blindsided and laid off, but the sentiments and reaction is the same – the company leaves a bad taste in your mouth that makes you mad. But how you react to being bitter can be controlled, and it really is in your best interest to remain professional, and leave without making a scene. As I’ve mentioned before, I was going to help C1 find new employment, but her aggressive reaction made me change my mind. She burned bridges, and it was the wrong move on her part.

It’s now been over a year since we’ve been dealing with shop assistants and it’s been an absolute nightmare. They were all Gen-Zs and it’s amazing how incredibly entitled they are. I’m at this point where I am no longer interested in understanding the generational gap – why should I be the one who should understand our differences? I’m the employer, shouldn’t they be the one to accommodate to my requirements and standards? Their teachers were most likely Gen-X and millennials. Their parents are most likely Gen-X or millennials. One thing is clear however: their teachers and parents failed them. One can only hope that they take all these experiences and learn from them because if they don’t, they’ll repeat the same BS the next time they’re employed.

What would all this mean to C2, who we’ve kept? Well, I now expect that she might feel as though she’s walking on thin ice so she’ll be working extra hard. Our actions will probably convince her that we really are the type of bosses that would let junior staff go with immediate effect. She will be in constant communication with C1 in the next week or so as a source of comfort, and C1 will be ranting, as well as sharing how difficult it is for her to find a new job. C1 could be using this time to sabotage C2, e.g. making sure she spends all day on the phone until we notice. As I’ve mentioned a while back, C1 is manipulative and she’s got C2 under her spell. If C2 has any common sense, she’d be smart to distance herself from C1 at this point and focus on working hard enough to convince us to change her status from “casual” to full-time employee.

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