Sunday, January 22, 2012


Here's an incident at work I can finally find some humor in. We were looking for an administrative assistant to work from 2 p.m. to closing each night. The woman I work for with pays hourly workers on the low end. [Thankfully, she makes up for it by paying me on the high end. Heh.] But this particular job included benefits of the health care and vacation and sick time variety, so it was a decent salary for someone starting out.

I waded through a huge number of resumes, narrowed it down to a half-dozen, interviewed them over the phone, and then invited five in to talk to us. Two never showed. Among the other three, one was so-so, one was really good, and one was fabulous. We offered jobs to both the "really good" and the "fabulous." "Fabulous" accepted right away. "Really Good," who had just moved here from New York, scoffed at the hourly wage, saying she was holding out for at least $2 more an hour.

So "Fabulous" started the next Monday. In accepting the job, she indicated she had already made plans to be out of town for a three-day weekend starting on the Friday, so her first week was only going to be Monday through Thursday.

On Monday, she dove right in and did brilliantly.

On Tuesday, she did more of the same.

On Wednesday, when I wasn't in the office, I got an email in the morning from the night supervisor saying that "Fabulous" had left Monday at 7:30, citing a deadline for a school essay. On Tuesday, "Fabulous" ducked out at 8:00, not saying anything about why she was leaving early. (She was supposed to stay until 9:30 each day.)

Since I wasn't going to be in Wednesday, we all agreed the night supervisor would reiterate the hours that day and I would have a come-to-Jesus talk with her on Thursday when I was in again.

Wednesday night, she waited until the night supervisor stepped out for a smoke, and then she left without saying good-bye at 8:30.

Thursday, she sent an email saying she was sick and would be happy to work from home. I declined the offer and said she should just stay home and recover and I would see her Monday.

Of course, she never showed on Monday, and we never heard from her again, until payday 10 days later, when she sent a note. 

"I wanted to deeply apologize for my abrupt disappearance... I am so sorry about that, and I realize I handled myself very unprofessionally. I just don't think I was a good fit for the job.

However, I still do of course expect to be compensated for the work I did. I believe I left my time sheet on the desk I was working at.. I did keep track of the hours I worked there, in case you need me to send them to you etc. Please let me know if there's anything I can do from my end to make this less work for you.

Again, my sincerest apologies. I'm so sorry it didn't work out.


Yeah, the Missing In Action employee was named Mia. And her time sheet listed hours as if she had actually worked when she was supposed to work.

The upshot for us? We will never again hire a person we believe is absolutely fabulous.


FourJedis said...

I was initially really surprised when the 2 didn't show up for the interviews but now I am shocked at Mia. Hilarious that her name is Mia. I hope you do find the right fit!

Patois42 said...

I know, right? One of the no-shows sent a note after saying she had taken on a temp assignment and so couldn't come (or apparently phone or email or text). The other, presumably, was murdered on the streets of Oakland on her way to the interview. Or perhaps she was taken in by the whole Occupy Oakland movement and is still encamped nearby.

Tara R. said...

That's hutzpah right there. I hope she wasn't expecting a glowing reference from you.

Josie Two Shoes said...

The "disappearing act" from new hires seems to be the new norm, especially if they are young. Have had it happen several times in the past in places where I've been employed. I think the new "texting" world has given the false message that face to face open communication is no longer required and that it is ok to just disappear, and then hold out your hand for the check... even more incredulous in this case since she then reported false hours for pay. Did she really think no one noticed? Consider yourself lucky that more time wasn't put into orienting her to the job, this isn't someone you'd want long term anyway. Entitled new hires, definitely not the "old school" way I learned the ropes. Not the way I'm handling my new job at 57 either! Sometimes you have to take a chance on one that will turn out to surprise you.. I'm sure glad my employer did! From my credentials they knew they were getting a good deal, and they did... so did I! :-)

Small Town Mommy said...

I had a similar thing happen when we were hiring nannies about 12 years ago. Some didn't show for interviews and some were just wacky. I did have 1 not show for her first day, 1 just disappear and one call one morning and say she could never come back. I don't know that it is so much a recent phenomena as just a lack of work ethic.


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