Sunday, October 20, 2013

Rising to the Occasion of the Not Fun Job

Today, I was reading my daughter's blog about her journey through Europe on a site called   Her blog is:

The site is full of bloggers, people who just post photos and businesses that showcase books, etc.  After reading her blog, I transitioned to look at other blogs and I was surprised to find a site called, please fire me

The site is a whole list of people writing about their job and how someone or something is making it so miserable that they want to be fired.  An example of the postings:

Please fire me. I was told that I couldn’t have the promotion I was after because I am not “mean enough.”

Please fire me. My manager is 18 weeks pregnant and still follows me outside on my smoke breaks to steal drags off my cigarette.

Please fire me. I’m a teacher at school and our librarian says “Arthur” instead of “author” as well as “lie-berry” for “library”.

Please Fire Me

My first emotional response was to say to myself, "then why don't you quit?"  Why so complacent?  Just risk it and walk out!!!

Because.  I remembered my friend who was fired and looked for employment for two months.  And I remembered my friend who is looking for a new job, but after six months, still hasn't found one.

I believe that the Please Fire Me is sort of a cross between Dear Abby and a HR complaint blog.  It is  definitely a place for people to vent.  It is absolutely an HR Lawyer's dream come true of workplace violations.  But, it is also a place to feel better by feeling bad.  The new world of sharing your feelings and then feeling relieved? Or the world of sharing your feelings and feeling like now, you should share all the time?  The world of sharing your feelings but not doing anything about it?  Notice the last two aren't "new".

So, let us see where the unhappy at work person is.  Stuck for a paycheck. Stuck for another (have to pay for Mom, Dad, Kid). Stuck because change is scary.  Stuck because no one wants me.

Stuck. Please Fire Me.

The friend of mine who was fired certainly didn't like it.  He took it personal and thought of it as a failure. And I am pretty sure he never said, please fire me with any conviction. Wanting to get fired and getting fired are different.  Very different.

I was fired.  Twice.  Once, I was a maid at the age of 16 in Clearwater, Florida. I was a terrible maid.  I was fired for not vacuuming the vents in the Holiday Inn.  But, I was a terrible maid.

And the other time, I was "redirected"  for a political appointment reason, when the boss said, "We are going in a different direction, and so are you", he added, "you can resign or you can be redirected". It was not wholly unexpected, but it was not warranted nor, in my opinion, deserved.  My boss at that time was later fired for harassment, sexual and otherwise.  So, while I was devastated, I also felt vindicated.

Back to the Please Fire Me.  Who are you really?  A young person, going to "stick it to the man" as my daughter says. (For the record, she stole that from my generation.) An unhappy worker who wishes they were somewhere else or just in a bad situation? Someone who just believes that their worth and talent aren't recognized nor rewarded?

I can tell you after 43 years of working (oh my, McDonald's was my first job in 1973), there will always be a day or two or ten, when you say, fire me please.  People are emotional, not very professional, way too professional, controlled, uncontrolled, wild, crazy, boring, extreme, loved, unloved, even at work.

People do not stop being people when they are at work. If the job is just a means to an end, then your profile probably projects that.  If the job is a passion, then you probably hope that you are a part of undercover boss and winning some giant reward.

But for most of us, we must weigh the stress of  an organization and those who are in it, and the angst of quitting.  Like Dear Abby said so long ago, "are you better off with em or without em?" So the Please Fire Me  is a way to bridge the gap of contemplation.  But what is it saying to us?

If you are an employer, it should tell you that your employees, contractors or others are not happy.  If you are an employer, you should listen.  It may not affect you today, but it will affect you eventually. Look at the research by Association Leaders.  It will tell you that leadership is the biggest key in the direction of the workplace.  Leadership sets the mood, the goals, the opportunities and the limitations.  If they are not set with the workforce in mind, then the workforce will slowly turn to the Please Fire Me people.  The problem is, they will be yours and affect your organization's future - online for all to see.

 "Entropy is a measure of the number of specific ways in which a system may be arranged, often taken to be a measure of disorder....." says wiki

 And Please Fire Me is definitely one measure of entropy disorder.