Question for Business Managers, Executives, and HR Representatives

  • brownbear787

    Posts: 62

    Oct 31, 2010 9:10 PM GMT
    Thank you guys for reading and commenting on this in advance. This seems to be a good place to post things and I value everyone's feedback...

    I was just "released" from my part-time position as a Sales Consultant at my retail big-box department store this morning. (AKA- I was involuntarily terminated) I was let go due to being late to work several times in the month of July of 2010.

    I have not been warned or given any violations for attendance since July 11, 2010. However, I was just told at the end of October that I was terminated. First off, I am the top performing associate in my department. I have always exceeded and met my sales goals. Plus I was awarded in the month of July (how ironic) for achieving high sales for the year by regional and district management. (I was the only one in my department of 10 employees that received an award!)

    This was a sad morning for me and I know when my manager called me in the office today, she was crying because she didn't want to let me go. She said she was fighting to keep me on for a while now along with other managers in the store. She says everything is coming from corporate since they handle all the time-keeping for the stores. Corporate sent her multiple emails stating that I needed to be released.

    In July, I received a final warning, but our company has a "3 times in a month policy" so I am confused because I haven't been late 3 times in a month since July.

    My question is this: As an employee seeking new part time employment, should I tell the employer I am interviewing with the exact reason for getting fired? My manager says that they will never disclose anything to employers requesting information except for positions held and dates of employment.

    Another thing that really bothers me is getting let go for something petty as being late. I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE THAN 15 MINUTES LATE TO WORK EVER! Each lateness is like 7, 8 or at most 13 minutes late. I am a good employee. I loved the company I worked for but I have a lot going on, (work, school, other job, family, parents divorce) which is why I was minutes late to work. ALSO I HAVE NEVER CALLED OUT TO WORK!

    Also all the employees and managers in the store would say I am pleasant and a fun person to be around. I had high levels of store engagement and organizational commitment. I want to know if you were hiring me, would my attendance (which is still debatable) put me in the "do not hire pool"?

    I'm not saying that It is okay to be late to work. I am saying that I think my high sales performance, and great personal characteristics should have more weight than being a few minutes late. Not to mention I stay late every shift I work!

    I am in graduate school...and studying organizational development and management (i know i should be embarrassed and ashamed)...I just don't want to cancel out retail as a potential career....with this recession, who knows...retail management may be my only option upon my graduation this upcoming spring.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 31, 2010 10:00 PM GMT
    As a former retail manager of a big box store, I can tell you that we had the same policy about not disclosing any information about a former employee. In fact, we couldn't even say at the store level about when the date the employee started and the date they left. We had to refer the caller seeking a reference to corporate where the only disclosed the beginning and end of employment. So really a future employee can really not check up on what you tell them. For retail, however this is an odd time of year to have been laid off, so a future employee might wonder.

    As far as your tardiness, our company had a rolling time period policy. If in July you were late on the 5th, 14th, and 17th, then on August 5th one of your incidents would drop off, but if you were late on August 7th, then you were again seen as having been late 3 times in a 30 day period when you add July 14th and 17th to it. It was kind of tricky because it wasn't so clear cut and you wouldn't receive another warning or write up, but it would be looked at when deciding whether or not to discipline or terminate someone. Also management would take into consideration if it was thought someone was trying to work the system, like being late or absent consistently just one incident from a write up in a period after the initial write up and also if there was a 5 minute leeway and the employee was consistently rushing in and punching in 5 minutes late just seconds before it was counted against them. In other words. once you had a warning or write up, you had to be on your toes more than an employee who had not received one. Many employees had a difficult time fully understanding the attendance policy. Another time infraction incident often overlooked is punching out at 6:20 when you were scheduled until 6. This can be costly to a company with thousands of employees frequently doing that. That glossy employee handbook with all the photos of smiling models in the company uniform you were given when you began employment did not go into detail of all the company policies, but believe me, somewhere in an office in the store was a more in depth book. And one other thing, at any non union retail store your employment is at will. They can let you go if they think you are not giving a big enough smile or a sincere enough hello to a customer.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Oct 31, 2010 10:57 PM GMT
    If you want a job, and you if you want to keep a job you have to get there on time, every day, unless you're dead or in a very serious accident.

    NO, do not tell prospective employers that you were fired because you couldn't be bothered to act like a responsible adult, by showing up for work on time.





  • brownbear787

    Posts: 62

    Oct 31, 2010 11:49 PM GMT
    thanks for your comments
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 01, 2010 12:15 AM GMT
    No matter how good of a salesman u are, how much your co-wrks love your presence and how much money you brought to the store you seem to have forgotten your expendable. I agree that you should have been written up and notified of your disruptive attendance however there is always someone who fill in your shoes. I don't think you need to tell any future employer about your lack of punctual attendance but hopefully this is a WAKE UP call to you for future employment.
  • brownbear787

    Posts: 62

    Nov 01, 2010 12:20 AM GMT
    This is good real world experience that i am glad I'm getting. I just don't understand how a company could keep me on so long without saying anything. I mean i feel like that used the hell outta me for 3 months...here i'm walking around with high sales numbers and then i get the boot.

    this makes me realize that i still have a lot of growing up to do.

    it's funny because i've been studying Global Competitor Corporations in class and how they look at employee's as "temporaries" and that all they want to do is get the most of of them.
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    Nov 01, 2010 12:27 AM GMT
    brownbear787 saidThis is good real world experience that i am glad I'm getting. I just don't understand how a company could keep me on so long without saying anything. I mean i feel like that used the hell outta me for 3 months...here i'm walking around with high sales numbers and then i get the boot.

    this makes me realize that i still have a lot of growing up to do.

    it's funny because i've been studying Global Competitor Corporations in class and how they look at employee's as "temporaries" and that all they want to do is get the most of of them.



    You still don't get it bro. You keep mentioning your productivity in numbers. SO WHAT! It's clear that you thought because you had a high average transaction in sales, it permitted you to be above the policy. FALSE. If anyone should feel used it should be your employer as your lack of respect for the company was due to your ego. They will eventually hire someone else who is eager to make his or her numbers and that person will show up for wrk and be happy to do so.....
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    Nov 01, 2010 1:10 AM GMT
    I was in retail management for most of my life and one of the biggest problems we had was attendance. I became a manager of a store that was number 6 in the chain and if one employee was 15 minutes late, it would put us way behind in our duties and if it was a pharmacy employee it would put us about 30 scripts behind. So we could not tolerate lateness. I had employees that were always late on Fridays, which was our busiest day. Once we had written them up 3 times for the same thing, we were able to fire them. One Friday I had to fire my best employee. After that no one was ever late again.

    Your employer is not allowed to say anything negative about you when they are called for a reference. All they can do is verify that you worked there, the dates and what jobs you have held while there. Chalk it up to a learning experience and make sure to never be late for work again. If you are not there to wait on the customers, then who is? I would not say anything to a potential employer as to being fired or why. Keep that to yourself.
  • brownbear787

    Posts: 62

    Nov 01, 2010 2:07 AM GMT
    I understand where everyone is coming from. And I agree with everyone's comments and thank you all for your perspectives on my issue. I know I have myself to blame...Hopefully I will find another job soon to have some extra $$$ for the holidays.
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    Nov 01, 2010 2:21 AM GMT
    If you are looking at retail again, here is a suggestion- try Trader Joes. Most people that work there seem to enjoy it and that is unusual for retail. I just looked it up at JobVent where employees can anonymously rate their employer and they have very good reviews. Many people only go to JobVent when they are angry with their boss, so a high rating is really saying something. I have an old coworker that works there and she loves it.
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Nov 01, 2010 2:49 AM GMT
    For starters, I want to disagree with some of the previous posters here.

    Every workplace is different, but just about every person in every job is not performing at 100% in every area. You might be at 120% in one aspect of your job and 80% in another. If you were really going above and beyond in certain places, you can earn yourself some room to breathe in others.

    I work as a retail sales coordinator for a bank, and I spend most of my day tracking a spectrum of sales production by retail offices and call centers. A few years ago, my superiors thought it would be a great idea to carve out cookie-cutter goals for their branches as if they were all in the same neighborhood with the same clientele.

    Sales representatives ended up spending outrageous amounts of energy trying to make loan or investment goals that were totally unreachable when they could have focused on products that were better suited to the customer base available to them. It was a nightmare.

    HR is much the same way. If they hire anyone to replace you, they have no idea what that person's performance will be like. They might be five minutes early for each shift, but they could also be just as likely to do horribly with the more important aspects of the job that actually generate revenue for their employer. Sometimes you're better off with someone who is a little rough around the edges but gets the job done, and that's probably why your manager doesn't want to lose you.

    I say, "if they hire" because if a termination decision in retail comes from HR, there are usually only a few possibilities, and the most common is when HR says to departments, "We need to start cutting staff. Select x percent of hours to cut." The others are sexual harassment, physical or verbal abuse, unethical behavior, theft, embezzlement, and other equally grievous offenses. If you were really being fired for being late, you would have usually been provided more notice.
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    Nov 01, 2010 3:16 AM GMT
    It is my understanding that, at least in Texas, it is not considered late if you are within 10 minutes of having to be there. For example if you are scheduled for work at 8:00 then you have until 8:10 until you are considered late. I don't know if this exists in the rest of the country or not.
  • brownbear787

    Posts: 62

    Nov 01, 2010 3:22 AM GMT
    I think that I was supposed to be let go back in July or September, but my managers in the store just put it off hoping corporate would forget about it or they were just fighting to keep me on. I don't know.

    My manager actually shook my hand today afterwords and told me that "you are a great associate and I know you will find another opportunity and do well in your next job".

    She also indirectly mentioned that I was not the only employee in my department that is facing immediate termination...yes, other employees in my department have other issues worse than mine such as misrepresenting their time and not working when scheduled.
  • brownbear787

    Posts: 62

    Nov 01, 2010 4:37 AM GMT
    Invisible_Guy saidIt is my understanding that, at least in Texas, it is not considered late if you are within 10 minutes of having to be there. For example if you are scheduled for work at 8:00 then you have until 8:10 until you are considered late. I don't know if this exists in the rest of the country or not.


    I'm pretty sure employers can set their own policies for attendance as long as they comply with the fair labor standards act, ADA, and Title VII of the civil rights act of 1964.
  • bmw0

    Posts: 588

    Nov 01, 2010 4:46 AM GMT
    When you are in the corporate world you have to play by the rules. I had to fire one of my best sales people for his attendance issues. It really hurt, but in this day and age you have to be at your best on every aspect of your work. If not, there are plenty of people out there needing work that will make sure they are ten minutes early just to be sure they were above reproach. Its an employers market in most cases, its best to remember that..though it is a bit unfortunate that job security seems to be a thing of the past....
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    Nov 01, 2010 5:30 AM GMT
    work is like sex...if you don't come on time, don't come at all...thanks you gentlemen, I'll be here all night!