Do this if you should get fired: A lifehack exclusive (2/3)

Wednesday 1 February 2012, 4.51am HKT

From Part 1

So Råtta’s got the sack yesterday on the highly popular excuse of cost-cutting — which I don’t believe for one goddamn minute, even with my highly fragmentary understanding of how her company works.

We continue with more protips on how to face an immediate termination of employment when there’s pronounced ageism in the jobmarket and you’re 50-something, lumbered with a 15-year-long mortgage and a badly schooled half-grownup kid who can’t enter the workforce yet.

(It’s not a happy story, but please do leave comments. For Råtta’s sake if not mine.)

… but only if it loves you too

* * *

It’s not meant to be usable, idiot

3. Råtta was promised a reference letter in due course, spelling out her ‘duties’ etc.

Remark: Some employers (yours truly included) are just plain mean and nasty. They compose a reference letter that basically says everything wrong about you without being defamatory — or factual. You end up with an unusable reference letter. Don’t let this happen to you.

Example (as happened to me before):

“[The Naked Listener] was employed by our Company between 5 BC and AD 375 in the position of Inquisitor Captain-General. His duties were [etc] and he has shown to have a knowledge of English…”

A knowledge of your mother!

I’ve been speaking English since before your miserable existence on Earth even started! You, as a native English speaker, couldn’t even speak native English.

See what I mean about an unusable reference letter?

Protip: This is why I keep telling people till I’m blue in face to actually draft up a reference letter or jobsheet soon after starting employment. Add in job details etc as you go along. We all getting fired sooner or later, and when that one fine day comes, you’ll at least have something to show what you’ve actually f@#king done for the ingrates. You cannot, must not, should not rely on Human Resources after the fact — they’re mostly too incompetent to work out their own jobsheet because of the office infighting they’re usually involved in. I speak this as an employer myself, you stupid runt. Nothing personal, just a business decision.

Protip: They’re NOT going to honour the crap reference letter! It’s only documentary evidence that you’ve worked there before — nothing more, you moron.


They’re just promises

4. Råtta said the termination pay will be credited to her bank account by [date].

Protip: If your continued or prolonged presence is somehow ‘unrequired’ for them, then their continued or prolonged termination procedure is likewise ‘unrequired’ for you. Your request for immediate fulfilment of termination entitlements is YOUR reasonable step to ensure THEIR efficient tying up of loose ends and yourselves’ mutual cooperativeness. Nothing personal, just a responsible business decision. Karma’s a bitch, right?

Protip: The moment you get your pink slip, they’re no longer your employers. They owe you a debt, legally speaking. They gave you only a verbal promise of termination payment, etc. A company that requires your immediate departure whilst apparently able to pay termination entitlements cannot reasonably be expected on the balance of probability to fulfil promises made to you. Request for immediate fulfilment of termination entitlements is reasonable under the circumstances. I do believe it’s called quid pro quo, wasn’t it? Nothing personal, it’s just responsible legal practice.

Protip: Whilst you accept their promise at face value, you are taking circumstantially reasonable steps to ensure the entitlements are received and not just receivable. The fact of requiring your immediate departure can be construed as their possible attempt to delay or avoid (or even inability) to pay entitlements, even whilst measured against your admittedly incomplete understanding of the company’s overall internal situation. Nothing personal, just responsible business decision. Karma’s a bitch, right?


‘Don’t make trouble’ is rubbish

5. Råtta didn’t want to cause a ‘scene’ by hanging around the office any longer than necessary.

Remark: No kidding — as if anybody wants to hang around for senti-bloody-mental reasons. Don’t ferkin’ make it easy! Telling you to piss off right away is itself on balance of probability an action designed to give you a hard time. Stop defending crap people. Aggro can be done politely too.

HDQ isn't short for High Definition Quadrature

Protip: Ditch the ‘please don’t make trouble’ mentality in situations like Råtta’s. You can’t be THIS stupid, can you? You’re being hanged, drawn and quartered! Not asking you to be rude or unpleasant, but realise you owe them nothing now. They’re giving you The Finger, so you should also to them.

Protip/remark: Their requiring your immediate termination is suggestive of a perception on their part that your continued presence is somehow undesirable. Otherwise, there should be no reason for immediate departure. And that immediate termination can be regarded as a defamatory label against you. Nothing personal, just a responsible legal perspective.

Protip/remark: Their payability of termination entitlements in lieu of notice  is consistent with their possessing an ability to keep you on employment until the 30 days’ notice runs out. Otherwise, this reinforces the reason given above. Nothing personal, just responsible legal logic.

* * *


Put in some comments, for Råtta’s sake. It’ll be good for her morale.


Go on to Question Time on Take 3 (finale).


© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012.

Images: ‘Describing the Job’ via UCLA ♦ I Love My Job via Prof. Saleh Al-Jufout ♦ A promise made via Bankrupting America ♦ Hanged, drawn and quartered via The Pogues.

4 Responses to “Do this if you should get fired: A lifehack exclusive (2/3)”

  1. Ed Hurst said

    All I can do is empathize. What she’s facing is pretty much global; precious few parts of this world have a nice, growing economy. Besides, I have no idea, even after your description, how this stuff works in Hong Kong.


  2. SkyddsDrake said

    This kind of thing is running rampant. I’ve had the great (dis)pleasure of working in a few corporate environments where turning around and dropping entire departments was par for the course. It’s an awful thing to have to go through. I hope something else works out for Råtta quickly so she can move on to a place where her ability to stay above the office politics and whatnot can be appreciated.


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