Regular readers of this blog will recall the post last week in which I detailed all the steps I had taken to assure my being fired from my new (and first) job in France. Real stupid, ill-advised stuff like working hard and asking questions. If you haven’t read that article, or if you have but just have a really big problem with memory retention, HERE’S THE LINK. Go ahead. It’s a short read, and if I may so flatter myself, worth the time.
Now, as you can imagine, after having been so unceremoniously terminated, I felt I deserved a little more. More what? Ceremony? Did I expect balloons and a gold watch after a month of work?
Well, that would have been nice, but no – I expected more of an explanation. That is to say that I worked hard for them; I wanted more of an answer about why I was fired. Hell, I wanted any answer. Answers I would have accepted include (but are not limited to):
-I have determined your floor-scrubbing and refrigerator-stocking is of a substandard quality and, keeping that in mind, I wish to terminate the convergence of our professional histories.
Well, I now have my answer, as my wife happens to be high-level-management at another of their restaurants – and one of the other managers there happens to be married to a manager at my old restaurant. There are myriad other gossip links between the two as well, but that’s the primary one.
Before I tell you why I got fired, I need to tell you why I got hired. Technically, the restaurant where I interviewed and started working didn’t need another employee. And in fact, the store director had some reservations about my abilities with the language. So why did they hire me? Well, the regional director put a little pressure on the store director, as he had already decided that I would work in one of his restaurants.
Fast forward to the middle of my first month. There’s now a new store director. We’ll call him Olivier (’cause, you know, that’s his name). Where the previous director went, I have no idea. Where the new one came from I, again, have no idea.
Fast forward to the end of the month. The way it was supposed to work is that Olivier was supposed to consult with the managers who had worked with me, decide if I was a good worker and if they were happy with me (for the record, they were), and make his decision based on that. Here’s where things went wrong.
Olivier wanted to make a point. A point that he wasn’t going to be pushed around. He wasn’t going to allow his director to force him to do anything. Now all he needed was a battleground. Some point of contention. Some opportunity to whip his out and prove to his boss that his was bigger. Conveniently, it was time for my review.
So, having made his decision, he skipped the part where he was supposed to consult with the other managers. He also skipped the part where he was supposed to inform the other managers.
So my review came and went, Olivier hopefully made his point, and my managers were surprised when I didn’t show up for work.
The whole time that I was working hard to prove that I deserved the job and that keeping me around would be a good decision, it turns out I should have been mediating a pissing contest between my boss and his boss. Silly me.
And that, as they say, is that.