Was I just fired? Was I wrong?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by SamIchi, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. SamIchi macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2004
    I'm currently a design student, and have been interning at a local company for the past year. So this week I was pulled aside and was told they were "letting me go". They didn't really give me a reason, other than, there's not enough work, but that doesn't make sense to me since another student, in my class, is taking my place. I was told to leave that day. I was confused and didn't really know how to react. This was out of the blue.

    I'm not confrontational, so I said OK, collected my items and left. As I was leaving I felt ashamed as I walked through the hallways, and I didn't get to say my farewells to anyone in the office. My supervisor was the one who had to tell me the bad news, and as we were walking out together, he told me the president of the company didn't agree with an email I sent before the summer.

    So some background, in the spring semester a big part of our design school is to make sure that you have a internship lined up for the summer. I was already working for the company, but I was also keeping my options open to new experiences and opportunities. This was nothing out of the ordinary as far as design internships go, more new experiences, the better. This was also nothing against the company, which I had told them. I consulted the head of my department and he agreed. So I told the company these were my intentions and would allow them enough time to find another intern if I was to leave. After sending the email, I was questioned why I would look for other internships (which I already explained in my email) and pretty much given an ultimatum. Stay with us for the summer and you'll have a job, your senior school year (which is a big help financially), considering my options, I stayed,

    So this past week I was let go because supposedly the president didn't like how I handled my situation with the email. I guess he felt I was disloyal to the company or something. Not once was this ever communicated to me over the summer. Are all office jobs devoid of open communication? :mad: So now I'm left without a job, feeling confused, I moved my fall schedule around to fit in a full day at the office. I also dropped my work study job cause I had to move my afternoon classes to night. If they had told me 2 weeks beforehand I could've still have had my desired schedule for senior year. I also turned down other summer internships, I probably would've learned a lot from. I am thankful that I have supporting parents, but for many college students, I can see how this financial hinderance would've been a big obstacle.

    Was I wrong to tell them my intentions? I wish they had done that for me, before letting me go. It seems childish and not professional to react the way he did. I am an intern, I'm supposed to be learning from them as my mentors. There are others things, but that's pretty much the situation. I've consulted my department head, and he agrees with me and has never heard of a situation like this. What do you guys think? I'm writing them an email, and it's so hard not to point out how ridiculous, and childish they sound. I'm a very lenient and laid back person, but this has bothered me a lot these past few days. Sorry for the long post.
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    All I have to say is that maybe your thoughts on the President are right. I bet he felt disloyalty on your part and the main reason he axed you. To answer your question on the thread title:

    Yes you were and no you were not. You gave them warning and your plans for the Summer, they just reacted the most unusual method. As if they were out to get you.
  3. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    To the OP, sorry for your pain. Based on your description, if you learned a lesson, maybe it is keep your cards close to the vest. This kind of honestly may not be appreciated regardless of your intentions to be fair to this company. You can see in an at-will state, you can be let go for any reason or no reason at all, if you look at someone funny, or for some obscure mannerism a superior does not like. It's better if you have not put yourself into a position where you now have to second guess how you handled yourself. Look out for yourself, keep them in the dark, until you have the next job lined up. My 2 cents...

    Based on the OP description, then the President (of his company) might be an ***hole.
  4. SamIchi thread starter macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2004
    Is that good enough reason to get rid of someone? I am an intern, not a full time employee. I was definitely not a threat to their company financially, I produced great work, loyalty was there, they should be happy that I'm gaining such experience as a student/intern. I saw them as mentors, not potential competition in the future. For all they knew, I was working for 2 other companies as an intern. They know I have other obligations. Another part of the story is the person that is replacing me, left the internship to go study abroad over the summer, and they gave her a spot back in the company when she came back.
  5. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Welcome to office politics. To play devil's advocate with the President's position, you likely leaving at some undetermined future time is a risk (in the sense that it would have some impact on the company). Yes, you offered to stay until they found another intern, but realistically, it'd probably take weeks until that intern is up-to-speed and as productive as you. He may feel that the least risk (impact to the company) was to start that process now, versus at some unknown point in the future.

    You did what was best for you (which was to keep an eye out for other internships). There's a possibly the President reacted out of spite. There's also a possibility that the President did what was best for the company.
  6. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040


    Sep 29, 2005
    I don't see why you told your company that you were looking for other opportunities and keeping your options open, even if you weren.
  7. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    So the President hedged the bet of you leaving with someone that already knows the the company (i.e. quickly up-to-speed and productive) and isn't likely to leave soon.

    Personally, I would lose too much time over all of this.
  8. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2004
    Missouri, USA
    Being let go sucks. Especially when you put your best foor forward and they think you are dragging your feet.

    Its a hard lesson but hopefully you can rebound from it quickly and come out ahead. Never tell your employeer you are looking for another job. Even day to day co-workers. Of course I find it ironic that they can up and kick you out on a whim with out any notice to you but if you don't give them two weeks notice your the d*ck.

    Good luck! Hope things work out quickly.
  9. SamIchi thread starter macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2004
    Trust me, the internship didn't have any long ongoing projects, and as far as the designing goes, it's what I would consider minimal, and basic.

    I consulted the head of my department, and agreed this would be the best approach. Many other students have done the same. It would've made my school look really bad If had just left the company without notice for another company. This is a local company is known by our school. I was looking out for my school, and their company. The reprecussion of not telling them outweighed the effects if I had notified them.


    Read above about the work (up-to-speed and productivity)

    She had already left and came back, I would've done the same exact thing over the summer. We were in the same position. She just left for a different reason, which I guess go back to the loyalty thing.
  10. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    I know when I decide to leave a job or look around, I make sure not to tell anyone I work with. Why? because a company is not loyal to individuals. If they know you are looking elsewhere, you may notice you are not say privy on future meetings, promotion consideration, given long based work, etc. Better let them think you are there for a long time than let them ever know of your true intentions

    I would take this as a lesson learned

    I would think saying you are looking for opportunities as not being "loyal" personally
  11. SamIchi thread starter macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2004
    Definitely lesson learned, but I would like to reiterate that I was an intern. In my book different, or maybe I'm learning not so much. My class mates have had at least 2 different internships.
  12. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    Some bosses are pompously disillusioned that they and their company is the be-all and end-all of opportunity and even the slightest hint of not bowing down to them with asskissing gratitude for the opportunity outrages their inflated egos. It seems a far more American employer trait than any other place I've known and American employment laws make it so that they can more easily get away with it. Very frustrating situation. Seems in order to stay employed you have to play a game of acting like this is it for you instead of being honest. As if an intern wouldn't be keeping their options open. :rolleyes:

    So in a twisted way I understand why this happened to you but that's not to say I find it fair. You've come in contact with a pedantic prick and he won't be your first. You have to learn to keep your cards closer to your chest.
  13. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I agree. If you are planning to jump ship, or contemplating leaving, or, even just fishing for what may be out there, never tell them until you have something lined up because, otherwise, they will factor you out of their plans - you will have become expendable in their eyes, someone who is not seriously planning to stay, someone who will not be around if something better comes up. And, sadly, I agree with other posters here; with companies - loyalty is a one way street. You are expected to be loyal to the company - this loyalty is rarely reciprocated.

    What you did was natural - you're an intern. What the company did was natural (for controlling, narrow-minded companies) - they saw someone who did not see them as the most important thing on the planet, and decided to sever that relationship.

    Make sure you get an excellent reference from them.

    Unfortunately, I agree. A great many bosses have vast egos - and any action which is autonomous on your part is somehow construed as a threat by them and to them.

    I agree also that asking someone - especially an idealistic, hard-working youngster -to learn to dissemble is an unfortunate lesson to have to learn, when openness is far nicer and just psychologically better for you and for your co-wrkers. Decent people prefer honesty, or an open atmosphere, but company politics and power play mean that this often has to be masked.

    Good luck.
  14. YS2003 macrumors 68020


    Dec 24, 2004
    Finally I have arrived.....
    As other posters have already mentioned, the employer will only look at what's in it for them, which is exactly to similar to what an employee does. It's better to keep your true feeling and plans to yourself especially when you are dealing with your employer and co-workers.

    At work, I keep my mouth shut when it comes to personal feeling as I am just working to get paid and the company is reaping benefits from my work.

    Especially when I am in the process of jumping ship, I don't even show any hint of it until such a time comes and I am leaving defenitely to another company.

    And, when I am leaving, I don't tell them the real reason why I am leaving (some companie do exit interivews); I just tell them I loved working with them and felt very sad I had to leave due to ...... (any reasons which don't reflect negatively for the company). This is the time to pay off big time when you lie (or make up any believable stories) to assure your employer he is not at fault. It's business and you need to play games to get ahead.
  15. h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2009
    Yes, yes they are. It wasn't a good idea to let them know your intentions up front like that IMO. I think iBlue's post is spot on. These people think they're being SO generous in allowing you the opportunity to be a part of their company and they expect you to act like that. They expect that you'll be gung-ho and be their little bitch to prove your loyalty to the company. It's all a game really. I've yet to be in an office environment that didn't have it's share of petty office politics or asskissing. It's sad really but that's how things are and always will be.

    In the office environment, there is no such thing as open communication despite what anyone tells you. If they tell you this, they're full of **** and are they're, most likely, the office/company snitch. When it comes to the "professional" world, there are two versions of you; the REAL you that does your own thing outside the office and the FAKE you that shows up to the office everyday happy and ready to work :rolleyes: You gotta play the game if you want any chance of success unfortunately. Even then you'll probably get looked over because of said office politics.
  16. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Yes. Something you learn early in life, don't ever talk of your plans until your plans are fully hashed out and realized. You owe them nothing. If you job shop, make sure to keep it on the down low and only bring it up once you have an offer on the table. Give them a chance to give you a counter offer and that's it. If you do get a better counter offer and decide to stay, make sure to get it in writing along with a certain guarantee of permanence. It's a big game and sometimes it's not fun to play. Knowing the rules makes it easier, something you learn over time.

    If you openly admit to "job shopping", you risk the situation you suffered here. Now you know. ;)
  17. SamIchi, Sep 14, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011

    SamIchi thread starter macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2004
    Thanks for all the replies, lesson definitely learned. Stupid games, the more and more I get closer to the "real world" jobs, I realize, all my technical skills, and years of practice ultimately end in, how much a person likes you.

    It's not what you know, but who you know, I hate that ****ing saying, cause it's true.

    I think what bothers me the most is that, I feel like I've been malicious in some manner to people, and thats the last thing that would ever cross my mind. The last thing I want is to have someone think bad of me, even if it is a complete stranger. Some people are ok with making enemies, but it bothers me a lot.
  18. Praksis macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2011
    1st of all, sry to know you lost your job... that rly sucks big time....

    2nd... i don't get that "loyalty" part... dunno where you're from or how things work in there.... but around here, unless you are already a high-end, very well payed and on the permanent board employee you're, at minimum, stupid not to keep any and all doors open looking for a better job... it's just how things work around here, nothing to do with loyalty or lack off...

    Anyways, rly hope you find another place to work in rly soon.

    All the best 4 ya.
  19. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Yep, it's definitely about "who you know" and networking. Looking back, most offers that I've taken (including transfers to other jobs within the same company) have been a result of some kind of personal referral.

    As for feeling bad, if it bothers you, why not quietly contact one of your former coworkers and feel them out on whether they think you did the wrong thing by announcing your intentions or not. If your coworkers feel the same way as you, then you can chalk it up to a jerk boss and move on.
  20. Macky-Mac, Sep 14, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011

    Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    It may not have been your intention but with your email you were basically telling them "this company isn't good enough.....in fact you're so bad, don't expect me to want to keep working here" That's not a message that employers want to hear, even from an intern who might not be expected to stay for a long time. When it comes to your self interest, it's one of the most damaging messages you can send......and you emailed it around the company??? :eek:

    Unfortunately, what you did was sort of a classic mistake for an employee
  21. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    There is honesty. Then there is too much transparency.

    Unless you are an invaluable, irreplaceable employee using information to get a raise, and can who can afford have his bluff called, NEVER tell an employer you are weighing your options.
  22. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Indeed. Consulting with your boss and letting him know this is your plan is probably OK (but not always - depends on the boss). But it should have stopped there, there was no need to tell everyone else.
  23. SamIchi thread starter macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2004
    It was only sent to my bosses, 2 people.
  24. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009
    Durham, UK
    I do think the main lesson to learn here is this; when it comes to your career plans, play them close to the chest in such a way that people at work dont find out. Just tell them when you're ready to hand in your notice of resignation. Not doing it this way can bite you in the backside in a number of ways.

    Good luck in the future! :)
  25. Neous macrumors member


    Oct 9, 2009
    Woodstock, CT
    that really sucked

    you've got fired for being honest.
    your honesty was that this place wasn't fulfilling your needs as a student in search of exposure (case in point you started looking for another internship)
    this company relies on your "cheap" labor for the duration of the internship but you were going to leave, but stayed because they promised you a job for the school year.

Share This Page