It’s Not Projected To Go Well

, , , , | Working | April 3, 2018

(Our company is looking to hire a marketer to handle two separate projects, to come up with good strategies and put them into action, and to do all that boring but essential corporate stuff, like make potential customers aware of these products, talk to people about setting up coverage or ad buys, figure out marketing campaigns, etc. All this is detailed in the job posting. The guy we end up hiring is very confident, and comes highly recommended. The first week, however, he only focuses on one of the two projects. We’re not that concerned, since we figure he’s trying to get a handle on them separately, and they’re so different that he probably needs a while to get up to speed on them both. After another two weeks, it quickly becomes apparent that he’s only working on one of them. He hasn’t so much as mentioned the other project, or spoken to the team on it beyond the introductions. We decide to call a meeting to see how things are going.)

Me: “We wanted to see how you were settling in, and how you felt things were shaping up. We know you’re working a lot on [Project #1], which is great, and we like the things you’re putting into action there. What have you got in mind for [Project #2]?”

Marketer: “Well, for [Project #1]…” *goes off on a long-winded speech about what he’s doing on the project we’re not worried about, but doesn’t mention the other*

Me: “That’s great, but we wanted to talk about [Project #2]. The launch windows for these are very close together, and it would make us feel better if we had some insight into your plans for this one, as well.”

Marketer: *looking a little annoyed* “Well, to be frank, [Project #2] is outside my wheelhouse. I don’t really know what to do with it.”

Me: *taken aback, since this isn’t what he told us in his interview* “Well… What are you doing to rectify that?”

Marketer: *shrugs* “To be honest, I think you should hire someone else. Or just forget about it.”

Me: “What?! You applied for a position specifically to handle these two projects. You were made aware of them in the listing, we discussed them at length in your interview, and that is what we hired you for: to handle them both.”

Marketer: “Well, misjudgments happen.”

Me: “You signed a contract. I need you to start working on [Project #2].”

Marketer: “I already told you I’m not interested!”

Me: “Okay. Are you refusing to do what you agreed to do when you were hired and what is outlined within the terms of your contract that you signed?”

(He blustered a bit and kept insisting that he didn’t want to work on one of the two projects he had been specifically hired for. When I told him then that we were no longer in need of his services, he got extremely defensive and angry, and even threatened to sue for “unlawful firing.” He later tried to make it sound discriminatory… but he was a white guy with no disabilities? I’m just baffled at the idea that someone would think it was okay to refuse to do half of the job they had signed on for, and then seem shocked when they were let go. We ended up hiring someone else who did both projects just fine and made them great successes.)

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