They Have An Open-Door Firing Policy

, , , , | Working | June 12, 2018

(We have had an incident at the back of our office. The owner has been informed and requested that no one be allowed to enter until she arrives. As the incident occurred at the end of a corridor in a secure area, I have asked an intern to wait by the entrance and deny access until the owner arrives. Twenty minutes later, I walk by the door and see the owner trying to get in. She is arguing with the intern through a window. For whatever reason, the intern has decided to go beyond the door and set herself up in the reception, which has a button to permit access. I assume she has locked the door on her side, so only she or someone who has a key can unlock it.)

Owner: “No, I’m the owner. I told you to wait until I arrived.”

Intern: “And that is what I have been doing! No one in. No one out!”

Me: “[Intern], what are you doing? Let [Owner] in.”

Intern: “You said no one is allowed in.”

Me: “Until the owner arrives.”

Intern: *squints at the owner* “No, I don’t believe she is the owner.”

Owner & Me: “What?”

Intern: “If she was, why would she be asking to get in? She’s probably some scruff off the streets looking for drugs.”

Me: *shaking my head in disbelief* “[Intern], seriously, just open the door.”

Intern: “F*** off!”

Owner: “I’ve had enough.” *to me* “What was her name?”

Me: “[Intern].”

Owner: “[Intern], if you don’t open this door immediately, you are fired.”

Intern: “Ha! The only way you’re firing me is if you get in here.”

(The owner produces a keychain and unlocks the door. The intern is aghast as the owner walks calmly into the reception and instructs her to get her things and go. As the owner heads to the incident, the intern runs out.)

Intern: “But, [My Name] said you loved people who joked around!”

Me: “She does, but how on earth was that joking around, and why would you think joking around now, of all times, was appropriate?”

(She couldn’t answer, and I had to escort her out of the building. The owner had a change of heart a day or so later, and the intern was allowed back. She was then fired permanently a month later with several others, after involvement in the incident was discovered.)

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