Yesterday, I learned that one of my co-workers was fired because he showed a lack of respect to a co-worker.
On the face of it, that doesn’t really seem to be too good a reason to be let go. However, I have come to learn what happened.
My former co-worker, a male engineer (who nobody really liked, because of a lack of social skills or restraint – the guy just tried way too hard) asked a female engineer out. This woman keeps her personal life very far from her work. She’s nice in a very quiet way but most people she works with realize that she is here to work, not for a social life. Not that she’s a recluse – she’ll socialize within the work environment but aside form that, she keeps to herself.
The male engineer pressed his case on her until, one night, after hours, she was working and he buzzed at the door, unable to enter. She went to the door and let him in and he stood in her office afterward, harassing her about why she wouldn’t go out with him. There were other situations as well but none explains the situation as well as this one.
Gossip is all well and good but beyond being a story to tell people for the sake of itself, this situation leaves me to think about some things.
It was pretty easy to tell, a few seconds into meeting the male engineer, that his social skills were lacking and his arrogance would not let him believe he had some to learn about fitting into a team environment like we have. He would try to force his way into people’s lives with big words and faux-concern in the form of questions, the answers to which he did not know.
Several people at work were willing to write him off a couple days into his work term. He rubbed so many people the wrong way, myself included. I was willing to give him a chance, however, telling my co-workers, “He’ll learn. He’ll have to or he won’t last.” I’m not happy that I was right. I would much rather that he’d learned his lesson without having to lose his job but I can understand that he couldn’t continue to work here, given what happened.
Another co-worker told me that the fired engineer had said of his firing: “I was stupid.” I don’t know exactly what that means but I can’t say he’s wrong. The way it seemed that he said it, (using my best powers of hearsay) it didn’t sound like he’d learned anything from the experience. Granted, it will probably be some time before he gets over the fact that he was fired and takes anything from it but given his apparent self-image, I find it hard to believe he’ll get anything but bitterness from what happened.
Does this make me a cynic? Sure. I've never denied that, though.
Good bye, Engineer-boy. I hope you figure it out.