Friday, March 15, 2013

Today I was a part of something stupid.

Last Christmas we started a new facility to support auto manufacturing.
I took the position of interim maintenance manager / automation engineer.
Circumstances forced us to begin over Christmas, rather than wait for March so we needed to staff up quick.
I interviewed a few maintenance candidates.
They are hard to get, there's quite a demand.
I had a choice between two guys.
One a currently employed maintenance guy who wanted to get out of where he worked and the other an unemployed eight year Army veteran who had some electrical experience, but no industrial maintenance.
I had to sell my choice of the vet to upper management, although my direct report supported me, and he would be responsible for the facility, similar to a plant manager.
I argued that the one guy had a job,  but the other was a vet and didn't, and deserved one.

He started the next Monday.

He learned everything I taught him.
I could talk him through problem solving over the phone while I was busy at the old plant.
At times he got on my nerves with his eagerness :)

One day he was a few minutes late, yet still early enough to start up the plant.
His wife had swapped the alarm back to weekend mode on a Saturday he worked.

Another day he was late because of a traffic stop.

Today we let him go because he was a 90 day probationer with two tardies.
My boss and I argued for him to no avail.
Here we're having a hard time getting a good maintenance guy and we let this guy get away.

I told him to give my phone number to anyone he interviews with, and he's getting a glowing letter of recommendation from myself and my boss.

It won't appear as a termination because he'll still work for his current employer, the temp agency we got him through, so he'll be eligible for unemployment.

I helped him carry his tools out to his car and my boss, the HR Mgr and myself said we'd hold him and his family in prayer. The four of us are believing Christians.

He held out his hand, but I gave him a hug.

We both have suffered loss.

Please pray for Vern. I pray he gets a better job and closer to home.


  1. I pray he'll understand God always has a plan and to follow his heart.

  2. Bummer!

    Thus we see the problem with "legalism."

  3. And people tell me the evil one isn't real.

  4. Sadly, that's not an uncommon management attitude these days. I can understand excessive absences or tardies during the probie period, but two tardies without considering of his work performance or any other factors? No wonder so many companies have problems retaining good employees.

    Unfortunately it's still an employer's market out there, with the economy on shaky ground, so they can pretty much pick and choose at will, knowing there's always someone else out there looking for a job.

  5. Stinks how it went down. Way to go though, supporting and attempting to uplift people who DESERVE it. Thanks.