It’s not even noon yet and I am completely over work and staffing related matters. I told my law firm bosses I would sacrifice my business afternoon to dress in office-appropriate attire to fire my mentee. This is her second day back after a 2 week vacation and I’ve already gotten at least a dozen texts from staff about her as well as phone calls from the bosses. We are all so done. Forget tearing my hair out. As the morning progressed it voluntarily jumped off my head with every message and email notification ping.
I absolutely do not get it. Her behavior has grown more and more extreme, demanding, and intensely disruptive to everyone around her. We have talked to her, tried to work with her, taken the kind-and-gentle approach, taken the gloves off and sent her home for 2 weeks. We changed her office entry code so she could not gain access to our building or offices after hours and her network passwords so she could not access the server or her email. It felt as if we had no choice but to take such steps to prevent her for coming in and trying to work when we felt she needed the break (and we from her) to pull herself and her head together.
Yesterday she returned and was good, fine, professional … for about 3 hours. By the close of business yesterday, after several one-on-one conversations and nearly losing my temper with her confrontation, I was over it and prepared to terminate her then and there and plead for forgiveness from the partners later. I didn’t, but I promised the staff that we would have some resolution when I returned on Wednesday, my next scheduled office day.
Which has been moved up to today so I can be present to supervise her termination and removal from the office. It’s not a pretty or pleasant situation, and I take no joy in what must now happen.
As we come to this point, I simply do not understand it. Being me and the way I am, my default position is that when mistakes or something offensive happens, I somehow caused it. To be the exact opposite, in that nothing is every your fault, someone else is always responsible for the friction, is completely bewildering and beyond my realm of understanding. And I pride myself on at least trying to understand another’s point of view even if I believe them to be completely wrong.
It has been a very long time since I completely gave up trying to help someone. However, my caveat is always that the person must be willing to help themselves. Yeah, sometimes jobs suck and supervisors and coworkers are complete tools who take great pride in persecuting everyone around them, but that situation does not exist here. Where I thought her quite brilliant and merely lacking in social skills I actually fear her brilliance has driven her to a place of severe mental disfunction. I do feel great sympathy for her, but my compassion does not extend to the point of tolerating her impulsive outbursts and bullying, abusive behavior toward others a moment longer.
Maybe the employment opportunities for attorneys is better than I believe, but our discreet advertisements for potential candidates has delivered well over 200 resumes thus far. I’m screening as quickly as I can and probably 50% of what we have received fall within the realm of well to over qualified. With her recent temperament displays, I find it impossible to imagine her landing another position and being able to keep it for any extended length of time. You have to be supremely talented and a rainmaker for such behaviors to be tolerated in most firms.
It’s probably just as well I am planning on a rare evening gym practice. Plus I have an appointment with TM this afternoon, which should be beneficial.