I had some bad news on Friday evening. Work related. Yes, I'm sure you can see where this is going.
I was "let go".
My boss cited 2 separate reasons for this reason:
1. "You weren't proactive enough. For a company of our size, you really have to get involved more."
The size of the company was 4 people (including me), consisting of a programmer, the technical director and MD. Quite frankly, there wasn't anything I could be proactive in - I would have had to sabotage things so that I could fix them.
However, there is an element of truth in what he said. I didn't get involved as much as I would have liked, and by the end of 5 weeks, I had become a mind-numbingly bored worker who had absolutely no motivation.
I did have a conversation with him on Thursday morning that sort of went counter to his exit-interview statement though - "I know its frustrating not having any work at the moment, but once it starts to come in, you'll be in the reverse situation. You'll be rushed off your feet."
Now, that doesn't sound to me like I wasn't being proactive. That sounds to me like I had no work and they knew it.
2. "Your technical skills aren't up to scratch. I asked you to produce a document on the product, and what you wrote wasn't up to standard."
The problem here though is that in my interview I told them I didn't have any technical skills apart from server administration and installation. Beyond writing a thesis and this blog, I don't have any technical writing skills to speak of. That was also evident in my interview when they assured me that any required skills I would need, they would train me up on.
As I have come to realise, they could have shown me what standard they had expected and asked me to write more in that format. Asking someone to write up a document in an industry they have no knowledge or experience of is pretty counter-productive unless you offer them some serious help.
This is the first job that I have been unsuccessful in and it really hurts. Could I have done more? Could I have been better? People whom I've worked with have said to me that the chances are, they hired me too early. There was no work for me to do, and they finally realised it would be less expensive to let me go and then in 3 months hire someone else as opposed to paying me for 12 weeks of twiddling my thumbs.
I had a long talk with Elsha about this and the fact that sticks out is that after 5 weeks of no work, they let me go during my probationary period which should only have a day notice. They've given me a week paid and references. That's not something you do for a lazy worker.
But it still hurts.