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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
CrystalJade Offline
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Interview coming up soon and I don't know how to explain being fired. Need help ASAP - March 10th 2014, 04:14 AM

This year I was working for a major retail store (hint: it was rated one of the top 5 worst companies to work for in Forbes Magazine) I ended up getting fired. Here's what happened. I gave my two weeks in September or October because I was tired of the shit and they begged me to stay, so me being the nice person I am, stayed. In November I wasn't meeting my sales goal by $.10, yes 10 CENTS, an hour and they threatened my job. I told them that people were stealing my sales (I'm a nice person so I wasn't rude to them about it) and that it was b.s that they were going to threaten my job and promote people that steal from them (the coworker that was stealing my sales was also stealing clothing, candy, jewelry, Michael Kors bags, and customers belongings). The managers flat out told us that we didn't have evidence and couldn't do anything about it even though we had pictures and 5 of us saw it. The manager that threatened my job told me he wasn't here to talk about others and later basically called all of us liars.

I was on the verge of crying I was so mad and then about an hour later two more managers came down and told me I had to put my jacket back on, claiming I wasn't layered. I had on a tank top and a blue shirt (I was clearly layered) and the reason I took off my jacket was because I was burning up. I told them that and they said "we are just telling you what *insert jerk store manager's name here* would say". I told them that *insert store manager's name here* can kiss my ass. They walked off shocked. I was to my breaking point then.

I didn't come in for my next shift.

During my time there I thought I was having a miscarriage so I had to go to the doctor but I worked that day so I called the store manager. The store manager wanted to know why I was calling in and I said "personal reasons" and he said "well that's great, the first day you were supposed to be here" then he flat out hung up on me. It was my first day after about 2 weeks to a month of training in my assigned department, not my first day. My cat had surgery for possible cancer and I had to be the one to pick him up but that interfered with a day I worked so I had to call in again and the manager asked why once again and I told him "someone I love dearly might have cancer and I need to be there". I was really distraught about my cat because I raised him and they didn't give me an excused absence for that, they didn't know it was my cat.

The girl that was stealing also called in ALL THE TIME because she partied too much and hard and they never did anything to her. I was the one to stay and cover her shift when asked. I bent over backwards for a shitty company. That girl also sold drugs on the company property and brought them to work. She was also sleeping with the security guard and every other guy there.

Anyway, I have to fill out an app for a new place (I need a job really badly) but I don't know what to say for my reason for leaving my last work place. Techniqually I was fired but I had given my two week notice. Any suggestions on what I should put/say?
   
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Re: Interview coming up soon and I don't know how to explain being fired. Need help ASAP - March 11th 2014, 01:55 AM

It's never fun having to talk about why you were fired, it sucks. I used to work in retail and was fired. It was a horrid place to work and the people there were so catty. The one time this girl claimed she and a coworker did all the work while I just stood around and gossiped which so wasn't true. In reality, SHE was the one who stood around and gossiped while I did most of the cleaning so little things like that made my situation worse there.

Any how, what I did eventually was take it off my resume. Now it has been 5-6 years since I worked there and it is so insignificant in the greater scheme of things one day I was like "fuck it, I don't want to be asked about this piece of shit job that got me nowhere in life, I don't want other more important things being ignored so people can ask me 500 questions about this crappy job".... So it is no longer on my resume, same with my job at a chain coffee shop that involves a hideous uniform..... So bear with me a little longer here ok.

My rule of thumb is to try to pick up anything else, such as looking into volunteering and stuff in your free time. That'll go a long way in padding your resume. Maybe if you like acting you can take some acting classes or audition to be in a play (you could even do props, costumes, sound, any role is good). Maybe if you like cooking you can take cooking classes. Like writing? Offer to do some free lance writing or voluntary writing for a local paper. Like dogs? Volunteer to walk and train them at the humane society. I know it sounds stupid, but most of the stuff that I am most proud of on my resume have been things I was not paid to do and it went a long way to help me out with justifying being fired. And then it occurred to me that "hey, guess what, I can rearrange my resume", so I put "relevant experience" (paid/voluntary jobs that were relevant) and then "additional experience" for irrelevant jobs and "community service" for voluntary jobs that don't matter as much.... This can take a while to build up too, but it really helps in the long run, especially when you get to the point that you can rearrange you're resume and draw the attention away from less than stellar jobs.

Meanwhile I would strongly encourage you to word things carefully. Don't blame you managers for example because the interviewer might think you're not capable of taking responsibility for yourself, and don't criticize them either (ex. "well the management was really bad"). Even if all that stuff is true it usually just sounds like your resentful and grudging or incapable of taking responsibility for yourself... It's a tough bridge to cross because, at the same time, you can't just trash your self and be like "yeah, it was all my fault" because then that also sounds bad on you.... So on the application itself it's best to be honest but not TO honest, like I said I left one job because of "scheduling conflicts with my scheduled in school and the competition schedule from being on a school sports team", which is fair because I was in high school at the time, the reality was that I had all these conflicts so they wouldn't schedule me because I refused to be available whenever they wanted me to be (ex. I maybe could have gotten away with 2 practices a week, not 3 practices and a 4th weekly game)

Like saying "I have personal problems" sounds like bull shit, you should have said "I am having some serious health problems today and have to go to my doctor". You could have said "My cat had surgery and no one else can get them from the vet, I'm very sorry that it's an inconvenience but I can't come in".... Because by saying "my friend might have cancer and I have to be there" sounds flaky and like, yeah, it's good to be there for a friend, but what it boils down to is that THEY (managers) don't care about your friend, they care about thier business and they'd probably be like "Ok, so, go see him/her after work".... So communication like that is huge, and I think you could always use that to your advantage to be like "well, I had some unexpected health issues with myself and my pet and the communication between myself and my employers concerning that wasn't handled as well as it should have been so I ended up leaving the job" sort of thing, and acknowledge how you could have improved communicating with difficult people.... If you word it to not lay blame anywhere and then say how you would have handed it better then that owuld help...

But I would strongly recommending doing what ever you can to shift focus onto other jobs




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Re: Interview coming up soon and I don't know how to explain being fired. Need help ASAP - March 11th 2014, 11:09 PM

If you do need to include it in your resume (like if it's the only job you've ever had) then I recommend wording your reasons carefully if they ask you about it. You can say something along the lines of "I had previously given my two weeks notice but I was persuaded to stay."

Also, why were you fired? It's a bit unclear in this post. If it's due to not meeting your sales goals, you can say "I wasn't meeting my sales goal by ten cents". Unless your new company is the type to care about ten cents they're likely to not care much, adding a quick explanation like how the staff was big or something like that could help explain why you weren't. If it was because of your absences, you can just say "I was struggling with a loved one's illness and often had to miss work to help" or something like that.

Anyway, in future I'd recommend wording your explanations better. "I'm having personal problems" could be anything, so while you technically shouldn't have to explain, managers like to be more informed than that. You didn't have to say you were having a miscarriage, you could have said "I think I'm ill and I need to go to the hospital", usually hospitals can also hand out slips that certify that you were there if you need to prove you were indeed at the hospital.

I hope this helps. Explaining why you were fired sounds tough, but try to word it gently. Don't go into details, don't start ranting about your colleague (you have no proof here and it's not relevant to the people interviewing you, so may think you're lying or drama-prone), etc. Just be clear but concise. "I didn't meet my sales by ten cents but I had previously wanted to quit and was persuaded to stay in the staff" sounds better than a long, long story, or if the reason why you were fired were your absences, something like "A loved one was ill" sounds fine to me. This will of course depend on the type of interview.


   
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Re: Interview coming up soon and I don't know how to explain being fired. Need help ASAP - March 12th 2014, 07:16 AM

I did some more looking into it and the job I was going to interview for didn't work along with my school hours.

I did talk to my dad and he suggested that I say I gave my two weeks but was later terminated. He has a business degree and was a manager for a very long time.

The reason I worded the way I did was because my manager was a male and I wasn't about to go into detail with a male about my issues and it was randomly asked when their store policy says they can't ask.

I was fired because I walked out on them. I don't believe I can leave it off, unfortunately, my employer before that one is very open and will flat out tell people I left for so and so company. I had an interview before I started at the new place that was terrible and the manager went and talked to my previous manager and she told him I left for that company and told him the name. He then came back down and confronted me and was pissed. In my state they can be sued for doing that, they are only supposed to answer certain questions. I'm just so sick of clothing retail because the managers are so immature, the workers are terrible, and it just overall sucks.

I worked for a guy that sexually harassed me on a daily basis and I would gladly go back to his fast food store before going back to this company that I walked out on.
   
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Re: Interview coming up soon and I don't know how to explain being fired. Need help ASAP - March 14th 2014, 08:48 PM

Walking out on the job seems more like quitting than being fired to me, though I admit I don't know what officially constitutes the difference between termination and quitting in that case. Also, you can leave a job off your resume/application without consequence, but often you do have to disclose whether you have been terminated from any job.

I have never envied clothing retail workers - in those jobs it seems like management often overemphasizes their own importance. Why not try a different type of retail? Grocery, home improvement, electronics, etc. should all be better than fast food or the mall.



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Re: Interview coming up soon and I don't know how to explain being fired. Need help ASAP - March 15th 2014, 01:50 AM

I have to agree with Ghost on the Highway, trying other types of jobs might help - it'll also give you more diversity on you're resume.

Plus, if you're like me you'll do ANYTHING to get a job - I just applied to work as a cleaning lady and that's just sad for me since I will hold a Bachelor of Arts within 3 months, I have a writing portfolio and a large body of working experience, I'm an aspiring author and want to work in marketing... Yet here I am trying to get a job as a maid because, as of right now, I can't find better and to top it off I can't stomach retail or waitressing.

Assitionally, if you try other jobs (waitressing, babysitting, administration, receptionist, cleaning etc.) you will be asked different questions, they might not pry so far into the retail-related issues you had.

For things like being off your sales quota by 10 cents you can always be like "well, at one point I was .10 off, but I found a way to improve and was typically X amount over my sales"... Always focus on "well, this was a boo-boo, but I fixed it and here are some other good things"




Feel free to PM me if you ever need to chat or have questions
   
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