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To think you don't fire your employee in a public place within earshot of dozens of strangers?

(87 Posts)
BipBippadotta Fri 26-Feb-16 17:42:11

This has been haunting me all day.

So this morning I was sitting in a branch of Pret, when a woman a table over started talking incredible loudly on the phone about a team member of hers who was underperforming. She was clearly on to her HR department, announcing her intention to fire this person, asking how much notice she'd have to give them, what severance pay, etc.

A moment later, she made another phone call, asking someone to come and meet her in Pret 'for a brief chat'. I thought, surely she's not summoning her employee to an entirely public place to be sacked? Cos you'd have to be a sociopath to do that, right?

A woman came in & sat down, the first woman told her perfunctorily she was 'no longer suitable for the role', talked her through what she would be paid, offered her the opportunity to clear out today or work a notice period. Bizarrely, she also told the sacked employee the team were going out for drinks and asked if she would be coming along! Throughout this the employee looked mortified, and at one point seemed on the verge of tears, and left when the conversation was done.

Just to reiterate, this was the middle of a coffee shop, 10:30 AM, so quite a few people in there but still quiet enough for EVERYONE in there to hear the entire conversation. I heard what this woman was being paid for her notice period. I heard all the reasons she was considered to be underperforming.

Sacker then got on the phone to HR, said it was done, had a little chuckle about how the sackee had 'got a bit emotional'.

Am I being U to think that this is unbelievably unprofessional behaviour?

And was I U to have left a little note to this effect on her table, as I had to leave for an appt before she was done chortling down the phone about her former employee's public humiliation?

trixymalixy Fri 26-Feb-16 17:47:36

YANBU, very unprofessional. How did she react to the note?

Purplehonesty Fri 26-Feb-16 17:48:29

That's terrible! Did you manage to catch the name of the company? I would be tempted to ring up and speak to the person in charge .

OberonTheHopeful Fri 26-Feb-16 17:49:26

YANBU, alarmingly unprofessional! HR matters like that should always be confidential.

Chippednailvarnish Fri 26-Feb-16 17:50:57

You weren't on The Strand in London OP? I had an old boss who sounds just like you described...

Euphemia Fri 26-Feb-16 17:51:17

Awful, just grotesque. If you got any names, report her!

SmallGreenBouncyBall Fri 26-Feb-16 17:54:01

that's shocking!

noalcoholformeplease Fri 26-Feb-16 17:54:07

I once heard the land Lord of a pub fire a young lad for being "fecking late and fecking useless' It was horrible. The pub wasn't very busy but the lad had to walk through from the kitchen to the door. Never went back and the pub went under very soon after. Karma

heatseeker14 Fri 26-Feb-16 17:54:30

Which branch were you in? What a nasty piece of work please email them to complain.

MadamDeathstare Fri 26-Feb-16 18:02:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BipBippadotta Fri 26-Feb-16 18:07:51

She was still on the phone when I left, so didn't see how she reacted to the note. I just figured someone had to tell her how appalling her behaviour was. Just in case it hadn't occurred to her!

It was in London, but not the Strand, Chippednailvarnish. Just think, there could be others like her in every coffee shop throughout the land. Really wish I'd got names, or the name of the business. Sounded like the poor woman who got sacked did something sales-related.

FruStefanOla Fri 26-Feb-16 18:11:35

That sounds awful and, yes, dreadfully unprofessional.

I bet the HR dept had no idea that the 'sacker' was somewhere outside and in the hearing of the general public.

Chippednailvarnish Fri 26-Feb-16 18:15:28

Tell us the branch, as this sounds very familiar...

BipBippadotta Fri 26-Feb-16 18:18:09

What really stayed with me was the feeling of being unwillingly complicit in someone else's humiliation. I felt quite ragey.

So reassured that other people think this is awful, too - I was worried I might be told that this is common employment practice!

Sonnet Fri 26-Feb-16 18:22:17

Very well done for leaving her a note flowers

BipBippadotta Fri 26-Feb-16 18:22:18

It was Farringdon. But to be clear, it wasn't anyone who worked for Pret. It was just some random person who was sat there, drinking a coffee, summoning her employee from a nearby office to be sacked in public.

Chippednailvarnish Fri 26-Feb-16 18:24:30

OK so it's not who I thought it might be!

mumeeee Fri 26-Feb-16 18:28:41

Yanbu. That was extremely unprofessional. She should have spoken to her employee in a private room where they worked. Also I think the employee should have been given some notice about her under performance and not just be summoned to a coffee shop to be sacked.
I'm glad you left a note

MySordidCakeSecret Fri 26-Feb-16 18:29:30

what an almight twat angry

olivegardener Fri 26-Feb-16 18:31:40

Jesus she sounds like a psychopath! That's disgusting. To sack someone publicly and then gloat about it?! Hopefully employee will launch a formal complaint.

OP is there any chance you can report? This woman really does not deserve to stay in her job.

StealthPolarBear Fri 26-Feb-16 18:31:50

I too thought you meant a pret worker !
I came on here to say unless you own the big top and they're stuffed in a cannon... <groan>

ScarletForYa Fri 26-Feb-16 18:32:31

Well done for leaving a note OP.

Aeroflotgirl Fri 26-Feb-16 18:33:12

What a nasty piece of work, hope she has a taste of her own medicine.

SharkSkinThing Fri 26-Feb-16 18:34:30

What did your note say?!

nonamenopackdrill Fri 26-Feb-16 18:37:21

Awful behaviour. I feel so sorry for the person who was sacked, but hopefully she will realise that she would be better off not working for that piece of work.

I sat in a London branch of Nero recently, where a job interview was being conducted on the next table. Again, not Nero-related, more like an HR role, but I was staggered that it was happening in such a public space.

Must be a thing?

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