I got thrown into the executive world at the young age of 25 years old. It happened when my father fell ill and had to retire prematurely. Since we wanted to keep the leadership role within the family, I had no choice but to succeed him – being my parents’ only child and all.
Though the company had already been established and had at least two hundred employees, my father upheld a job that should have been delegated to the human resources department a long time ago. Specifically, he took it upon himself to train our new employees for a couple of weeks before letting them fill their desks.
I used to find the latter a tedious task (and I still do). Unfortunately, it also happened to be my dad’s only request. He said, “You can change whatever you want in the company, but always train our people in person.” So, that’s what I did.
I instantly realized why my father wanted to handle the new employees’ first training session. The reason was that the HR folks would merely focus on ensuring that the new hires could complete their training during the day. Meanwhile, if you were the boss, you could assess a person’s skills and work ethics and figure out if they would be an asset to the company.
Ever since I took over the company, I had probably interviewed and trained more than 100 individuals. Some of them had potential, but more of those people made me sign up for therapy to ensure that I would have a mental health professional to talk to if they stressed me too much.
Below are a few of the most irritating characteristics that I found in my wannabe employees that might push you to seek therapy, too.
I was pretty chill about time in the sense that I allowed the trainees to decide on when or at what time they wanted to start. This way, I would not hear something like, “Oh, sorry, I have someplace else to be.”
Despite that, some individuals still irritate me by asking me to set a specific date and time and then calling me soon after because they forgot about a prior engagement. Worse, others would call an hour before the appointment to have it rescheduled.
In such cases, the most practical answer was no. “No, you can’t take your word back.” “No, you can’t reschedule the meeting you set up.” It might seem harsh, but with the level of freedom that I often gave, the fact that they could not give me a proper time and date showed indecisiveness, which was not an appreciable characteristic.
My self-introduction during interviews was always the same. “Hi! I am the new CEO of this company. Nice to meet you!”
It was bright and cheery, and my father thought so, too. However, I would sometimes come across overly confident individuals who were quick to assume that being new meant that I did not know how to do my job. Without asking if I wanted any advice, they would go on to say, “From my years of handling training at my previous job, …”
If that’s not irritating enough, I would find out that they were nothing but blabbermouths. Before I could finish explaining a task or what they’re supposed to do, they would be like, “Relax. I already know this.” Then, I would check their work later and see that they barely got anything correct.
Overly confident people like that typically get three chances from me. Nevertheless, I had to turn an extremely critical eye on them to see if their claims matched their skills. If they could not keep up, I could not see the point of working with them further.
I was training this young and intelligent man one time. He came off as overly confident initially, but I did not fire him because he redeemed himself after two strikes. But then, when the training ended, I noticed an immediate drop in his work performance during the first week.
Of course, I had to ask why because the man did so well during the training. His reply was the most unprofessional thing I have heard so far. “Sorry, lady boss, but my friends and I have been drinking every night, celebrating my new work here. I have been coming to work drunk or with a hangover. But no worries – the celebrations will be over soon.”
Deep inside, I was like, “Heck, yeah. I’ll end it now.” I told the guy to leave and never return to my company. He tried to explain further, but I had already heard enough.
Every employee is unique; that’s why I have grown to enjoy training them. However, the task is not so enjoyable when you meet people with the characteristics mentioned above.
If it’s your first time training employees, my only advice is not to let them get away with everything. You won’t run out of applicants, so you don’t have to put up with the rotten eggs. Their first moves can tell you if they will fit in your company, so keep your eyes open and be ready to cull anyone anytime.