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when is it time for the axe to fall?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by txsportsscribe, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    how many chances and how much time do you give a new grad in their first full-time job to get their act together?
  2. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    What exactly have been his/her transgressions?
  3. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    i feel like i haven't done my job as a boss if i end up having to make a change and i generally like the person but the same errors keep popping up: spelling/ a.p. errors that should've been solved in college, deadlines get smashed (two hours late today on a story that should have been done the day before but now won't make it in paper until saturday), attention to factual details seems like a low priority and this person is more often than not the last one in the office and first to want to leave. i've tried the nice, nurturing approach and i've tried the sorry bastard of an editor act but things don't seem to be improving. the person has been on the job for just under six months and right now i'm looking at make it or break by the end of the year.
  4. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Why did you hire this person? What stood out?
  5. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    My .02: the paper I'm at was a start-up weekly. The first SE was lazy and the 26-year-old who started the paper began to see a trend. He wanted sports to be one of the strengths. After 9 months he canned the guy and brought me in. I've been here 3-plus years; won awards, yadda yadda. Point is, cut the chord if you have to. The transgressions you've listed aren't very healthy ones. There are unemployed people in this business who (A) need the work (B) are very good and (C) won't give you shpilikas.
  6. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    had good college clips and a pretty good job interview. i was filling more than one empty slot and made what appears to be a couple of potentially solid hires of people with some experience about the same time so i decided one of the slots could go to giving a recent grad a chance. i've had a little pressure from above to "solve the problem" but have resisted because i catch glimpses of potential.
  7. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Well, bust his/her ass until you see that potential. Bring him/her in and give him/her (fuck that - HIM) a list and say, "This is what you do, this is what you don't do" and you can stay here. Do anything from List B and your ass is gone. I'm here to help you make sure List A happens. Just ask. Do List B and your lazy ass is toast. Do you understand?"
  8. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    Hmm, the direct approach. How refreshingly different.
  9. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Other things you need to ask yourself:

    *Can this person just not do the job? Which means you fucked up but, hey, it happens. If this person can't, suck on that and good by. Be prepared to catch some hell for the hire.

    *Can this person do the job and is simply a lazy piece of shit (not a terribly uncommon problem)? Then whip out the whuppin' stick and get busy. You'll find out quickly just how much this person gives a shit. Be very clear about what you expect and what you will not tolerate and make sure you ready to say "see ya" the very instant one of this List B things shows up.
  10. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    thanks for the advice moderator1. i've gone over similar things in my mind but having someone else say it helps.
  11. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Write it all down and be ready with examples.

    "Like, yo, dude. Shit. When have I, uh, did that?"

    "Here, here, here and here and here, too, and one more and it's THERE BITCH."
  12. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    If this person doesn't realize they aren't getting the job done, that's a problem. I spent a few months as a part-timer, mostly a clerk, before getting my first real job in the business. The SE who hired me thought I was more ready for the job than I turned out to be.

    My writing was too sloppy and I had other problems. I don't come across as being particularly driven, even though I am, which has led to me making the occasional bad first impression.

    But I knew how bad my work was at that point and I knew I wanted to do the work to fix it. Just before my three-month review, it was like the light went on. It was too late for the review, but the SE saw me turning it around before he even sat me down to tell me it had to be done.

    They basically gave me another three-month trial and by the end of that, I was settled in and doing good work.

    To be over six months in and not taking direction when you try to help, I'd be very concerned if this person has the self-awareness or drive to turn it around.
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