In case you think I'm wonderful, there are those who disagree. Our recently fired paralegal has posted her thoughts on us on her MySpace blog (link no longer good). I'm the "asshole" in the story, by the way.
Let's just say that I don't quite agree with everything she wrote, and in particular I didn't know a workplace was supposed to have a specific rule about being on time for work. My general sense is that when you start a new job, you should probably show up early for the first month, and maybe the first year. And you probably shouldn't ask if you can leave early on a repeated basis in that first month. And you probably shouldn't ask for days off in that first month. And you probably shouldn't ... well, you get the idea.
Seriously though, this was a difficult experience for me (I'm sure it was worse for her). Firing someone is not easy. I was thinking about waiting until after Christmas on some notion that it's cruel to fire someone so close to Christmas. It turns out that before Christmas is a good time to find a job, and after Christmas may not be such a good time.
It's also hard to tell someone directly to their face why you're firing them. Somehow it's easier to cross-examine a cop in a courtroom.
Then there's the process of making sure they get all of their stuff and get out, because you just don't want someone who's been fired hanging around or showing up again. So when I found her sweater in the kitchen after she had just left, I figured it was better to get them to her while she was still in the neighborhood than have her come back in later that day or another day.
There's also that question about how much one should blog about one's life on the web. Our former paralegal also posted about her previous job on her blog, where she mentioned she doesn't like doing personal injury work (funny, that's what we do too). You don't really want to have to explain to your new boss why you posted that you didn't like doing the same kind of work for your old boss. So inviting your new boss to be your friend on MySpace, which leads him directly to your blog, might not be the best idea.
Despite all that, I wish her well on her new job and in her life. Seems like a decent person, but just not right for our office. Hopefully she learned from this experience ... and doesn't invite her new boss to be her MySpace friend so he/she can read her blog too.