A few months ago, I had the extreme displeasure of firing my first employee. It was horrible because you felt like you failed as a supervisor and trainer. You put all of this time and energy into giving this person the knowledge you know, and it is often not accepted or appreciated.
I know this employee appreciated it, but when you are young, you don't always know how to manage life, work, relationships, and responsibilities. At the end of the day, I had to give up.
The moment I ended this work relationship, I looked at this employee's face and saw something familiar. I saw someone who was overwhelmed and lost. I saw someone who didn't know how to exist independently and someone who was a little scared. I saw me when I was just a little older than her.
I honestly didn't think that this was a hopeless case. I honestly felt like I had a good work foundation because of the places I worked early in my career. I tool a vacation day that week and I told her that we were going job hunting. We went to fast food restaurants and retail places. Eventually we realized that almost everything is online so we sat at the computer and started applying places that way.
Fast forward to a few days ago when I decided to go to Taco Bell. I knew she got the job there because her cousin is one of my best friends. I took a chance and hit the drive through and she was there. We chatted and laughed like we had so much we wanted to talk about. Before I left, I got a thank you. Why? Because I helped her get the job and took a chance to help instead of discounting someone when things didn't work out.
Employees are human and as much as we want to discount it, they are just as much part of our family as our blood family. We spend just as much time with them, we defend their honor, and we teach them like they are our children. I was proud to get that simple thank you after I was criticized for helping her. It made me believe that humanity isn't dead, we just need to give it a charge.