Before you fire an employee…

I received a call from my site supervisor when they were marking the plan of the approved drawing on the floor to simulate the feeling of how the floor arrangements would look like before commencing the interior work. The clients were also there along with my interior designer who had made the design. The design was done after a few rounds of discussions and changing the design a few times. A reception, a meeting room, 75 work stations, a room for the CEO, a conference room, 5 VP’s a pantry, toilets an electrical room. Finally the design looked perfect and then the marking began and after the marking the call came…

The design on the paper and the actual plan in the office while doing the marking on the floor were not accordant. The measurements taken by the designer initially were wrong by miles and so the plan went awfully wrong. The clients were furious and I had to cut a sorry figure. However we took the measurements again with another designer from our office since the clients had lost their trust with the initial designer. Working extra time we were able to complete the drawing the next day and marked the plan on the floor. The design on the paper matched the plan on the floor. The client’s faith in us was restored.

That was not the first instance where my designer had made a mistake. He had committed a mistake in the plan when he had made the height of the table as 1’6” instead of 2’6”. I thought about the designer’s performance. My immediate repercussion was to fire the designer for his carelessness which affected our work. I also thought that about his earlier works. He had performed extremely well and his designs were spot on with not a sqft of wastage. Last 4 months he was not in his elements. I had a habit of documenting all our personnel’s performances and so when I made a tabulation of all the good designs my designer had made and placed it along with the list of designs that were not made so well I could see a stark difference between the two. The number of good designs were far more than the recent careless ones. I made up my mind not to fire him but to have a chat with him.

I called my designer and after some time went on to tell him that his earlier designs were so commendable in the past but how was that suddenly the designs were all wrong, taking measurements were wrong, communication with the supervisor was wrong everything about his performance were wrong.

My designer broke down then and said that because of the poor health of his young son all the mistakes were happening. He said that his son had blood cancer. I broke down then. How unfairly one could judge a person from the outside. What do we know about what the other person is going through. We are so judgmental and immediately come to conclusions and take wrong decisions. Luckily for me I would have fired my designer but for the documentation I had which showed many pluses and a very few minuses.

My designer was a shy person and was keeping it all to himself. Had he opened out even in the earlier stages things would have been a lot different. We would have given him that emotional support also. I told him to take off after handing over the work in hand to another designer and join once the time was appropriate.