Negative Nell: A Temporary Fix


When we last saw Negative Nell she quit her job at 123 Company to “show them”, as she so eloquently put it. Nell didn’t know that her negative attitude cost her a potential promotion. She REALLY showed them, right? What has Nell done since then? She’s tried her best but, in the end, it’s only a temporary fix. 

 Negative Nell: A Temporary Fix

Nell accepted a job as a temporary receptionist at a local bank. The bank was in the process of building a new main branch and, understandably, needed additional help. Their long-time receptionist chose not to continue due to personal reasons. Nell was told she would be hired on a short-term status, but told that the job could work into long term employment once things are finalized and management reviewed her work performance.

Nell didn’t appreciate her supervisor’s honest explanation of the job and potential status. Several employees went to lunch one afternoon and invited Nell to go with them. The annual Christmas party was mentioned. “Oh, I won’t be here,” Nell added. “I’m only short-term and who knows what they will do. I don’t even think they will keep someone in my position.  All I do is tell people to go this way or that way.” Negative Nell, A Temporary Fix

The group was a bit uncomfortable. One person replied, “Nell, who knows. You might still be here in December.” Nell’s response: “Oh, yeah, right.” 

The Haircut

Nell awoke one Monday and looked outside to see the sun shining. It was 6:45 am when she called and left her supervisor a voice mail saying she was not feeling well and shouldn’t come in to work today.

Nell didn’t feel good – she wasn’t sick – just not good. She decided what she needed was a new haircut. Better than that, her hair needed coloring, too!  Maybe a perm! A makeover??? (Nah…nobody is going to pay attention to the makeover so why bother.) 

 The Next Day

She arrives at work the next morning – 15 minutes late – with her new haircut and color. She walked around saying hello to everyone in an attempt to get as many compliments as possible. Finally, at 8:40 am, she sat down at her desk – cup of coffee in hand. Her supervisor asked Nell to come into her office. Nell was terminated. 

Where did Nell go wrong?

Nell was terminated for several reasons:

  1. Several co-workers complained to their supervisors about Nell’s comments. One quoted her as saying, “You can kiss any raises goodbye. Have you seen what they’re building? That is going to cost a pretty penny!” The co-workers who complained may have only been grounds for a written warning. Unfortunately……
  1. Two customers had complained about Nell. One called the branch manager saying, “She told me that I should know where to find Missy Delgado if I had been here before. I had to come back after going to Missy’s office and discovering that she had moved floors. I asked someone else instead of going back to her.”  The other publicly complained on the bank’s Facebook page about “That really negative woman you have working at reception now…one word…RUDE!” 
  1. Nell did not follow correct policy when calling on Monday. Company policy does not allow temp or perm employees to leave a voice message when calling in sick/late.

Nell called a friend after leaving the bank. “Can you believe they had the nerve to fire me!?!?! I told you they were not a good company. I should have just gone with my gut yesterday morning and called and quit. SERIOUSLY! Instead, I had to listen to some stupid, totally fabricated lie about someone complaining about me!  They even tried to blame me for someone else’s bad work that someone complained about on Facebook. SERIOUSLY!”  


If anything, what could the employer have done differently? SERIOUSLY!

Want more Negative Nell?  Revisit her first adventure: The Negative Story of Nell

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