Employees of the world, if you get let go from your job, here's a great example of what not to do.
Over the weekend a former software engineer at Reddit, a social networking community, decided to take to the website to discuss the ins and outs of working for Reddit and the reasons why he decided to leave the company.
Except, he didn't leave, he was fired, as the CEO decided to point out on the very public forum.
The employee, who was identified as David Ehrmann by Fast Company, started chatting on the 'Ask Me Anything' thread about working at Reddit, and saying he was now working for Spotify after leaving the company for a number of reasons.
The Q&A was going well - until CEO Yishan Wong decided to set the record straight:
"You were fired for the following reasons:
- Incompetence and not getting much work done.
- Inappropriate or irrelevant comments/questions when interviewing candidates
- Making incorrect comments in public about reddit's systems that you had very little knowledge of, even after having these errors pointed out by your peers and manager.
- Not taking feedback from your manager or other engineers about any of these when given to you, continuing to do #2 until we removed you from interviewing, and never improving at #1.
Feedback and criticism, even troublemaking, are things that we actively tolerate (encourage, even) - but above all you need to get your work done, and you did not even come close to doing that."
Wong then goes on to lay out the non-disparagement Reddit asked him to sign, which Ehrmann said during his AMA was a "violation of free speech".
"When an employee is dismissed from employment at a company, the policy of almost every company (including reddit) is not to comment, either publicly or internally. This is because companies have no desire to ruin someone's future employment prospects by broadcasting to the world that they were fired. In return, the polite expectation is that the employee will not go shooting their mouth off about the company especially (as in your case) through irresponsibly unfounded speculation.
"Signing a non-disparagement indicates that you have no intention to do this, so the company can then say "Ok, if anyone comes asking for a reference on this guy, we needn't say he was fired, just give a mildly positive reference." Even if you don't sign the non-disparagement, the company will give you the benefit of the doubt and not disparage you or make any negative statements first. Unfortunately, you have just forfeited this arrangement."
Ehrmann apparently hasn't commented again since Wong's response. We wonder what he's thinking?