Firing The Problem yesterday was especially unpleasant. I was sure she should not have been surprised given our recent conversations, but she truly seemed shocked that I chose to let her go. I also saw a side of her that I have heard much about but never actually seen: violent aggression. She has worked for the company for eight years or so, and used to be a supervisor. Her file is filled with disciplinary actions revolving around behaviour that is legally considered physical assault: throwing things at subordinates, slamming doors, literally, in another's face, and so on. Behaviour I have heard many horror stories of, and should have resulted in termination a long time ago. I do not understand why she wasn't removed years ago. Usually when we get into discussions or conflicts, she just cries. I was expecting more tears, but instead I got the violent behaviour and the flying objects. She made a terrible scene in the office and cursed me quite foully.
This morning I announced to the office that The Problem was let go; the response was mixed, as it usually is. Half the group was visibly relieved that she is gone; the other half was anxious and distraught all day. I dealt with some attitude problems from other staff members, which was not unexpected but sure was unwelcome. Something I noticed among this group of people is their willingness to swallow outrageous stories without any evidence to back it up. I have never known a group of women who were more willing to jump on any ole bandwagon that happens by, with no regard to the other people involved. I'm a pretty thick-skinned individual so rumors and name-calling don't hurt my feelings, but it's damned annoying to be dealing with a bunch of people who seemingly refuse to think for themselves. I had to tell more than one person today that they can either call HR if they feel so concerned about my decision or they can continue working with their big mouths shut, but they can't sit around and draw their sophomoric conclusions all day and interrupt my office.