It’s pretty hard to get sacked these days, thanks to those strict unfair dismissal rules ‘n’ all.
Still, it seems to be human nature to push the envelope, to test the boundaries of what’s possible — and that means people tend to get fired for doing some pretty stupid shit.
Melbourne-based HR specialist Karen Gately reveals some of the dumbest reasons people get the sack in modern workplaces (and how to avoid them).
1. Getting into a fight.
Oh, it happens. In fact, it happened at Buckingham Palace when one of the Queen’s favourite chefs headbutted a colleague at a staff party.
That kind of behaviour will get you fired quicker than you can say “guilty, Your Honour”, but you need to beware of verbal altercations as well. Company Christmas parties and out-of-office vents tend to be prime environments for those, so make sure you deal with your frustrations as soon they crop up and don’t let them fester.
“Remember how you behave while ‘off duty’ can matter has much as when you are on the job,” says Gately.
2. A good old-fashioned social media rant.
With an audience of thousands (or potentially millions, if you're popular) right there in your pocket, it might be tempting to vent your feels about that shitty boss of yours and get some sympathy from the people of the internet.
But don't. Just don't, OK? It could land your head on the chopping block, says Gately.
"When your blood is boiling and your fingertips are poised over the keyboard, stop. Take a few deep breaths and get some perspective before posting. While it might feel great to let off steam, you might not like the consequences of your actions," she says.
"Consider if there is a more productive way of dealing with the issue."
3. Not doing your job.
It sounds simple, and it is. Remember the US software developer who got caught outsourcing his job to China back in 2013? Basically, don't be him.
After all, by accepting your role you agreed to carry out the tasks outlined in your job description. You may not enjoy doing them, but they're the reason you can afford that G&T at the end of the week.
"If you are so bored in your job that you can’t bring yourself to do it, recognise it’s time to leave," suggests Gately.