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How do I respond to a cause letter for poor performance?
Now this is something that rings true to me. Firstly check you local laws relating to employment as well as National Law.I have been give a written warning (your equivalent for poor performance) in the past. Certainly in my experience this sort of thing is as much to do with office politics than actual “poor performance”. There are a number of lower level managers who have their own concept of “poor performance”.First of all you should have had a face to face meeting with the HR Department and the Manager/Supervisor prior to the issue of the letter. That should have given you a right of reply.If they still insist in serving you (with what we call a written warning), they you do have the right of appeal both in the HR and he manager in writing.In that letter you would have expected them to outline the reason or the issue of the letter and the points that they feel that you have “fallen down upon”.That gives you an idea of the mentality of the people you are dealing with and whether it is clear that this is a method of removing you as your ideas of dealing with you job are different to theirs.If that is the case, this is where keeping your Job Description and variation over the course of time is important.In your reply to their list of “short-comings” you can point by point lay down your counter argument why you believe their views are wrong. That would be providing examples where their criticism is wrong. The classic of course is: “Failing to reach targets”.If the targets were outlined in the written agreement and its amendments were reasonable then you have to show that you have exceeded them, and that would require you to prthat information. For example you may have not reached your target that week/month because of a series of events which were beyond your control, for example a major computer crash. Alternatively in my game (Credit Control) why you have not hit the number of required calls per hour.The latter in my case when on consultancy, I have no idea what is sitting in that ledger or in the companies affairs as a whole. There have been occasions where I have been told that I have not reached my target by some “over ego’ed” manager and that I should be reprimanded, only to show them why. Very often they will not accept the fact that actually there accounts and ledgers are a complete fiction and there is multiple invoicing for the same transaction. That sort of things takes time to resolve.To that end I am not going to hit my “target” since the ledger is in such a mess I will be lucky to get four phone calls, letter alone 20 ! There is an assumption that just picking up the phone and asking for the money automatically means that the money will just come in without question. Actually there are many occasions where I have walked in to a cavern to find a whole pile of errors, mis-postings and billings on one account which need investigation.I have often said to the client: “What would you prefer: I deal with one account all morning and sort out the issues, get the Credit Notes and re-invoicing settled, as well as fishing money out of bank accounts to apply to the ledger (actually double accounting) and received £20 000 in a weeks time. Alternatively make 20 phone calls with vague promises to pay, which invariably do not come about, and perhaps recover £10 000.There have been occasions where I have looked at a ledger to see that the old invoices (120 days over due) should have been either Credited off as they were incorrect in the first place. Alternatively the invoice has been paid but the money still sitting in the bank account “unapplied” (See above).So a letter outlining why your short falls have taken place on a bullet pointed letter, in the same way as their accusation of shortfall and why you disagree with their point of view. Of course if this is backed up by paper work all the better. There is another advantage if you can do this in a formal styles where the meeting is minueted all the better as everyone in that room has to be copied with the minuetsIf you take the matter higher, say (in the UK) to an Employment Tribunal, that will make your case stronger. Normally by this stage the employer will know that they are on a losing field, and either re-instate your job, or pryou with a severance payment which you would not otherwise got.On that note, always make sure that you have a written reference before you officially leave the company, as there can be no questions of them telling a would be employer something to the contrary over the phone. If they do you can issue legal proceedings (in the UK) for defamation of character.I did actually do this about 20 years ago when I was “constructively dismissed” (forced to leave under duress) from a company and threatened them with legal proceedings. As I had set up their legal department and one of the Directors had a legal Degree, they knew I would win a Tribual Case. The only reason I couldn’t stay on was because the department I was in was no accessible by car.As a result of the medical incident which triggered the constructive dismissal ( I took an epileptic fit in the office- actually a life threatening one) and basically they just wanted to get rid of me. Rather stupidly on their part they had given me a written offer to work 4 out of 5 days a work in the office I could reach easily, 1 day at the other, and then 2 days a month for month end.It had not dawned on them that the meeting had been minueted and I had a copy and that this would be offer. To that end their removal from office was in fact illegal.In any case the working relationship had broken down, however I received a much greater severance payment than they had originally offered as they knew I would carry out my threat. Also I made sure that I had a written reference on letter head when I picked up my severance cheque.So all three ways they were locked up and couldn’t back off.The reason I go in to so much detail about this is to show that you may need to write more than one letter and raise the matter higher through the company and so you know the routes open to you.The last thing that you company needs (particularly high profiles) is to have this spread across the local press and media, no to mention higher level on the internet and national media.Best of luck and hope that you do no have to resort to the extremes which I did.RegardsChris R.-London.
What percent of employees does Facebook aim to manage out per year due to poor performance?
As far as I know (I left FB in 2022. worked in FB HR from 2008-2010), Facebook doesn't have a strict target for non-regrettable attrition in the way the Microsoft does (MSFT famously stack ranks the whole company and managers are supposed to manage out the bottom 10%). I would say that Facebook strongly believes that it is healthy to manage people out of the company when it is appropriate and they have always tried to make it possible to manage people out efficiently if it is the right decision (eg, it is not a 9 month process like it is at other places), but they have never forced managers to fire a certain % of employees. Facebook looks at attrition as part of the performance cycle every six months. Like most companies, they divide attrition in to regrettable (people that leave and you didn't want them to) and non-regrettable (people that you wanted to leave) attrition. I believe that the goal was to have non-regrettable attrition be higher than regrettable (%-wise) and that the total of the two should be 5-10% of employees (I believe it is usually closer to 5%). In my experience, I'd say Facebook is actually relatively good at ensuring that people that don't belong at the company are moved out. I say relatively, because regardless of attrition rate, I'm pretty sure that everyone always wishes that poor performers were managed out faster, but relative to other companies in the valley, Facebook does actually fire people (at all levels) and they do it at a healthy rate.
Why do more people put their parents in nursing home even though the elderly don’t want that?
Yohana, I can’t help but feel you are judging those who have placed elderly relatives in nursing homes. Have you any idea what it would be like to change adult diapers several times a day, everyday? Have you any idea what it would be like to have to spoon-feed an adult every single meal, and all meals in-between? What about there needing to be someone home all the time in order to babysit and care of the elderly relative. Their bath-time isn’t very much fun either!Placing the elderly in senior care homes is not usually a decision made easily. My partner and I had to make that decision for his mother because she fell on the bathroom floor and lay there for 3 days. And a year after she arrived at the seniors home she fell in her private suite and broke her hip. She is now in a wheelchair, where she will sit for the rest of her life. And she is living in a full care facility because that is just the way it has to be.People should not have to give-up their lives and stop living just to care for a senior relative, especially if the financial resources are available to keep the senior relative in comfortable and safe surroundings. My partner’s mother saved a hell of a lot of money for her senior years, and we are making damned certain that is where the money goes. And should that money run out before she dies, we will sell the home she once lived in before she went into the senior’s home.My partner’s mother might not be completely overjoyed living in a top-end senior’s home, but she wasn’t entirely happy living all alone in her own home either.
What are your views on the recent expulsion of 73 students from IIT Roorkee on academic grounds?
I wish I had some sort of superhuman power to reverse this decision. For the first time in my life I am finding it difficult to write an answer, not that I can't write, but the emotions right now are so high. I don't know those 73 students, but still I feel as if this happened with me. I don't know if this answer will make any sense to most of you, but you if you have ever tried to do something on your own in life, rather than people spoon-feeding you, you will understand. I have just combined bits and pieces, and some personal experience.Those who are justifying this decision comparing masters and undergrad program, please don't. You sound very stupid when you do that. Even in my masters program, there was a condition that funding may not be guaranteed if performance after 1st year is poor. Which is very normal because the university admitted me to do some serious research, not to time-pass. But this is bachelors we are talking about and that too in India. Most students don't even know what they want to do in life so early.For the answer: No. Absolutely Not. The worst decision I can imagine. Okay I understand that they underperformed and that they should have done better irrespective of the situation. But expelling is not justified. The very first thing is that GPA is not an indicator of intelligence or capability. Of all the good things IIT R could learn from the other, older 6 IITs, it learned to expel students. When I was there, there were many courses, forced, that just didn't make any sense and served no purpose at all. Even the electives were so pathetic that they didn't even deserve to be called electives. It is very easy to lose interest in the course structure itself. Some lose because they want to do advanced studies some lose due to the such courses.First of all, students get selected through a central examination. It is not that IIT R selected them based on their different examination. They do not (or should i say, should not have) have the authority to take such a decision. Okay they are legally covered for doing that but that doesn't mean they should do that. Talking about legality, you can put all the gay people in jail in India --- but if you have some morality left in you, you won't do that right?Moreover:IIT R has a flexible course structure? --- Answer is: NO!!So they have no right to expel students. Lets take EE department for example --- they are still teaching courses from 1980s something. Many students lose interest in their courses, it is a very normal thing. To all those who are justifying this decision --- have you even seen the course structure of IIT Roorkee? Although expulsion just doesn't make sense, just give them a warning to perform in second year, but still if IIT Bombaty or IIT Kanpur had taken such a decision, I would have tried to make myself understand. But IIT R, no just doesn't make sense. Here's more to why ---Now I am giving you a personal example :- I myself graduate with a GPA of 6.275 (ok agreed much above 5, but doesn't matter, the context is more important). Contrary to popular beliefs (mostly among non-iitians,  and some iitians), due to low gpa, I wasn't time-passing or under-performing. I was doing some serious research and for that I had to give up my courses (which to me were useless and just didn't make sense) and the GPA itself. - In 2022. I started delivering my own lectures/tutorials through a website that I started for the purpose. For doing this I had to give up GPA and courses.- In 2022 right after I finished B. Tech, thanks to all those years of research, I published my first paper and two other papers were submitted for review. - In 2022. again thanks to all those years of research and not following IIT R courses --- not running after GPA, I published 2 more papers in top conferences, out of my research intern in Israel, and that prof still considers me as one of his finest interns.- Again thank god I didn't go after the GPA and focused on research while at IIT R, I published another paper in August 2012.- Again thanks to my research, I was selected in the CS masters program at Univ. of Alberta.- Again thanks to my research at IIT R, and thanks to not following courses, which I found to be useless, or running after GPA, in 2022 I published a paper in the most prestigious robotics Journal.- Again thanks to my Research, and not going after the GPA at IITR, and doing advanced studies, graduate courses looked so easy. In 2022 I published 2 more papers. - Again thanks to my research at IIT R and not maintaining GPA or following courses which I found to be ill-logical, I applied to Phd programs in 2022 for Fall 2022 and got admitted at the University of Massachusetts Amherst CS Dept.- Again thanks to that time spent at IIT R not running after the GPA or the courses that I found to be useless, I gained enough confidence that I declined PhD offer and came back to India to build my own robotics company.Wondering why I mentioned all that? Here's the answer in next 2 paragraphs:I am not saying that I am some kind of genius, but having published 8 or 9 papers without even doing a PhD I think I have at least achieved something if not very big, in academic research, and most of the paper are from self-initiated research. And it all happened because I didn't follow the course structure, gave up the GPA, and did self-study and self-initiated research. It is very easy, especially at IIT Roorkee --- the inflexible course structure, for anyone to give up courses for whatever reason. In my case it was because I wanted to do cutting edge research right from the 1st year and IIT R, yes the so called OLDEST ENGINEERING COLLEGE IN INDIA (or ASIA?) didn't prme that research environment so much so that I had to take a drastic decision to give up my GPA knowing that with low GPA it would be very difficult for me to get in the top 5 or top 10 PhD programs! I don't know the reason why those 73 students underperformed, and frankly, it doesn't even matter --- expulsion just doesn't make sense! IIT R, at the very least, should follow older 5 IIT s and formulate a flexible course structure. Build that environment where students get motivated to do better or to attend classes or take interest in courses. You should allow students to take some of the courses of other departments. Introduce the "Major and Minor" concepts.  For now, for god's sake, just give them a warning to perform in 2nd year and then expel if they don't perform after 1 more year. You don't know or don't realize, dear IIT R, but you might just have killed a Ramanujan, or Bose, or Einstein with that decision of expulsion.Addition: Sharing a short story for those who are bashing (in may different forums) students for not following courses or for questioning the ability of the system or blaming students for being hindrance in the improvement process. Students clearing JEE don't know about different rules and mindset of admin at IIT R. So do not blame students for joining IITs and then not following courses, without knowing the situation. This is specifically about IIT Roorkee.During my stay at IIT R I did everything I could to make professors understand the importance of giving students a choice and to improve the conditions of at least the EE department. I learned, starting from 8-bit 8085 all the way up to intel 80386, a 32-bit  processor, including all the numerical co processors as well by the end  of my 3rd semester. I then approached to XYZ professor to help me study  further the electronics courses by introducing some of them in our  department or allowing students to take them or at least allow me to take them --- you know what the  response was --- "Well Sanjeev, there will be very few who would be  interested, and I don't think other than you anyone would be interested and I don't think it would be worth allowing a single student to do so"  (he said many more things but I have mentioned the 3 key points) ---  I am not sure if majority of you will understand how critical that response was. That doesn't  help students. I gave up the electronics and processors interest as I found interest  in AI and then professors of my department started disliking me for not  paying attention to "Electrical Courses" and some even questioned me "aap  to micorprocessors me interested the na, phir ye kya hua achanak" --- you were interested in microprocessors so what happened now.Addition: People have asked "after giving all the time in self-study/research you managed to score above 6 so don't you think 5 is appropriate criteria?"NO! When I was doing all those things there was no fear of being expelled. Fear is a greatest hindrance in progress. I didn't care about D's or Cs'. But if there was some fear of being expelled, I wouldn't have done as much research/study as I did. What IIT R is saying to future students is this: You better not do any self-study or independent-research or follow your passion. You better follow only the courses no matter how outdated they are (sounds like a dictatorship?). If you try to do anything else, you better be fearful, we have the power to expel you. With this hard line criteria, anyone taking up research in undergrad will think twice before doing so. Because you never know if  you score below 5 --- most of the other students will be following/studying only the courses.I feel that this issue is even bigger than those 73 students. We not only need IIT Roorkee to take those students back, but also remove this nonsensical rule altogether. This rule will affect current and the students that will join IIT R in future. This will stop students from doing something unique. We all complain that IITs rank nowhere when compared to foreign institutes, in terms of the quality of research. With this rule in place, if other IITs also incorporate it, the conditions will further deteriorate.
Do I have to fill out a form to receive a call letter for the NDA SSB?
No form has to be filled for u to get your call-up letter.If you have cleared the written exam and your roll no. Is in the list, then sooner or later you will get your call-up letter.I would suggest you to keep looking for your SSB dates. Online on sites like Join Indian Army. Because the hard copy may be delayed due to postal errors or faults.Just to reassure you, NO FORM HAS TO BE FILLED TO GET YOUR SSB CALLUP LETTER.Cheers and All the Best
Is it compulsory to fill out the iVerify form for Wipro before getting a joining letter?
Yes, you should definitely will the form as you require it for your Background verification else the HR would mail and call every time unless you fill it.
How do I mail a regular letter to Venezuela? Do I need to fill out a customs form for a regular letter or do I just need to add an international mail stamp and send it?
You do not need to fill out a customs form for a regular letter sent from the US to any other country. Postage for an international letter under 1 ounce is currently $1.15. You may apply any stamp - or combination of stamps - which equals that amount.
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