Yes it's cold - it's winter.

If you are an employment lawyer there are two times of the year where problems ‘peak’. The weeks leading up to Christmas where employers all want to fire people who have irritated them all year and the middle of winter.

In the middle of winter there are three types of people. People who have gone somewhere warm for two weeks and are back and are angry and cold. People who are due to go somewhere warm for two weeks and are angry and cold. Those of us who are not going to get anywhere warm and are angry and cold.

This is my middle of winter list to employers of what not to do when you are angry, tired and cold:

  1. Do not fire anyone because they keep moaning how cold it is. Several times this week I have been tempted to fire one of my staff who quotes the obvious about six times a day “gee it’s cold”. Yes Tania it is cold. It is the middle of winter. We live in Southland. If you do not want to be cold go and live in Bolivia.
  2. Do not fire anyone because they are negative all day. We started a competition last week in my office that we would have a mark against our name every time someone said something negative, the idea being that six marks in a day you lost. By 9.10 a.m. my entire team were out of the competition, I was still in the running to win only because I had been out of the office at court all day.
  3. Do not fire anyone because they question whether or not you know what you are doing. Responses such as “I have been doing this for 30 years now”, “Yes I do and when you are the boss you can do it differently” or “No I don’t I am just trying to stuff this up for fun”, whilst unhelpful are still better than saying “Perhaps you can ask your next boss the same question”.
  4. Note to self - do not fire anyone if they say to you “the Stags better win one game this year”. GO THE STAGS.