Benjamin Barry, an advertising executive and the ultimate "ladies' man," bets that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. In a bar shortly thereafter, he meets Andie Anderson, a journalist covering the "How To" beat for Composure magazine. Anderson was just assigned to write an article aptly titled, "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days."
As their love story unfolds, their plans quickly backfire in one of the most clichéd-yet-adored rom-coms of all time. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is also one of the most highly referenced romantic comedies in modern history. Probably because no one really wants to lose something they've had (or, in Anderson's case, thought they had) in 10 days or less — even, say, a job.
Alas, people lose their jobs in 10 days or less more often than you might think. We spoke with employers who've shared what their new-hires have done to have lost their new jobs within just a 10-day period. Here, they explain how to lose a job in 10 days.
1. Lie about your experience.
"I hired an assistant that seemed very promising on paper and during our interview. She explained that she knew how to use the tools I was inquiring about at an intermediate level," says Alex Tran, a digital marketing strategist with Hollingsworth. "When she started, it quickly became evident that she did not even know how to use basic Word documents. She did not know how to save or edit a document. She would ask me questions that shocked me, because she had said she understood how to use these programs at a level I assumed she was proficient in."
Tran sat down with this employee and said that her department was a very busy one — and that the employee asking her how to do every single action in Word was taking away from her time to strategize and manage. By the fifth day, she told her that she did not think she was ready for the role.
"The position requires a bachelor's degree and her resume stated that she had 1.5 years of admin experience before joining our company," she explains. "I, unfortunately, had to let her go. Now I ask questions about projects completed that I know require the use of basic computer skills. I also ask for detailed examples so that I can see when someone is not being completely honest with me. I also dig deep by asking further questions that would require a candidate to divulge more detail on an accomplishment."
2. Hunt for other jobs while on the job.
"This employee lasted all of about seven days when I discovered that, from the moment they were hired, they were looking for work and going on job interviews," says Rodger Roeser, CEO of the Eisen Agency. "The employee tried to cancel a client meeting during the work day, and when I questioned her as to why, she admitted that she had a job interview. I fired her on the spot."
3. Lie about your criminal record.
"I hired a young woman who presented fantastically during her three interviews — I spent the first two days with her and then left her with the store manager for training," says Claire Pearson, a life coach. "The store manager could not stand her. They called me every day to say this woman was constantly hiding in the bathroom or the break room, and argumentative when the manager gave her corrective feedback during training."
For Pearson, this was bizarre feedback following such a positive personal experience.
"Then one day, the UPS guy came in to deliver our products and he gave us some alarming information," she says. "He told the manager that our new-hire had been convicted and gone to jail for raising money for a fake mission trip that she never took. I did a little research, and he was right. She was using a different name and had colored her hair, but she was a criminal. We fired her on the spot because she lied on her application, stating she had never been convicted of a crime."
4. Cheat on your application.
"We've actually terminated an individual in the first week of employment; in short, we hired this individual after she passed our writing test with flying colors during the interview process," says Matthew Ross, the co-owner and COO of RIZKNOWS and The Slumber Yard. "Needless to say, it became apparent within a couple days that the person we just hired must have cheated on their writing test. The initial work they turned out looked nothing like the writing sample they submitted. We ended up sitting the employee down after four days and asking them to explain the discrepancies. The employee didn't have much to say, and all but admitted to 'having help' with the writing sample. So, we made the decision to let her go right then and there."
5. Dress inappropriately
"Last fall, I hired one of the best engineers I’ve ever had the privilege of working with, but he had a knack for wearing quirky T-shirts to the office. On his second day, he wore a shirt that said “Deez Nutz” on it," says Zach Hendrix, co-founder of GreenPal. "Well, at first I thought, it was kind of funny; but I knew that I didn’t want this sort of behavior to spread in the office, so I asked him to put something else on, though he kind of blew me off. Then, on his fourth day, he wore a shirt that looks like a Gatorade shirt with the same logo. But instead of Gatorade, it said 'Get Laid.'"
Hendrix recognized that, although this engineer was talented, he wasn’t going to be a good fit for the company culture, and he had to fire him on day four.
"At the end of the day, you have to recognize cultural fit over talent, and make the hard decision to preserve culture over hiring people with exceptional technical talents. Cultural debt can sink your ship."
6. Show no interest in working.
"We had an employee that started on a Monday and was fired by that Thursday," says Michael Satterfield. "He showed up late the first two days to work, with one excuse being that he 'just needed to take some time at Starbucks this morning to prepare for the day.'"
The final straw was when the employee had asked for that Friday off, because he wanted to go to Disneyland.
"Sadly, he answered all the interview questions right, said he was motivated and wanted to be a part of the team. But when the job started, he just didn’t want to work."
7. Don't try to understand the business.
"Over the years, I have had to fire two different salesmen hired within a week of employment for the same reason," says Yungi Chu, owner of HeadsetPlus.com. "They both were unable to learn and comprehend the product. The job requires the salesmen to listen to the customers' needs, and customize a product solution for the customer’s office. The two people fired just did not have this ability for whatever reason."
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.