Sunday, August 30, 2015

Business as usual

A teacher in New Jersey  is reinstated after being tardy 110 times.  Yawn.  Tell me something new.

As library director,I once fired a young man for being insolent.  He had dropped in at various Board members' homes on Easter Sunday to discuss his grievances.  One of the Board members insisted he be fired.  In any private enterprise in New Jersey, an employee can be fired at any time, for any cause.  I know this because I looked it up.  I knew there would be repercussions, even as I drafted the letter relieving him of his responsibilities.

Our library did not have a union at that time, but we had Civil Service, which is just as good at assuring any public employee that he had a cast-iron right to his job.  And so it turned out.  The employee threatened to sue.  The municipality settled the case in his favor, giving him everything he had been asking for.  They even paid for his lawyer.

There is a procedure for firing an employee who is a civil servant.  It involved keeping a log of the person's misdeeds, oral counseling (in Civil Service lingo, that means talking to him).  After that comes written counselling, (writing the person a letter).  There was plenty more that had to be done before saying sayonara, but I will spare you the details.  Just thinking about it makes me tired.

The amount of work needed  to get rid of an employee was phenomenal and took up most of the supervisor's time for weeks.  I also learned that I needed another employee in the room when I did all this counseling, etc, or it would be a case of he said/she said.

Nevertheless I did get rid of two good-for-nothing lazy employees.  I did this by writing them endless letters and having sessions of criticism with both of them (separately) in my office, with a witness.  I kept track of them like God does when he keeps an eye on a sparrow, only God does not have to issue written reports and memos and have limitless discussions.  Nor does God have to have a witness present.

Meanwhile, the supervisor (me) and the witness (someone else) cannot perform any other of our duties because of the time suck involved in showing an employee the door.

How I envy Donald Trump!

2 comments:

Dick Stanley said...

Yipes.

Dick Stanley said...

Wow. A firing offense in private business. Way before the total reaches 110.