Sunday, March 28, 2010

good people dealing with bullshit ... why is life so damn unfair?

I had dinner with a dear friend on Thursday night. This woman is one of the kindest, most honest people I know. She loves her job and never loses sight that her job is in the service of college students, no matter how frustrating their behavior may be sometimes!

She is having trouble at work thanks to a supervisor who is clueless about the job she does, but he's throwing his weight around as an "office manager." She's been at the job four years longer than he has ... I think the only reason she was not/can not be promoted to a position of authority is the fact her college degree was not earned on U.S. soil and although it's called a B.S. or B.A., it's really not in the eyes of the college she works for,

For as long as she's held the job, her start time and hours were from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. That *hour* for lunch she seldom took in its entirety; the students needed her and she is pretty much always available. She never leaves work at 5:30. I can't think of a single time she's met me in the parking lot at 5:30 ... if she's working with a student, she finishes that exchange.

Her new boss, on the job for a year, has never said anything to her about her work hours being any different. But last month, he wrote her up for being "late" and deducted time from her timesheet. She was always careful to make up that missed time: if she came in ten minutes late, she stayed ten minutes later.

His main bitch: She was consistently 30 minutes late from her start time of 8 a.m.! She had no idea she was supposed to be at work at 8—AND said supervisor never verbally counseled her, but rather kept notes and confronted her with a written warning about tardiness.

This woman does not deserve such treatment!

Why is it when small insecure people get into "power" they do stuff like this? I have a feeling he's trying to look *tough* and protective toward the college, making sure every employee gives good value for their wage. Nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is forgetting you are dealing with human beings ... and how important it is to foster a sense of teamwork and openness at work.

My friend has yet to pull her union into this. I am not a fan of unions but this is why people pay dues: when they are treated unfairly, the union is supposed to be her advocate. I also told her that if her hours are 8 to 5, then she needs to start work at 8 and walk out the door at 5:01. Never mind if there are students waiting for her assistance. Let her boss deal with the students' complaints. Maybe he will be forced to learn her job ... maybe he will understand the nature of working for a college. It's there for education and not pissing matches.

Obviously doing a good job and caring about said job is really not important anymore.


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