Friday, August 13, 2010

Workplace Violence Unions and Bullying

It seems as if in this bad economy not a day goes by where we fail to read of some case of a worker
going insane and shooting his coworkers. We have also witnessed dramatic quitting via a flaky airline employee. This is the Obama work place where the tough economy has made life more brutal than every before.

The unions have a fair share of the blame in this new era. At the top levels they are merely paper tigers for the Democrats. If you are lucky you will have a Union at the local level that cares about doing its job. The truth is that even with a good union the processes can be so drawn out that in some cases people can be terminated go through hearings for years before they are reinstated.

The truth is that there is a great deal of bullying in the American work place. A position of authority does not entitle one to abuse or berate employees. It does not also entitle one to abuse their authority and violate laws. Unlike most people I can report of this as a top manager and as an employee. One of my proudest achievements as a manager was I had zero complaints to HR
in five plus years. I got the job done and it was done via teamwork and commitment to the goal first with no larger agendas. I did not hide behind my desk as clerical workers are suited to that task. A managers job is to lead from the front and direct. Most of the time the workers would tell me to sit back, but it wasn't my style. When I suffered a kidney injury that style was altered by
a Dr. who ordered that I may lift nothing larger than a pen at work and a sandwich for lunch. It was hard not being able to do things at the front. The order came from HR stating that any worker who allowed me to lift would be suspended.

My workers had a loyalty to me due to the style. One worker made a dangerous error and accidentally dropped a cherry picker battery. The top boss lined up my workers and asked who did it. When nobody stepped forward I did. The top boss stated Mr. Beakerkin I know you are lying. You never ever get behind anything other than an automatic jack. I stated sir its because I do not know what I am doing and everyone including the top boss laughed. The top boss said I am giving the guilty party 24 hours to step forward or everyone gets suspended for one day without pay. The guilty party stepped forward and was told he was suspended for half a day.

How we manage our staff and deal with the public is a reflection of who we are. For me it is unfathomable to berate a person who made an error from trying too hard. Even when a mistake is made it is done gently and the procedures are discussed. For me it is unthinkable to treat someone unjustly because decency requires no less.

In the new work place bullying is worse than ever. The basic problem is managers are frequently
unaccountable for their actions and there is no review. An employee making an error does not entitle one to scream like a patient out of Bellvue. Nor does hyperscrutiny and proceduralism have any place in the work place.

HR departments are supposed to monitor this but they don't. More often then not they are chums with management and fail to act impartially.

The Obama administration has an unhealthy fixation on a health plan that was not desired by the American people. It has focused on fat cats in Suites and Wall Street while catering to its allies in big education, high ranking labor leaders, big media and the legal industry.

Much of the fault lies with the unions for not focusing on the work place and becoming a yes man
to whatever the big donkey says. Many of us can relate to being bullied at work and it is a very
nasty experience. Those of us who have careers have little choice but to put up with it for years.

Of course dealing with a very real issue and making HR departments accountable in the nasty new work place would be a step in the right direction. Much of HR is merely filling out forms and passing the buck. HR departments need to be accountable for maintaining integrity in the work place and need to be liable when they fail. HR needs to work with the Unions to solve these issues before expensive law suits and arbitration hearings.

Of course being bullied is not an excuse to commit work place violence. The shootings at the beer
distributor need to be investigated. The employee was on film stealing beer and this undercuts any claims of harassment that need to be examined.

1 comment:

Ducky's here said...

"This is the Obama workplace".

Yeah, this is a new, unique phenomenon.
Damn, you really must be stupid to make a statement like that.