Tuesday, October 23, 2007

When all else fails... Get it in writing.

When I bought my first house, I read the mortgage documents rather closely. I was fully aware of what I was getting into and have taken great comfort in knowing that my loan was committed to writing. I knew that if there was ever an issue to be debated, everyone would look closely at what was written down.

What would have happened if my mortgage broker told me that the loan documents were just suggestions and didn't actually mean anything? Of course, such a statement may have been made in conjunction with the purchase of my first home, but since it was not committed to writing, I would have zero expectation that such a statement would be honored.

One could draw the same conclusion with meetings involving District management. While they hand you a Letter of Direction preparing you to be terminated, they schedule another meeting where they tell you the Letter of Direction doesn't mean anything. What is an employee to do? I was severely cautioned - in writing - that any communication prepared on behalf of the District must be approved by management in advance. Failure to have done so would have resulted in the end of my career.

The current position of the District is that I attended meetings with Marla Miller and Brian Harding where they told me the letter was just constructive guidance and shouldn't be taken literally. Gee, was I supposed to believe them? Afterall, it felt a lot like I was being encouraged to get myself fired. I asked Marla many times to rescind or revise the Letter of Direction - if the original terms were unintended. Was I then supposed to sit in a meeting with her and do something other than smile and nod? How simple does she think District employees are? I mean, other than the ones she may have had a hand in hiring.


Anonymous said...

It's obvious they were trying to get you to do something they could fire you for. I remember reading in a good book about people who set a trap for others and end up falling in it themselves.

Anonymous said...

From what you have discribed happened the only thing that can be said about Marla Miller, Brian Harding and their superiors (who must support their actions) is that they are sleezy people, not fit to supervise an ant farm.

Anonymous said...

A good description of this kind of management method would be "draconian". This can be a very powerful way to control one's subordinates, or get one to do something that could result in them causing their own termination. However, in the hands of a ditz this method is impotent and laughable, not powerful. Right Brian?