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home : opinions : opinions   May 24, 2016

4/18/2013 12:38:00 PM
Letters to the editor: Employee's public berating by manager unnecessary

Normally, a work-related incident ought to remain between the employee and the manager. But, when the manager chooses to make a public example out of the employee, then normal protocol has been put aside.
Recently, an employee with 20 years of work experience at a local fast-food restaurant had to undergo a public scathing and humiliating punishment from her manager for not getting a doctor’s permission for both days on the previous week’s absence for being ill. She followed her manager’s instruction that any weekend absence due to an illness must be supported by a written doctor’s permission. She attained the doctor’s permission for March 23, but not for March, 22.
Nonetheless, when she went to work on Good Friday, March 29, she was berated in front of her coworkers by her manager. She was told that she would not be working that day and the next day for not having a written doctor’s excuse for the absence on the previous Friday. 
I can understand the frustration that a manager can have with truancy especially among some of the youth of our society, which is generally the age group that works at fast-food restaurants. But for a manager to scathe and discipline an employee who has worked for the past 20 years with a near perfect work record is appalling. She does not need to be used like a “sacrificial lamb” to drive home a message for her fellow would-be truant coworkers. She has not been absent from sickness these past 20 years or she would have learned a long time ago of what needed to be done. It was a miscommunication from the manager to this employee’s mother, that a note was needed for the weekend.  Normally, Friday is not part of the weekend.
The essential point is that this employee is so conscientious of doing her duties while at work, that she will not take the time to talk to her own family members when they come into the restaurant. She will continue to clean the tables or push the broom to the point where one could eat directly from the table or floor. She has always been responsible for asking to have vacation days for such important events such as the Special Olympics and, now and then, a family vacation. But even this is done with reluctance.  She is a people-pleaser with a low self-esteem, which spells out “doormat”. The bottom line is the punishment does not fit the crime, and human decency and compassion needs to prevail.
I ask the community members of our town to continue to patronize our area restaurants and give their loyal employees positive compliments for what they have done and for managers to continue to positively boost their employee’s performance with sound direction and when needed proper and serious disciplinary action behind the office door.

Brother Luke McLachlan, O.S.B. , monk of St. Bede Abbey, Peru

Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Article comment by: Anonymous81055

Despicable! The only thing that would have made that letter better is if Brother Luke would have identified the establishment.

Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Article comment by: Anonymous81055

Despicable! The only thing that would have made that letter better is if Brother Luke would have identified the establishment.

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