Thursday, December 14, 2006

When I first started out as a manager, every now and then I had to let people go, sometimes for unsatisfactory performance, sometimes as part of a general reduction in staffing levels.... and, invariably, whenever the word got out that so-and-so was being let go, the other workers would all start jockeying for so-and-so's office, furniture, computer, office supplies and so on.

This always struck me as being a tad unseemly, especially when the vultures were swooping in even before the let-go employee had cleaned out his or her office and said goodbye to their soon-to-be former co-workers, so I decided to implement a 24 hour-respect-the-recently-departed waiting period... nobody got to take anything until a day or so after the person had left the premises.

I was reminded of those days when, reading about Senator Tim Johnson's apparent stroke, there was often as much or more on the political ramifications of his possible death/incapcitation than on him and whatever it is that hit him. There'd be the obligatory paragraph about him and his condition, then the story or commentary would go off to discuss the impact his condition would have on the control of the Senate, Bush's agenda and so on. The poor guy wasn't dead... he wasn't on irreversible life support... and yet the vultures were circling around the not-yet-dead (and, hopefully, not for a long time dead) body.

And politicians and reporters wonder why they rank so low in the minds of America?