Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How do some people sleep....

As I've done most mornings the past couple of weeks, I've gone over to my stroke friend's house to finish his bathroom project that halted when he had his stroke at Christmas. The good news is he is coming home from the hospital tomorrow, Thursday. A long overdue blessing.

His lovely wife has had her hands full. She is a double cancer survivor, and was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's just before her husband's stroke. With all of her problems she has had to become the caregiver, and she deserves a medal. She is currently on medical leave from her job at Bank of America, where she's been an assistant for a high-level executive for the past 14 years.

I walked in the door this morning and she said, "You're not going to believe the latest."

I had no idea what twist was now at hand.

Yesterday an HR representative from Bank of America called and told her that she no longer had her job. More than that, they wanted her to come in and clean out her cubicle that afternoon.

She had done nothing wrong, and even did work for her boss over the Christmas holidays. She has been able to do some work from home, but legitimately applied for her temporary leave to care for her husband. Her boss of 14 years must have made the decision but hasn't talked to her directly, and I know full well she has done nothing short of an exemplary job. When asked for particulars about why the sudden decision and at this time, the HR person had no answers, only that she had been asked to make the call with the decision from 'corporate.'

It has to be one of the most cold-hearted, calculated maneuvers I've seen somebody make, and I have no doubt that is not an isolated story. Part of the dark side to the corporate world, sadly. The proverbial bottom line of dollar symbols at any cost, including human costs.

But her spirits are good...a door shuts, two windows open, as we both said. She has plenty of connections to find other employment, though she is very close to retirement and may opt out that way. While there is no good way to dismiss someone from their job, there are certainly better ways to do it than this way, certainly with regards to her particular situation.

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