Agree to Disagree

My daughter and I agreed to disagree.

Neither of us felt that risking our relationship was worth going for a singular opinion.

In part, it was the topic. We ranged over the efficacy of firing non-performers in what she calls “the private sector” versus how difficult it is to fire a government employee to the protections for women provided by working for a government particularly in the Pentagon.

We skated into a debate on monetary policy as well. I contended that the political view I preferred was fiscally conservative while socially liberal even though the combination currently does not exist.

Her view was that the USA had been bailed out of a deep recession by a strategy totally at odds with all the historic conservative approaches. She pointed out that it was liberal over the top.

I had to concede her point even though I still believe the bankers responsible should somehow pay for their misdeeds.

Will that ever happen? I doubt it. However, I still hold hope that our gutted Department of State will be resurrected. She pointed out that Congress could help that by pulling some of the funds awarded the military and putting them into diplomacy instead of supporting chest thumping.

Neither of us think Congress has the cajones for that. It would take a commitment similar to that required to fire a government employee. She tells me that the paperwork involved quells most interest in that solution. Instead, employees are advised that their position is being phased out and they should look for a new position. They are not required to meet any requirements during that process and are paid even though in some cases the office or cube they worked in no longer is available.

And they wonder why civilians detest them!

The flip side of that is the protection afforded the employee. You can’t lose your job just because the boss doesn’t like your looks, attitude, etc. You can only be fired for cause and the paperwork, warnings, and legal wrangles mitigate against speedy dispatches. As a manager in private companies less complicated requirements still made my blood boil.

I’m a little old fashioned that way. In my view, you should get to keep your job if you do it. If you don’t, I don’t think it is your right to claim payment. If you are holding back the productivity of a team or group I think you should be replaced.

Should you be dispatched without a warning? No.

Should you be tossed aside if you are ill or hurting? No.

Should you be given a chance to meet the mark? Yes.

Should all the exchanges be covered with paperwork? I suppose.

Would I change that paperwork? Yes. 

I believe that we should borrow an idea from organized labor. The person being fired should have a representative—one that is not aligned with management.  I agree with my daughter, that is particularly important if it is a woman in the crosshairs.

 What do you think?

Jerry FletcherJerry Fletcher, Networking Ninja, is a sought after International Speaker, beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of 

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and Business Development on and off-line.