Monday, July 25, 2011
My Faith in the Innate Goodness of People Takes a Hit
Let me set the scene for you. I run a pretty small department for my company - and my key employee is expecting her fourth child. Knowing that she has had to take early leaves of absence for two of her three children already, I began planning for the blessed September event in March. I hired a contractor to come in that early to learn every detail of what SR does for me. The lady I hired is bright, personable, and a very quick study. She was doing so well that the thought crossed my mind last night that I was in complete control of the situation, that it would be a smooth transition from SR to MB when that time came.
So today I came into the office, after two days off at the end of last week, only to receive a phone call from MB telling me that she had to make an unexpected visit to her doctor and would not be in today. Thirty minutes later I received a phone call from one of our HR reps to tell me that MB's temp agency had sent someone to the office to immediately begin working on finding a replacement for MB - that she left a message with them on Friday evening about coming in to my office this morning to give me two weeks notice. They were upset, and it got worse when I told them about her phone call. We discussed getting someone in as quickly as possible so that SR could squeeze in as much training as possible.
Do you see where this is going?
Yep, at two p.m. I received an email from SR telling me that she was heading straight home from her doctor: she has been restricted to bed rest for the duration of her pregnancy. Six hours, six measly hours, and my plans were trashed. I'm still in shock at the irony of losing both women on the same day. One was expected, but the other should not be happening right now. The timing was so spectacular that I'm still shaking my head in disbelief.
I have to tell you, too, that my trust in human nature has taken a hit. MB was hired with the explicit understanding that she would not leave before SR returned. She knows very well that bailing out on me at this point is a killer that the department cannot possibly recover from - she knows it but does not care one little bit. And people wonder why companies have less loyalty to the employee than in the old days? It's a two-way street, MB, and you are driving on the wrong side of that street.