Thursday, May 07, 2020

Distance and Indifference

Many years ago I worked on a discrimination case that was filed by a supervisor who, if I were listing questionable charging parties, would have won hands-down for being the most worthless. He was prone to get drunk and wave around a pistol and dodge assignments and harass people and eventually his co-workers decided that was unpleasant and so they reported him. After his termination, he got an attorney - of course - who portrayed him as a fine fellow while filing complaints with every possible agency before ultimately filing a suit.

Eventually, justice was done. He lost his case and his former associates gave heavy sighs of relief. 

In my eyes, all of the above facts are not the most memorable thing about the matter.

What vividly remains with me is that at one point, while the various enforcement agencies were pawing over the allegations, an executive asked, "Can't we just find him a desk somewhere?"

I answered no and added that I assumed he wasn't talking about a desk close to his own. 

He had to smile at that. 

The lesson remained with me: It can be very easy to tolerate poor conduct and shoddy performance from a distance.

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