antarctic bureaucratic bullshit

by Eli

New Years 2008!!this past friday we had to say goodbye to christine (on the left), one of our fellow dishwashers (DAs). we’ve worked really hard together for the past 3 months, and it caught just about all of us (aside from management and a few of the “more experienced” DAs) off guard when she was “terminated” on friday.

it was obvious that the management in the galley didn’t like christine from the beginning. early on they made lists of all the tiny little things she did wrong: arrived to work a few minutes late, socialized too much with others, loaded bowls into the dish machine incorrectly, etc. the problem is that every single DA does exactly those things on a regular basis.

so, they fired her with about 3 weeks left in the season. they could have just let things slide, but they didn’t. they could have just completed her contract and sent her home early, which we all probably would have been perfectly OK with, but they didn’t. instead, they “terminated” her. they took away her bonus, they took away her travel funds, and they (possibly) took away her ability to ever return to this continent.

after getting the specifics of her termination she even went back to management with very well-reasoned rebuttals and a “please reconsider” letter from one of the military flight surgeons, and they still shot her down.

she stood up straight and tall and took it like a champ, and it’s hard for me to imagine being more proud of her.

but the thing that irks me the most is the bureaucracy of it all. management said that they have very specific “policies and procedures” that required them to terminate her. apparently they had gone through all the steps and the only thing left to do was to get rid of her.

but what did this accomplish?

morale is at rock bottom and everyone is pissed. we’ve all completely lost faith in our superiors and are finding it much harder to get through the day. even if i believed that christine deserved to be fire, she definitely didn’t need to be fired. whatever “problems” she was causing when she was here are nothing compared to the shit storm they whipped up by terminating her.

why do “policies and procedures” trump common sense?