Click Map for Details

Flag Counter

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Without a Whit of Shame

Galileo: "vehemently suspect of heresy"

Have you ever been singled out or summoned to the office of your principal or boss? How did you feel? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1327).

About two years ago I had the temerity to ask for a car allowance—not whole hog, mind you, but a prorated amount based upon actual usage. (I was the sole employee specifically designated for desktop support for a dozen or more facilities spread throughout the city.) I carefully compiled actual usage from mileage records and executed cost analysis. I submitted the request to my manager. My supervisor and I had sometimes impassioned discussions about the matter. Several weeks after I had submitted my request, I was summoned into the manager’s office. Sitting at the table were the head of the department, my manager, my supervisor and myself. They told me that I was being given indefinite leave (they had multiple leave forms and papers compiled before me). I was not to return until a psychiatrist verified that I could. The next day I saw my psychiatrist and the following day I was back at work.

In my view the meeting held in the manager’s office was designed to put me on the defensive. It was clear to me that my position as an employee was threatened and the powers that be wanted to make darn sure I understood who was in the driver’s seat. Forgive me for being dramatic and heroic, but I felt kinship with others throughout history who have displeased authority and have been called on the carpet and expected to abjectly yield to power and keep quiet and shut up, and, in Galilean and Lutheran terms, recant. I feel my experience was not unique in any way but is repeated untold thousands of times when authority and the keepers of the status quo feel threatened by those under their power. Bald intimidation is exercised without a whit of shame. It is not a pretty scene.

Print Page