Friday, September 16, 2005

Distasteful Gloating for Slacker Granny

KC Star columnist Mike Hendricks wastes the left side of today's Metropolitan section gloating over the fact that the press managed to generate enough bad publicity for Positronic that it wound up rehiring Barbara Roberts. Barbara Roberts was babysitting her grand-daughter while her daughter and son-in-law went to New Orleans the Friday before Katrina (on a "business trip", the papers reported. Umm, yeah). They got stuck, so she didn't go to work, even though she had already used all her vacation time. When she finally chose to return to work, she was fired.

Apparently, I'm pretty much alone in my lack of sympathy. The slacker granny won the sympathy of more than a thousand emailers, who bombarded the president of the company with hate.

People, unlimited vacation time is not a fundamental right. Yeah, she was stuck in a tough spot, babysitting her grandchild while the parents couldn't get back. But whose fault is that? Who made her use up all her vacation time and then agree to take that chance? Who prevented her from coming up with a "Plan B"? What makes her think she can use all her leave time, acknowledged as liberal, and then unilaterally decide to take more?

But the thing that really chafes me is in the next-to-last paragraph of Hendricks' gloating column. After she gets her job back because she participated in a campaign to generate bad publicity for the company that gives her a paycheck and good benefits, she manages to find a new bad attitude. “It’s too bad,” Roberts said. “I’d like to see people do these things from the goodness of their hearts, rather than from pressure.”

Too bad, indeed. Good thing she's not coming to me for a job.


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