An Open Letter

Dear Mr. President of the Hospital Where I Used To Work,

I'd just like to say what a pleasure it's been working at the hospital. I'd like to say that, but I'm afraid that I can't. You see, in the last twelve years, this institution has gone from one that made me proud to work there, to one where I cried on my way in, every day.
It was getting to that point when you came, so I can't blame you for the depths to which it has sunk. Many people do, but that isn't fair. No, the seeds of its destruction were sown many years ago, and I'm afraid that you are merely bringing in the sheaves.

Some of the senior management you inherited was incompetent and corrupt. Some of the senior management you brought in to replace those people were even worse.

One of the most recent casualties of your reign was a man I've known for twelve years. He was down in the pharmacy when your man came in. Your man tossed him out. Your man then went on to overbill the hospital on a regular basis, and even put in for reimbursement on his trips to strip clubs and fishing get-aways. My friend would have seen that and blown the whistle in a New York minute. That's why he was sent away.

What reason is there for sending him away now, after that particular whistle has been blown, and blown by someone who was left in nominal power because he was thought too insignificant and weak to do what he did?

Some of the most incompetent and stupid of the senior management you inherited, you let remain in power. Your PR director, for example. I have had a long and bitter struggle for integrity and devotion to duty with that particular bitch, and every time, she has won.

What does that say, that your PR director's position on talking to the media is "If you don't talk to the press, they can't misquote you." This institution has devolved into a bunker mentality. Is it Hitler in the Eagle's Nest, or merely Nixon praying in the halls of the White House?

I guess that I'm particularly bitter about the PR director, because it was she who told me, all those years ago: "Nobody wants to hear what you have to say. All you'll do is tell us what we're doing wrong, and it doesn't have to be done right, it only has to be done."

You were supposed to be our saviour. You were supposed to come in here and pull this institution up from the waters it was foundering in, and bring us back to fiscal health and management well-being.

I'm not seeing it. I never saw it. The old president may have been barking mad there at the end, but he always cared. You and your team have treated us like less than dirt. That was why I laughed when my VP told us that those of us who were going to be laid off were going to be treated with dignity and respect. You didn't treat us like that before you laid us off, why should we believe that dismissing us would improve our lot?

I had been ordered to put together a team to do volunteer work for Hands On Miami Day. Nobody asked if I wanted to, I was ordered to do it. I was livid with rage, that I should be asked to shanghai people to do field work on a weekend when we were all waiting for the ax to fall on our necks. I wasn't allowed to refuse, but neither did I work it like I had the first year, when I offered to do it.

Two days after Hands On Miami, I was laid off. My VP knew that he was throwing me away, and yet he still expected me to happily organize an after-hours event for the public face of this hospital. Oh yeah, respect and dignity, all right.

And while I'm venting about respect and dignity, let me tell you about my last responsibilty. My manager, oh he of little brain and pointy hair, had dicked around with the servers for a good nine months before we finally got my new content management system installed. He installed it while I was sitting at my father's deathbed. No less than 15 minutes (FIFTEEN FUCKING MINUTES, DO YOU HEAR ME, YES I'M YELLING, 15 MINUTES) after my father died, my asshole boss said, "While I have you on the phone, could you walk me through adding a row to a table in HTML?"

Is that respect? Is that dignity? Is that even fucking human? Huh? Anyway, I came back to work from my father's funeral and was given 3 months to convert the entire web site over to the new system. Yes, the PHB had taken three times that long to install the software, but I had three months to convert the site. By myself. Working longer hours, maintaining the existing site, creating hundreds of PDFs for secretaries who couldn't do it themselves, and never complaining. I did it in the time alloted too, which is ridiculous. Nobody should have been able to do it.

For my efforts, I received a thank you note from my boss. I was nominated for Employee of the Month. I didn't win, though. That honor was given to some gomer who sat in the server room during a hurricane that never hit and never disrupted power. When I finally did complain about that, the director of my department said that Employee of the Month didn't have anything to do with work, it was a perk that was doled out where and when needed for morale in any particular group.

Respect? Dignity? I don't think so.

Imagine my surprise when no less than two months after I finished that conversion, the PR director decided to outsource the web. Why another department was allowed to cut my job is something I don't like to ponder too much, but there it was. She also cut my counterpart in her own department, the lovable Loogie, my editor and bane of my existence. Imagine how much greater my shock when Loogie called me at home yesterday to tell me that she wasn't fired or reassigned, after all. She's going back to the PR office to oversee the firm that will be doing the web. She was given that news by the PR director one day after I had been separated from the company.

Respect? Dignity? Not having to do with individuals? Yeah, right. Tell me another one. I have some dry land out in the Everglades for sale, if you're interested.

In conclusion, let me say that I think it's really nice that those good old boys in management still have their jobs. My boss, I see, has been updating the web in my absence. I can tell, because it isn't done right.

But then, it didn't have to be, did it? It only has to be done.

Yours truly,

A bitter, bitter, bitter ex-employee
Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/18 at 05:31 PM in Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho

(3) Comments
#1. Posted by Reecie on November 19, 2004

You know what? Loogie is getting exactly what she deserves. Schnort.

And I hope you actually send that letter once you’ve found another job.

I’m off to NM. I’ll call you Monday, hmm?

#2. Posted by Becca on November 19, 2004

Damn.  To quote the movie Jurassic Park: “That is one big pile of shit!”

Corporate Amerika will always suck, but there are definitely less sucky places to toil away your days.  Here’s hoping you find one of those less sucky places real soon.

Oh, and you should definitely send that letter.  It is a thing of beauty.

#3. Posted by RJ on November 19, 2004

I agree—I think you should send the letter, too—tucked inside a Dilbert book.

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