The Dim-Post

November 19, 2014

Good grief

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 9:54 am

Via Stuff:

The woman who made a sexual harassment complaint against Cera chief executive Roger Sutton is “torn up” and upset he has been able to foster public sympathy.

The victim has been told by State Services Commission (SSC) lawyers not to speak publicly about the case. She has repeatedly declined to comment when approached by Press.

The Press has obtained details of the complaint from a source that describes the nature of Sutton’s alleged impropriety.

They include:

– Suggesting to young female staff that they participate in “visible G-string Friday”.

– Unwanted, body-press hugs.

– Asking the complainant whom she considered to be “hot” and “sexy” and who she would like to have sex with.

State Services Commissioner Ian Rennie has said that ‘the bulk of the complaint made by the complainant was upheld’. But he’s also said that:

A report provided to the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie did not establish conduct which would have led to Sutton being dismissed and Rennie said he would not have asked him to stand down.

Now, maybe I’m just being a super-sensitive politically correct guy who can’t take a joke, or ‘unwanted body-press hug’, but I’d expect behavior like this to result in instant dismissal. However, the SSC Commissioner is saying that managers in the public service can behave like this towards their staff and keep their jobs. Combine that with the fiasco of the SSC press conference, which was a stage-managed PR opportunity for Sutton, and Rennie’s position no longer looks tenable. No woman in the public service can have any confidence in the system to protect them from sexual harassment when the Commissioner enables and minimises it to the extent that Rennie has. This is now a matter for the State Services Minister. Does she have confidence in this clown?

49 Comments »

  1. Danyl,

    I think you’re reading the second quote wrong. The report “did not establish conduct”. What the report probably said was “We are unable to find sufficient evidence that the following occurred”. My reading of how long the investigation took is that I’m guessing Sutton lawyered up, denied everything, and nothing could be established.

    You are however very right that that press conference was a carefully managed PR affair.

    Comment by John W — November 19, 2014 @ 10:30 am

  2. Imagine that, the Minister AND chief executive of CERA being exposed as fools and buffoons, on the same day, AND getting away with it !

    Comment by ghostwhowalksnz — November 19, 2014 @ 11:04 am

  3. It makes me feel sick reading this……….I thought women had better protection from sexual harassment these days – obviously I was wrong.

    Comment by penelopebenians — November 19, 2014 @ 11:56 am

  4. I smell a too-big-to-jail rat.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — November 19, 2014 @ 3:12 pm

  5. “It makes me feel sick reading this”

    I felt sick just watching the coverage of the press conference. It’s a little disturbing how that type of thing with its one-sided version of events could simply be broadcast, and it’s taken at least a day for some genuine questions to be asked by other parts of the media.

    I guess those questions are at least being asked.

    I suspect @JohnW’s onto it with the lawyering up thing. When you’re paying someone $500k/year, you’ve already equipped them to do exactly that. Who cares if he’s had no family time? Neither have any number of people slaving away on the minimum wage.

    Comment by izogi — November 19, 2014 @ 3:22 pm

  6. I cant believe all this sort of stuff. As with any other situation in life if one doesnt like whats being said, then you advise the teller to “shut the _ _ _ _ up” – If the behaviour continues then other action needs to be taken.
    It seems the complainant didnt do any of this.
    And if the same applied to all situations what a mess the world would be in – we would all be getting fired for doing something that someone else didnt like – be it sex related or not.

    Comment by Barry — November 19, 2014 @ 4:35 pm

  7. Barry, you clearly have no clue. Go get yourself an education.

    Comment by RJL — November 19, 2014 @ 4:47 pm

  8. @Barry: “It seems the complainant didnt do any of this.”

    How do you know that?

    Seriously, though. The nature of workplace bullying and sexual harassment is one that’s meant to dominate other people and suppress exactly the type of retaliation you’re proposing, and that’s before even taking into account that he’s the boss of everyone in CERA.

    Comment by izogi — November 19, 2014 @ 4:49 pm

  9. @ Barry: ” As with any other situation in life if one doesnt like whats being said, then you advise the teller to “shut the _ _ _ _ up” – If the behaviour continues then other action needs to be taken.”

    Aha! What have we here? The counsel of perfection, no less! Have you been in this sort of situation, sir? No? Thought not. You first with this strategy, professor…

    In the first instance, as pointed out above, we don’t know whether or not that happened. Sutton’s implying that he didn’t know about the complaint needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

    Secondly, it’s very difficult challenging the behaviour of a CEO, especially in the contemporary working environment. It takes more courage than most people have; and what does the complainant do if their complaint is laughed off by said CEO? Don’t think it doesn’t happen.

    Thirdly, the SSC exists for the purpose of dealing with employment issues. Taking a complaint there is the proper course of action for a public servant.

    In any event, it appears that in the last 24 hours, someone in said SSC has had a blinding glimpse of the bleeding obvious, and Sutton is being put on that great escape plan for senior public servants who’ve transgressed: “gardening leave”. Entirely appropriate, in my view. Which is more than can be said for that press conference on Monday.

    Comment by D'Esterre — November 19, 2014 @ 5:43 pm

  10. To be fair, Danyl, you thought the Roast Busters should be hung, drawn, and quartered. That there was a lack of evidence of any crimes didn’t seem to matter…

    Comment by Ross — November 19, 2014 @ 5:48 pm

  11. In other words, you’re taking allegations as proof. A rather naive position.

    Comment by Ross — November 19, 2014 @ 5:50 pm

  12. @Ross: it would be a rather naive person who confused “not enough evidence to prosecute” with “lack of evidence of any crime”, particularly in a sexual assault case.

    Comment by millajulius — November 19, 2014 @ 6:33 pm

  13. Barry et al: what if ‘lack of evidence’ comes about because the complainant is too intimidated to press charges, *and* the defendant happens to be well-connected? As with the Roastbusters controversy, it’s a variant of perverting the course of justice.

    Comment by Kumara Republic — November 19, 2014 @ 6:58 pm

  14. All those saying this is just an allegation need to go back to the article. In this case the SSC has said that their investigation was completed and uncovered serious misconduct. The allegation was proven. In HR speak this is almost as bad as it gets, anyone other than very senior management will get fired for serious misconduct in the first instance.

    Comment by Greville — November 19, 2014 @ 7:33 pm

  15. It does give the impression of well paid male senior managent looking after their own.

    Comment by NeilM — November 19, 2014 @ 8:20 pm

  16. Given these are unproven allegations…. Blackstones formulation.

    Comment by Xj — November 19, 2014 @ 8:58 pm

  17. NeilM: One sentence comes to mind – “It’s not illegal when President Nixon is doing it.” It only reinforces what I said earlier about “too big to jail”.

    Comment by Kumara Republic — November 19, 2014 @ 10:44 pm

  18. Ross, this has nothing to do with taking allegations as proof. The bulk of the complaint was upheld (and Sutton admitted to the allegations, albeit with his own spin on them). The issue is what a person in that position seems to have been able to get away with without being dealt with appropriately. And also the way he was allowed to ganer sympathy from many in the general public while the complainant held to the confidentiality agreement.

    Comment by steve — November 19, 2014 @ 11:39 pm

  19. Millajulius,

    Given the police’s alacrity to prosecute alleged sexual offending, sometimes on the flimsiest of evidence, you’d have to think the evidence in the Roast Busters case was non-existent. The point I was making was that Danyl had seemed to assume that it was only a matter of time before there would be prosecutions and convictions in that case…

    Comment by Ross — November 20, 2014 @ 7:29 am

  20. Sutton admitted to the allegations

    He said he used some words which he agreed were inappropriate and for telling inappropriate jokes. He didn’t admit to making a sexual reference about the PM’s wife, an allegation that has been denied by others.

    As for Sutton speaking about the allegations, you seem to be saying that someone who has been accused of certain improprieties should not be permitted to respond.

    Comment by Ross — November 20, 2014 @ 7:35 am

  21. @Ross: What the fuck are you talking about? The police have an abysmal record in prosecuting sexual offences. It is estimated 1% of rapes that occur result in prosecution. A huge number of those are reported but do not result in conviction, and an even bigger number do not even get reported because of said abysmal record – what is the point when the police won’t take it seriously. By invoking the Roastbusters as an example in this discussion, you are just showing how ignorant you are of the facts regarding sexual assaults.

    Comment by Alex Braae — November 20, 2014 @ 8:21 am

  22. @Ross: “As for Sutton speaking about the allegations, you seem to be saying that someone who has been accused of certain improprieties should not be permitted to respond.”

    Nobody should have needed these new allegations from an anonymous source to have been dismayed watching coverage of the press conference that Sutton was allowed to get away with.

    He set up a straw man about hugs and inappropriate jokes, admitted to that with the enthusiasm of the star of a hostage video, and framed a public debate to be about the political-correctness-stupidity of how a poor, hard-working and disadvantaged $500k/year CE, who can’t even reach his own kid’s school camps and sports days, can be vilified and stoned into quitting his job over such obviously trivial matters. Never mind the ‘serious misconduct’ finding that was based on actual evidence beyond his own spin.

    Comment by izogi — November 20, 2014 @ 8:54 am

  23. As for Sutton speaking about the allegations, you seem to be saying that someone who has been accused of certain improprieties should not be permitted to respond.

    He did get to respond. They had an investigation into the allegations, he responded to them, the allegations were upheld and he agreed to a confidentiality clause. He decided to break that and minimise the allegations, with the completely predictable result that the actual substance of the accusations ended up on the front page of every newspaper in the country.

    What strikes me about all this is how incredibly dumb Sutton’s actions here were. All he had to do was keep his mouth shut for a few days and he could have finished up his job in a couple of months and gone onto something else. Now he’s at the center of a major political scandal. And this is a guy paid half a million dollars a year on the basis that he has AMAZING leadership qualities and AMAZING judgement.

    Comment by danylmc — November 20, 2014 @ 9:08 am

  24. ” the allegations were upheld ”
    Yes but none of us know which ones. Couple of points
    1) All sexual harassment is serious misconduct (or at least it was in the two government departments I worked in)
    2) We know a lot of the details of the complaint, but
    3) We don’t know which sections were upheld.

    I.E. if the investigation said “He called her sweetie, gave her close hugs, and she felt uncomfortable” that’s still harassment, still serious misconduct, but the decision was made not to terminate.

    The entire thing smells, but I strongly suspect that the investigator was unable to prove the most serious allegations, (references to Mrs Key, G-String Friday, conversation about who was ‘sexy’). I also suspect that Sutton lawyered up (8 weeks for an investigation?) and thus created the best opportunity for nothing to be proven.

    Comment by John W — November 20, 2014 @ 9:23 am

  25. Something else we know, at least from a law firm that specialises in employment law: “The State Services Commission’s confirmation that serious misconduct was found does appear to be at odds with Roger Sutton’s depiction of the situation as hugs and jokes, because a finding of serious misconduct is a very high threshold and requires significant misconduct as opposed to something that is more trivial.”

    Comment by izogi — November 20, 2014 @ 9:31 am

  26. ross “you’d have to think the evidence in the Roast Busters case was non-existent”

    for gods sake man – the police a) knew there was certain people bragging online about commiting crimes, b) had official and unofficial complaints implicating the same people for the exact same crime being bragged about and c) never bothered to get a warrant to search their computers and phones (and D) one of the kids was a son of a cop in the same district)

    What part of that constitutes non existent evidence? Maybe the part where they failed to do the most basic level of police work?

    Comment by framu — November 20, 2014 @ 9:39 am

  27. But back to Dany’ls point, about whether the State Services Commissioner is taking harassment and sexual misconduct in the public service seriously. There are other examples where you have to wonder what the commission/er was thinking. For example, the currently acting director-general of health, who in a prevous job was caught accessing porn on a work computer, among other little peccadilloes (widely known around Wellington, and definitely by the SSC). Which says something about stupidity and poor judgement, if nothing else.

    Comment by Peed Taorht — November 20, 2014 @ 9:54 am

  28. Not sure how your response at 20 addresses my point, Ross. I wasn’t even referring to the claim about the PM’s wife – I think you’re the first person on this thread to mention that. My point was that this is not an issue of assuming allegations are true; the bulk of the complaints were actually upheld, and he was found to have committed serious misconduct, which is, well, serious.

    — “As for Sutton speaking about the allegations, you seem to be saying that someone who has been accused of certain improprieties should not be permitted to respond.”

    If he wanted to respond publically, he shouldn’t have agreed to confidentiality.

    Comment by steve — November 20, 2014 @ 3:52 pm

  29. the bulk of the complaints were actually upheld, and he was found to have committed serious misconduct, which is, well, serious.

    You seem to be arguing with yourself on that point, ignoring my main point earlier.

    The SSC also found that what Sutton did wasn’t a sackable offence.

    As for him speaking at a press conference, you might recall that he didn’t criticize the complainant and in fact suggested she did the right thing. He criticized himself. I am not sure what the issue is there, especially as there was an implied waiver due to release of details of the complaint.

    Comment by Ross — November 21, 2014 @ 8:38 am

  30. They had an investigation into the allegations, he responded to them, the allegations were upheld and he agreed To a confidentiality clause.

    Some of the allegations were not upheld. Indeed, an allegation that he made a sexual remark about the PM’s wife appears to be false.

    The complaint was made public prior to Sutton going public. In other words, someone it seems breached the confidentiality agreement, but it wasn’t Sutton. Indeed he could have reasonably expected on that basis that he was free to talk about it. Not that he went into much detail, and he praised the complainant.

    Comment by Ross — November 21, 2014 @ 8:46 am

  31. All he had to do was keep his mouth shut for a few days…Now he’s at the center of a major political scandal.

    All he had to do was keep quiet and the issue would have disappeared because the media would have looked the other way? Hmmm do you also believe in the tooth fairy?

    Comment by Ross — November 21, 2014 @ 8:53 am

  32. “… For example, the currently acting director-general of health, who in a prevous job was caught accessing porn on a work computer, among other little peccadilloes (widely known around Wellington, and definitely by the SSC)…”

    Who needs the tipline when you’ve got the dimpost!

    “…about whether the State Services Commissioner is taking harassment and sexual misconduct in the public service seriously…”

    I am sure that the SSC takes sexual misconduct in the public service seriously, just so long as you are a minor functionary. At one level this just another in a broken record of what happens when a powerful man is accused of wrongdoing by a woman. But it also points to how corrupt our ruling class has become. We now live in a country where the top operates as a quasi-aristocracy, bestowing patronage on those of the right type. I’d guarantee Katie Bradford didn’t get her job just because she was amongst the best lot of journalism school graduates, and I bet Amber Peebles wouldn’t have got a second look if her mum wasn’t an enthusiastic and stuck up rich right winger. That is just two, obvious, media examples. And so it now goes in our decadent society, which aims to somehow be competitive in the world whilst drawing it’s talent from an ever-decreasing pool of the scions of privilege. The behaviour of Rennie in effectively running interference for a senior member of the ruling class would be called what it really is in any other country – a corrupt elite looking out for each other. This whole incident shows (if Pike river wasn’t all the proof we needed) the near complete immunity from legal consequences for their actions now enjoyed by certain favoured members of our ruling elites and the helplessness of the general population in seeking justice if the perpetrator happens to be rich, powerful and well connected within the establishment – doubly so if you are female victim of sexual harassment from a member of this elite.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 21, 2014 @ 9:02 am

  33. Sanctuary if you’re going to throw accusations around, Katie Bradford is a very competent journalist. If anything, her family background (hardly a bastion of wealth and privilege) and reputation probably made things harder.

    If you’re going to peer into the cesspit you might as well attack those people who go straight from university into Ministerial offices, and then recycle through the corporate sector (‘regulatory compliance’) and then back into senior Ministerial and Ministry positions.

    Pike River illustrates the complete unwillingness of the courts to convict anyone in this country of fatal negligence or serious financial crime.

    Comment by George — November 21, 2014 @ 9:40 am

  34. @Ross: “As for him speaking at a press conference, you might recall that he didn’t criticize the complainant and in fact suggested she did the right thing. He criticized himself. I am not sure what the issue is there,”

    Yes. He criticised himself for some relatively trivial-sounding acts which a law firm that specialises in employment law has pointed out are very unlikely to, by themselves, have resulted in a finding of Serious Misconduct.

    In other words, he used his press conference to make it look as if he’s the hard-done-by innocent victim of an overly-sensitive employee who can’t take a joke, and a public bureaucracy that’s politically correct to a ridiculous extent. He’s framed the issue to get public sympathy at the expense of a victim who has no reasonable way of getting across her own side of the issue, without making the whole thing an order of magnitude worse for her than it was to begin with. Just another parting kick in the guts from him to her, really.

    My guess is that Ian Rennie didn’t know he was actually going to say all that detail, and so ended up implicitly condoning it with his presence by accident. But that’s no excuse.

    Comment by izogi — November 21, 2014 @ 9:59 am

  35. “All he had to do was keep his mouth shut for a few days and he could have finished up his job in a couple of months”
    Someone started leaking – which probably led to breaking the first story – and seem to have continued leaking. Hard to think of any earthly reason it would have been Sutton.

    Comment by Robinson Stowell — November 21, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

  36. My guess is that Ian Rennie didn’t know he was actually going to say all that detail

    And my guess is neither did Sutton, until his invisible but no doubt ever-present minders fed him the script. That appears to have the pattern of his career since he accepted the CERA CEO poison chalice. If we’d had a competent media we’d hopefully have been a little better informed about what Sutton’ actual job involved, rather than the fawning focus on his contrived ‘personality’. Even Lianne Dalziel’s premature eulogy focused on his achievements overseeing the restoration of electricity to quake-hit suburbs.

    It’s that public esteem that’s been cynically squandered by a team of shadowy spin doctors. His CERA role kicked off with this patronising nonsense. Not only that, there was also a version featuring the barely articulate Grizz Wyllie, presumably because the manipulators had hard data to prove that he and Sutton were ‘trusted’ by the targeted dupes. Perhaps Wyllie was even on the short list for CERA CEO. Given the vagueness of Sutton’s role, and the distinct impression that he’d been sidelined into a position that had little to do with his practical skills, it wouldn’t surprise me.

    Comment by Joe W — November 21, 2014 @ 2:14 pm

  37. Edit: That appears to have been the pattern

    Comment by Joe W — November 21, 2014 @ 2:15 pm

  38. — “You seem to be arguing with yourself on that point, ignoring my main point earlier.”

    Your point was to compare this to the Roast Busters matter in which, in your view, there was a lack of evidence of any crimes and that Danyl ignored that point. Except your analogy is rubbish. It’s like a criminal case where you’re trying to argue we can’t presume guilt, and we’re pointing out that the trial’s over and the guilty verdicts are in.

    — “As for him speaking at a press conference, you might recall that he didn’t criticize the complainant …”

    How gracious of him.

    Comment by steve — November 21, 2014 @ 8:30 pm

  39. Steve

    I pointed out that Danyl’s view of the Roast Busters case was askew. In the Sutton case, we have heard further allegations which Danyl has presumed are true. That presumption may be false.

    Comment by Ross — November 22, 2014 @ 7:52 am

  40. Ross, that smacks of angels dancing on the head of a pin. Clearly enough – though not all -allegations were proven to the extent that Sutton’s actions amounted to serious misconduct.

    Given that all the allegations are sexual in one way or another and most seem to be framed within a power imbalance (i.e. CE behaving in a smutty fashion around a junior for his own amusement) then it really doesn’t matter which we’re proven by the SSC investigation.

    Comment by Gregor W — November 22, 2014 @ 9:34 am

  41. it really doesn’t matter which we’re proven by the SSC investigation.

    It doesn’t matter if you are the subject of possible false allegations?

    Yes, some of the allegations were sexual in one way or another, and the SSC found that Sutton could keep his job.

    Comment by Ross — November 22, 2014 @ 1:27 pm

  42. Yeah, what Gregor said. If Ross is referring the Press reports about the complaints then Danyl has made a pretty safe assumption that they’re broadly correct. The “further allegations” fit exactly within the things Sutton admitted to, albeit in their detail they don’t sound so trivial. [Personally, I found even what he admitted to be wholly inappropriate for a person in his position and not as benign as a lot of people were taking it. Even at the most generous interpretation, I would not have blamed a women for making a formal complaint.]

    And yes, the SSC found that his serious misconduct didn’t reach the level where they’d recommend sacking him. We found this out at the press conference – not about the serious misconduct finding itself tho. All the SSC said at first was that he hadn’t always behaved in a way that met the standard expected of public service leaders. Sounds pretty innocuous, right? Especially combined with Sutton’s own comments about what he did: “hugs, jokes … I do those things”. In context, his resignation sounded magnanimous, almost self-sacrificial – as if, in order to avoid more disruption, and further distress to the thin skinned complainant, he would take one for the team.

    I tend to agree with Danyl that to some degree this has all backfired for Sutton somewhat, but for a while it was working.

    Comment by steve — November 22, 2014 @ 9:49 pm

  43. He criticised himself for some relatively trivial-sounding acts which a law firm that specialises in employment law has pointed out are very unlikely to, by themselves, have resulted in a finding of Serious Misconduct.

    That doesn’t necessarily mean much. In employment law, serious misconduct is the kind of stuff that warrants instant dismissal – theft, assault, drugs, that kind of thing. Of more relevance in this instance is what the public service considers “serious misconduct.” it’s a long time since I worked in the public service, but certainly at that time it was way more uptight than the private sector.

    Also, I’ve been a PSA delegate in the past. A public sector CEO isn’t something out of Dilbert, they’re a public service employee the same as the rest of them (if a lot more easily dismissed). I seriously hope no-one would be shitty enough to make an official complaint without doing the obvious thing first – which is, get your PSA delegate to visit the douchebag in question and point out that he’s this far from getting a complaint laid against him, that such a complaint would be upheld because he is doing that stuff, that even if he didn’t lose his job the details would certainly be leaked and he could look forward to running a gauntlet of squawking reporters everywhere he went, and that he therefore might want to reconsider how he interacts with his female staff. In this case, if that path was taken and he told the delegate to get fucked, he’s brought this on himself and deserves what he’s getting. If that path wasn’t taken, he’s been subjected to national media humiliation as a matter of personal revenge and is entitled to feel like he’s been fucked over by people whose behaviour is as bad as his own.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — November 23, 2014 @ 11:54 am

  44. ” If that path wasn’t taken, he’s been subjected to national media humiliation as a matter of personal revenge ”

    I disagree.

    Firstly, not everyone in the public service is a member of the PSA. I wasn’t, and few people I worked with were. If it had been nearly anyone else the appropriate course of action might be to complain elsewhere in the organisation, but he’s right at the top of the CERA.

    Secondly, he’s paid insane amounts of money to take genuine responsibility for his actions in leading the organistion, with a clear understanding that things might spill into a public space. He could have avoided all of this “humiliation” by not misconducting himself in the first place, let alone seriously misconducting himself, but apparently he wasn’t up to that part of the job.

    Comment by izogi — November 23, 2014 @ 3:27 pm

  45. if that path was taken and he told the delegate to get fucked, he’s brought this on himself and deserves what he’s getting. If that path wasn’t taken, he’s been subjected to national media humiliation as a matter of personal revenge and is entitled to feel like he’s been fucked over by people whose behaviour is as bad as his own.

    Because as every misogynist weasel knows, a PSA delegate is a jewel of nature, while whining vengeful women are a dime a dozen.

    Comment by Joe W — November 23, 2014 @ 7:31 pm

  46. Firstly, not everyone in the public service is a member of the PSA.

    So, the take-home lesson is “Always join the union.” Also, it would be a pretty poor delegate who’d ignore something like this because the person making it wasn’t a member – even the most callous would have to admit that behaviour like that, if carried out with one staff member, is likely to be carried out with others who are union members.

    Secondly, he’s paid insane amounts of money to take genuine responsibility for his actions in leading the organistion…

    Which goes to show, first and foremost, why paying ordinary humans insane amounts of money is, well, insane. You can’t pay human flaws out of people, any more than a higher salary could overcome Joe W’s sanctimonious arrogance. Imagining that Sutton should know better than to do something self-destructively stupid because he’s paid an enormous salary just buys into the myth of the CEO as Nietzschian superman.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — November 24, 2014 @ 7:40 am

  47. On the politics of this, I be Andrew Little couldn’t believe his luck that this is the first issue he had on his plate as new leader of the Labour party. As an ex-employment lawyer he knows the ground and he has been pretty much flawless in his tone and his dealings with the media (especially Suzy Furgusson, who is increasingly behaving like a Mary Wilson sans any intelligence whatsoever).

    Labour has kept the pressure on Rennie – and by extension, the do-nothing inaction of Paula Bennett – in a way that has seemed impossible over the last six years.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 24, 2014 @ 10:04 am

  48. “So, the take-home lesson is “Always join the union.””

    I don’t know. To me it sounds more like the message is “join the union to protect the welfare and reputation of your CEO when he’s doing stupid things that he shouldn’t be doing, because the union can quietly warn him and let him off the hook as long as he doesn’t do it again, whereas his employers at the SSC will just run a poorly advised press conference that makes everyone look stupid in public.

    “Which goes to show, first and foremost, why paying ordinary humans insane amounts of money is, well, insane. You can’t pay human flaws out of people, any more than a higher salary could overcome Joe W’s sanctimonious arrogance.”

    I agree that it’s insane to pay such large amounts. But we’re repeatedly told that this is necessary to attract the highest calibre of candidates to the job. He’s accepting that salary on the premise that if he screws up it’s going to be a very public thing. Despite knowing this, he screwed up by letting his jovial and uncontrollable manly ways interfere with his work.

    Comment by izogi — November 24, 2014 @ 1:38 pm

  49. There’s more to being a union delegate than sticking it to the man. In cases like this, the staff member would generally prefer that the prick in question would just stop doing this shit, rather than go through the three-ring circus that results from making a complaint, and that makes perfect sense. If you as a union delegate can see that the prick just stops doing it, great. If you can’t, the complainant at least gets to go into the process with the motto ” ‘ad yer fuckin’ chance matey, now suck on this.”

    Comment by Psycho Milt — November 24, 2014 @ 5:58 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: