Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stand Up for What's Right

My stepson came home from school one day several years ago and told me about a poster on the wall in his classroom. It read, "Stand up for what you believe in, even if you are standing alone."

When I asked him what he thought of that, he replied, "It's true - except at school, where you get in trouble if you do that."

And it's the same way in the workplace. We have two organizations right here in Woodstock where that would be a great motto, except for the consequences.

And the consequences? To quote The Donald, "You're fired!"

In one case, the process has been dragging on and on, ad nauseum, for over a year.

In another case, it's just starting.

In both cases there are likely to be embarrassing after-shocks, because neither organization is squeaky clean.

The more who do stand up for what is right and who refuse to knuckle under to improper (or sometimes illegal) orders or directions, the sooner we are going to have the quality of law enforcement for which we are so handsomely paying.

The cost to the taxpayers is not just the salaries and benefits. The true cost is found only when the cost of unnecessary litigation and settlements is added to the mix. The settlements and litigation costs should be stuck right in the budgets of the departments incurring them and not siphoned out of the General Fund.

So, to those of you who want to stand tall, do it. Find your colleagues who will stand up with you. When you are told to do something that is unlawful or unethical, refuse. When you are threatened with a charge of insubordination for refusing to follow orders, tell your supervisor that you will happily and promptly any lawful order.

The more who do this, the less power the top dogs have to bully you with.

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