I Got Friends in Low Places
You may recall how I started this blog writing about a case involving a friend, a now retired grade school principal who was being harassed by the Ontario HRC here. That particular travesty carries on to its logical conclusion.
There was however a second case filed against her, a sort of second hand smoke case, if you will, which under the circumstances made a lot of absurb Stanley Kubrick style sense, as you will soon see. We recently caught up on a number of things and this second travesty and her handling of it was one of our topics for discussion, so I thought you would like to know.
When she became principal of her last school, she inherited her staff, as is the case, including her secretary. This particular secretary had outlasted several previous principals, not because of her competence, but because of her union card. Many of today's principals are classic enablers and so an incompetent secretary can get by shuffling a little paper here, and a little paper there, and be nice to the parents and kids, though generally accomplish nothing in a day. However, this particular principal had a full plate professionally, and personally as I described earlier, and so her BS tolerance was less than her predecessors. She wanted work to be accomplished on time and with some degree of competence. She actually wanted the school bulletin to be prepared on time, and by the secretary, not by her for the secretary, as an example.
Well, the secretary had never had to work for a living, and she did not appreciate the "feelings" that this generated for her. Feelings, nothing more than feelings. Woe, oe, oe.
If this incompetent woman had worked for me on my staff in industry, she would have lasted 15 minutes on the first day that I arrived in my job. I would have fired her ass, with a smile on my face, and a severance cheque in my hand, and whatever termination benefits were appropriate for someone of her years of (dis)service. However, you can't do that in a school board. So, you set yourself up for what followed.
So, when she saw the HRC claim arrive from the parent against my friend the principal, didn't she get a bright idea. She filed her own HRC complaint, because she claims she was being racially discriminated against. Oh, she also got to be a witness for the case against my friend on the other complaint. No hidden agenda, of course in her testimony, HAH. The investigator probably had a little trouble putting one and one together there and getting two.
Well, in the Spring, the HRC advised my friend and the School Board that the secretary's case had been rejected (after 2 years). They said it lacked merit. No kidding.
Well, I spoke with my friend again the other day, and suddenly it has merit. Give me (or at least my friend) a break. This secretary has refiled her claim, and it now has wheels. Why does this happen? Because it can. It is paid for by our tax dollars. The secretary has no skin in the game, other than the 10 minutes it took to fill in the paperwork. You and I get to pay for this nonsense.
But my friend has a new attitude towards both cases, since she retired at the end of the 2008 school year. She has had a low stress year since then, and sees the world differently. She and her husband have spent over $20,000 defending her against 2 bogus HRC claims for over 3 years.
She has no intention of ever darkening a school's doorsteps again in any capacity, and the board will pay any fine levied against her as a result of this nonsense. She has no intention of spending any more money on this stuff, and does not care what the result is.
The HRC/HRT could in the end order her to take sensitivity training, which was the plan in the other claim. What will she do? She could attend and take a soft pillow. She could tell them to go and perform physically impossible sex acts on themselves, or likely she could just ignore them. They might get her teaching certificate suspended, like she cares.
In the mean time, she has learned to quilt, and the quilting stores love her. She paddles in a dragon boat, and she enjoys her life.
Oh, and she told me to tell you she agrees with Ezra. Fire. Them. All. Or maybe she used another F word. I forget.