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May 17, 2012

How about a story! I was the District Program manager for Children’s Services. I was a bureaucrat and a good one too. Why? Because I had very good people working for me. I got a call to sub for a service center manager who was out for the day. I went out into the field. One of the unit supervisors came to me with a problem late that afternoon. Here goes…

A report came in indicating that a man had barricaded himself, his wife, and his two kids in their home. The kids were not attending school. The man was supposedly armed and dangerous. The supervisor, let’s call her Minnie, wanted permission to get a police report before she rolled out an investigator. She didn’t want anyone getting killed. I concurred but told her she should send someone out as soon as possible anyway, once she knew if the cops had any record on the father concerning the use of a firearm.

Early the following morning, back in my office, I get a call from Minnie. She still had not sent someone out to investigate. I was hacked and told her so. She had received a police report. An officer had gone out to the home recently. The record indicated that the father had fired off a few rounds in the air to frighten off a prowler. So what, I said. The report, taken by our state hot line and faxed in to us, was coded for a response within twenty-four hours. The clock was ticking away. I told her in no uncertain terms to send someone out there straight away.

“That’s fine for you to say, sitting up there in your ivory tower,” Minnie said.

We argued. She assumed her investigator would get shot. I didn’t think the police report gave us any indication of that. If it had, we could have requested police backup. I told her to get her ass in gear!

“I’m not sending anyone out there! If you insist, I’ll go myself!” she said angrily. Then after a pause, she nailed me right between the eyes. “If you are so damn confident about this, why don’t you quit hiding behind your desk in your fine sixth floor window office and come with me?”

Ouch! That hurt. But, Minnie was one of the best line supervisors we had. I wouldn’t take that kind a talk from just anyone. However, in my book, if you were good, I listened. I didn’t care what position you had. You could be a clerk typist and talk to me like that, as long as you were sharp and carrying your weight. A boss is as good as his people. When he or she stops listening, it’s down hill from there.

“I’ll be there in twenty minutes,” I said.    TO BE CONTINUED>>>>





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One Comment
  1. Slam dunkin like Shqailule O’Neal, if he wrote informative articles.

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