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Thanks for being honest; you’re fired (sorta)

I have a friend that is struggling right now with job issues. Unfortunately these issues aren’t simply that he is looking for a job.

We’ll call my friend George.

George worked for a company for over 20 years before he came to work at the airport in Kansas City, as a result of economic downsizing of his hourly rate with his previous employer.

George has been one of the best, hardest-working employees I’ve witnessed at the airport during my tenure. He really is an amazing person; he’s kind and quick to lend a helping hand.

I got to know quite a bit about George during his time at the airport because we worked in the same area and carpooled for several years. We would talk about family and beliefs and really got to know each other very well. George has experienced quite a bit and most of it would have broken a lesser man, literally. You see, George seems to have a penchant for hurting himself, or at least getting severely injured. He’s been hit by car, and lost some teeth; he was crushed by a forklift, and broke his pelvis; and at ten, George was playing “Olympics” with a friend and had an eye knocked out.

The reason for giving you these details is to illustrate just how “lucky” George really is.
George started working security at the Kansas City airport full time in November of 2002–remember I said he had his eye knocked out when he was 10–while working for this company there was apparently a rule change about vision on the job stipulating your vision could be no worse than 20/100 in your worst eye. Well, folks his freaking eye was knocked out about 40 years prior to that rule change, so you can guess how much vision is left.

I want it to be clear that when you get this job you have a complete physical, including a vision and color-blindness test, so they had to know he lacked vision in his left eye.
George continued working at the airport with no problem until late October of this past year.

Unfortunately for George, he had a run in with the injury bug again, this time it was just a sore shoulder/back, so he had to be off work for a short period of time. When he went to get released to come back to work, the doctor asked about his eye and checked it out and then sent him on his way to the company’s office.
When he got to the office he was shocked after he turned in his paperwork that they told him they needed him to turn in his badge.

Just so we’re completely clear in order to keep this job; you have to be run through a gauntlet of tests yearly in addition to annual recertification tests. George has passed these tests better than nearly everyone else employed at the airport, but that didn’t matter. Compliance with a rule was the only thing that mattered to this company, so they have kept George hanging in the wind and forced him to seek help from an attorney on the matter as they look to “resolve” the issue.

The company came back with an offer to allow him to come back to work at half his previous pay and roughly half the number of hours he was working before in a different job function. He is no longer receiving any compensation from the company, but has yet to be fired as of this posting.

How many companies do you know of that treat their employees this well?



About Todd Fuller

After a really long search, I found work that I feel is more relevant to my degree--technical writing. While it's not what I initially envisioned doing, it's actually been very enjoyable and rewarding work. I guess I feel like there is still more out there to do, so I've decided I will try the whole blogging thing again and resurrect this site. If anyone's still out there, enjoy and feel free to comment.


6 thoughts on “Thanks for being honest; you’re fired (sorta)

  1. ‘George’ was a fantastic guy. I wish I was able to get to know him better than I did, but for the time I did work with him, he was one of the best. I don’t care what anybody says.

    Posted by Ryan T | April 10, 2013, 10:26 am
  2. George is the best friend a guy could ever have working with him had always been a joy. He worked harder and better than a majority of the employees at the airport. He is being run through the ringer unjustly and heartlessly and he doesnt deserve it. He is one of my closest and best friends with a huge heart and always very generous. I cant believe the way the company has treated him but i applaud his resolve and strength in the midst of the trials and hardships he is and has faced. Awesome post P todd hope something opens up for you and your gifts too bro.

    Posted by michael | April 10, 2013, 12:29 pm
  3. I love this guy, salt of the Earth doesn’t even begin to cover it.

    Posted by Sneedo | April 10, 2013, 10:36 pm

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