I overheard my boss talking to one of his business associates justifying his decision not to have training for his staff. He told this guy that it wasn’t needed. What really upset me was when he said, “We don’t have time for personnel issues.” I was floored to hear such bunk come out of his mouth. We’re smart and talented, and yes, we’re very busy and most of us work very hard, but we definitely have our share of personnel issues that training could help. Any decent boss knows how important training is. My boss’s take on what we need and don’t need is disillusioning and depressing. I want him to know how I feel but I don’t want him to know I overheard his conversation. How do I bring it up?
Very upset with boss’s attitude
Dear Very upset with boss’s attitude:
I completely understand why your boss’s attitude towards training has disappointed you. I would not bring this issue up in front of others. The most innocuous time to broach the subject would be when you have your next performance evaluation. Be sure to have done your homework on all that is available. Without being confrontational, explain why you and your colleagues need training. Provide details, in writing as well as verbally, that cover the training’s subject matter, its cost, and the time involved. Also assure your boss that you understand your organization’s priorities and budget constraints, but that you hope he will consider your request when it would be the most appropriate and least disruptive.
Best of luck!
One of your columns from the summer really hit home for me. It was the one with the question from the convicted felon who couldn’t get a job (http://www.wvec.com/community/workplace-woes/Job-seekers-past-convictions-get-in-the-way-100899424.html). I too was convicted of a felony stemming from a fight in 1983. I injured a man in self defense. My sentence was very light with no fine; but it was still a felony, a career killer for a teacher. I did everything the state of Virginia required in order to have my civil rights reinstated in 1991 by then Governor Douglas Wilder. I returned to my career of teaching fully certified. Then in 2003, the state changes its requirements adding the question, "Have you ever been convicted of any felony or charged with sexual assault of a child?" They also added this change to Virginia High School League officials, thereby disqualifying me from officiating. I had two jobs I performed at a very high level and now I find myself unemployed. I’m the same teacher I was before the change in rules, so how is it that a person with all of his state’s rights not equal before the law governing employment?
Disappointed with the state of Virginia
Dear Disappointed with the state of Virginia:
To address your issue, I contacted the same attorney who assisted me with the question you referenced. Thomas B. Shuttleworth, an attorney with Shuttleworth, Ruloff, Swain, Haddad & Morecock, P.C. in Virginia Beach, VA (http://www.srgslaw.com/Attorneys/Thomas-B-Shuttleworth.shtml) specializing in the defense of citizens accused and the representation of injured persons, stated the following:
“While regrettable, in this particular case your reader must realize the following:
1. Among the rights that were restored, the right to teach or officiate a high school game is not included.
2. There is no constitutional right that protects a felon from not being hired/retained by a school system.
3. These types of changes the reader mentions often come and go with changes in the political climate and change of political party rule.
4. The reader is not going to get his teaching job back unless the employment rules currently in place change. Tell him to work for a gubernatorial candidate that is of like mind and keep his fingers crossed.”
I suggest that you also consider other types of work where your experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities may be transferrable. I wish you the best of luck. Do not give up!
© 2010 Rozanne R. Worrell