Friday, August 3, 2012

Why Not Pose for Your Employer's Website?

     Every office employee was notified.
     "Meet at the clinic entryway for a website photo at 1:30 sharp."
     Six patients were sitting in the waiting room, one was at check-out, seven were in the midst of triage or visits in exam rooms, and a drug rep was being rebuffed at the reception counter.
     Not a good time for a group photo.  But if we each left our stations at exactly 1:30, I surmised, we could assemble, shoot a few pictures, and be back to work in a matter of minutes.  Then we'd have a photo to post on our new website.
     We were chatting and jostling in the bright sunlight splayed by leaf-laden trees above us, jokey, self-conscious, and grateful for the breath of midday air afforded by this respite.  A patient relinquished his place on the sofa to step outside and take our photo, so we could all be included.
     "Hey, you, stop pinching my butt!" one employee said, and everyone laughed for the camera.
     But wait!  Two employees were missing.
     I hustled inside to find them.  With a group this size, the message about our photo shoot was bound to miss one or two.
     "Group photo!" I said.  "Everyone is waiting, come on out."
     "No, I don't want to be in the photo," one said.
     "I refuse," said the other.
     "Why don't you want to be included in our website photograph?"  I asked.  "You're part of the office."
     Neither answered.
     "Why are you refusing to be in our photo?" I asked again.
     "I just don't want to," the first said.  She had previously declined to be in a group photo for my blog page--I accepted this, given the FBI investigation of the clinic, but it was still baffling.  The same employee had testified on behalf of the office at our court hearing for the return of records and funds last year--if you're willing to stand up in a public court, why not join your employer's group photo?
     Maybe the FBI has "gotten" to both of them.
     "I'm not going to be on the website for this office, either," the other said, looking down at the floor.  Doesn't she like photographs?
     Are they suspicious of me?  Are they hoping not to be "implicated" in whatever it is the FBI is investigating?  Is it possible to work for someone and not be "implicated" in what that person does?
     Are they informants for the FBI?  If that were the case, they'd gladly pose, wouldn't they, to keep up the ruse?
     I was confused.
     "So you don't mind taking a paycheck from the office, but you won't acknowledge your connection to the office in a web photo?"
     "That's right."
     I had to make up my mind.  "If you aren't proud enough of your jobs to be in the employee photo, then you shouldn't be working here," I told them.  "If you are ashamed to work for this clinic, you shouldn't be cashing a paycheck from the clinic bank account every two weeks.  You're not invisible."
     They packed up their things and left.  One had been employed by me for almost seven years.
     We shot the group photo without them, and went back to work.
     So now there are two more ex-employees on the unemployment rolls for the federal government.
      

4 comments:

  1. I had just finished posting to your blog when I read this new post. Did you actually fire two employees that wanted nothing more than their privacy? Perhaps, they had a passion for helping patients but wanted to avoid having to defend you or your clinic. Perhaps, they had been victims of stalkers. Perhaps, they just didn't like picture day.

    John D.
    gohawthornehornets@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Also, 3,000 patient medical records including the records of those two workers were already stolen by the federal government. Therefore, they already have no privacy. It's not easy waging a fight against the government, so maybe Dr. C just wants to keep people around her who are supportive. It doesn't have to be anything that personal

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  2. In case twitter, facebook tumblr, google, and internet in general has not already made privacy obsolete, the US government passed the NON patriot act which means they can wiretap your phone, arrest you for any reason without due cause, stop and frisk you for no reason, and take all your assets without even having to give a reason or take you to court. I almost was arrested twice for doing nothing already. Strange culture is another harrowing documentary of an American who got arrested for no reason. Just an average white, church-going American at that. Another friend was arrested for again doing nothing right in New York City. Privacy is more fictional than unicorns in this country. As far as wanting to do this, does anyone WANT to wage a battle against the federal government? No. Dr. C only does this because she has no choice. With that said I'm not sure anyone wanted to be in this photo not even the good old owner of the Colasante Clinic.

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