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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Fired over a burger

Spiegel Online has this story of pettiness:
A German woman who worked at the same company for more than three decades recently got fired for pilfering a small burger from her boss' buffet. Her supervisors say she abused the trust they had in her. The case will soon be heard by a labor court...

Magdalene H.'s problems started while she was preparing a buffet for her boss' meeting more than a year ago. Succumbing to a pang of hunger, she took a burger and a bread roll from the platter, Bild reported.
When her boss challenged her about the burger, she admitted what she had done. "She was of the opinion that her behavior was acceptable," said her lawyer Wolfgang Pinkepank. "Bread rolls and burgers left over after conferences are always given to employees to eat."...

On Tuesday, both parties met at the local labor court in Dortmund. It emerged that the building association did not allow its employees to take food from the buffet -- but many did anyway. According to the secretary, even the former boss of the company took the odd snack for himself."
At a time of economic stress, we often can't rely on the companies we work for -- but we can, so far as we are able, rely on each other for a little civility, a little politeness, and frankly a little slack. This helps us get through the day.

Even if bad things have to happen, they don't have to happen unpleasantly. Recently I heard of an acquaintance who was not just let go -- he was escorted from the office immediately by security guards.  A few weeks later, he landed a job at a firm which hires the services of firms like his former employer. Will he remember how he was treated? I'm betting so.

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